Listened to an interesting program a few days ago, it was an old episode of This American Life: http://thislife.org/. It was an episode involving guns and our relationship with them.
This link should work: http://22.214.171.124/pages/descriptions/97/81.html which has the Real audio file of the program. But if not, use this to find the program.
Title: “Guns”, Episode date: 10/24/97, Episode 81
I found the program interesting partly because of my own interest and appreciation and trepedation of guns, in addition to the fact that my brother and I had a small arguement a couple of weeks ago regarding gun control. He’s in the position of greater gun control and I’m in favor of less control. This article is interesting because it takes both sides. In fact, there’s one section where two stories are told interchangeably: one with a former cop who was shot 11 times and has since become a huge advocate for gun control, and Susanna Gratia-Hupp’s story of being one of the few survivors of the Lubby’s restaraunt masacre 20 years ago where her parents were killed in front of her, and becoming a huge advocate for lessened gun control.
The show is generally politically liberal and somewhat skewed toward gun control, but I really appreciated her story in there because I believe as she does. That someone intending to commit a crime, who has no interest in the law enough to not murder someone, is not going to be affected by increased gun control. Criminals will still get guns, and increased gun control will keep citizens from being able to protect themselves. Susanna, who later became a Texas Legislator and was key in getting concealed-carry gun laws passed, had a gun in her car and at points before her father was killed in front of her, had opportunities to shoot the killer before he went on to kill 20+ innocent people, but she abided by Texas law and didn’t carry it with her.
Would I carry concealed? I can in Missouri. Part of me certainly wants to, part of me feels like it’s courting danger and a recipie for accidents. I live in a nice part of town, not too nice as to be a target for theft and certainly not near parts of town that experiences crime. Nor do I go places that have rough and suspicious individuals. Yet, 20 people were killed in a Libby’s restraunt, minding their own business. People get assaulted and killed pulled over to the side on highways. Kids are kidnapped and family’s murdered by unrelated people breaking into homes. Middle-class, suburban people living normal lives get assaulted and killed all over the country much too often. I am very interested in keeping a gun near me.
I anticipate living my entire life without ever encountering any problems, getting in any danger. But, don’t most middle-class victims of violent crime?!
I have a 6-year old daughter. I think it’s more important to teach her respect and responsibility than to hide and make taboo. But if I ever own a gun my instinct is to lock the gun up in one case with a trigger lock, and the ammo in a seperate case with a different lock or combination, and keep them both inaccessible. But that of course would limit the gun to solely sport shooting or collecting. Which I certainly wouldn’t mind. But there’s still part of me that would feel better having a gun concealed on me.