Friday, December 21, 2007

Anti-Gun Bias - Lies without the Statistics

I don't usually rebut people that have a beef with my writing - or at least not this formally. A comment here and there perhaps, but this post deserves special attention. You can't make this stuff up! Put words in my mouth. Attribute things I never said. Misconstrue things I did say. That all adds up to bias.

Bryan Miller doesn't like guns, and apparently has a problem with gun owners. He certainly has a beef with one of my posts on the shooting at Westroads Mall in Omaha.

In that post I said that the owners/operators of the mall tried to create a gun free zone. They failed, because guns got in without regard to their signs and policies. What I did not do was blame them for the shooting. Bryan Miller thinks I did.
Zendo Deb, writing in her TFS Magnum blog actually blamed those hoping to make their places of business, education, healthcare and worship free of weapons.
The only person I even blame for the commission of a crime is the criminal. Now I do believe that the goblin's actions were made easier by this no-guns policy, but it is not to blame for his actions. That post was about the inanity of putting up "No Crime Allowed" signs and then being surprised that they don't stop crime. (For some of my thoughts on placing blame, you can look here.) It isn't the mall's fault. It isn't the gun's fault (which Bryan Miller appears to blame at one point). It is the fault of the guy who pulled the trigger. The owners of Westroads Mall should realize, however, that their "No Crime Allowed" signs (sorry, "No Guns Allowed" policy) failed miserably. I think it is the wrong policy. I wouldn't shop in Westroads Mall because of it.

If the owners of Westroads Mall really wanted to exclude guns from their premises, they would institute security that looks like the stuff you find at airports. That is how you keep weapons of all kinds out of an environment - by actually looking. But then that might cut into their sales just a bit.

Bryan Miller is also under the delusion that I want to race to his rescue should we both be present at the start of a multiple-victim shooting. He is mistaken. My concern is self-defense. As a responsible adult, he should have a plan for the safety of himself and his family. If while defending myself, I can help him, so much the better, but if my safety can best be served by a hasty retreat, he will be - once again - on his own.

On a related subject it has not been - indeed it has never been - my contention that I want everyone armed. It is not - as he says - "about arming everyone to the teeth." I know very few people that could pull a gun on someone and defend themselves with lethal force. Most of them have been victims of violent crime. I would like to think that most parents could defend their kids, but I am not sure even there. My position has always been, that unless you are sure in your heart of hearts that you can defend yourself with lethal force, don't have a gun. Get pepper spray or a whistle or something, but not a gun. You also need to be willing to spend the time and money to practice, practice, practice. But I do believe you should take some responsibility for your safety. I believe you should wear seatbelts, for example, while riding in an automobile. Does this mean I am blaming anyone who dies in a car crash? No.

Miller also gets some things just plain wrong as well. The background check for a concealed carry permit is a bit more involved than the "insta-check" used to buy guns. I was fingerprinted to ensure that I had no issue in my personal history that would preclude getting a carry permit. I also have to show that I have taken the required safety course. The entire process took 90 days. So is this statement of Miller's a lie, in that he knew the truth and told a falsehood, or is this laziness in that he didn't bother to check his facts? Propaganda or Ignorance? You have to answer that one for yourself.

As to the idea that an armed citizen in the right place cannot stop a multiple victim shooting, all I can say is he has his head in the sand. He apparently has never heard of the Jeanne Assam, and how she stopped such a tragedy just as it started. He has never heard of the Appalachian School of Law or any other instance where crimes were stopped by armed citizens. But let's concentrate on the Colorado event and Jeanne Assam. She was an armed citizen, who choose to defend people important to her. The pastor of the Church in question said she saved many lives. I guess Bryan Miller disagrees.

Let me say it again. My driving force is self-defense. I have been a victim of a violent crime, and I will not go down that road again if there is anything I can do to prevent it. That isn't paranoia, and it isn't living in the past. It is just the plain unvarnished truth. If I am attacked, I will do everything in my power to defend myself. If you are attacked, I may come to your aid, and I may not. You should have given some thought to your response to a violent encounter. (Calling 911 - dial a prayer - isn't the best strategy.) Like wearing your seatbelt in your car, taking precautions and having plans will not make you invincible. (You can still die in a car crash, even if you have a seatbelt and airbags. The odds of doing so change, but do not fall to zero.) There are no guarantees in this life.

Bryan Miller appears to advocate the strategy of trusting in the "No Crime Allowed" signs, and relying on the authorities to save you. He is welcome to embrace that strategy. I just object to his trying to make me adopt the same (failed) strategy. (And of course I object to his bias and propaganda.)
[hat tip to SayUncle for pointing this out to me in one of my comments.]

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