These are some thoughts I've had rolling around in my head for a while.
I decided to finally try pulling them together in some sort of organized manner.
The Second Amendment is Not an Option.
"Oh, I get to own a gun. That's nice."
One of the key problems in establishing responsible gun ownership is that too many people
consider the Second Amendment to be some kind of trivial option; much like a menu of useless
services that are available when you open a checking account at Some Bank. Understanding
firearms, their purpose, and the safe practices in storing, maintaining, and carrying them is as
much a responsibility of citizenship as anything else.
Even among parents who teach their children about firearms there are many who focus on safety
and shooting techniques but do NOT dwell on the responsibility of all capable citizens to maintain
arms. Children are taught the responsibility and necessity of safe driving, wearing a bike helmet,
and serving others through charity or military service but very few parents impress on their
children that proper gun ownership is a citizen's responsibility, not a recreational option.
Someone else's job.
By and large, most people (not just Americans) like to hand off the dirty work of dealing with
violence to someone else, specifically law enforcement; not realizing the vast majority of
officers operate in an investigative capacity, not a protective one. The cop-to-citizen ratio
according to 2008 FBI stats averages about 1:2,600 (actual varying based on location).
People don't realize that these numbers include ALL cops, not just the ones out walking a beat.
Nobody bats an eye when a rural-dwelling resident carries a gun in case of four-legged predators.
Even most liberals can grasp the necessities involved in dealing with predatory wildlife around
the homestead. Yet two-legged predators are more frequent, more dangerous, and more brazen
but city-dwellers seem perfectly content to subcontract their personal safety out to a scattered
few who can't be everywhere at once. This is lazy and foolish, and the brutal results are
cataloged every year.
200 years with no tyranny.
I've actually heard this from people as part of a "logical" argument against the necessity of the
Second Amendment and firearms ownership. The obvious flaw is the reasoning that either we are too
"evolved" to ever see a tyrannical government in the U.S. or that our freedom of speech and power
to vote carry their own inherent "teeth". This is also complacency at its finest: nothing bad has
happened thus far, therefore nothing bad *will* happen.
To make a crude but relevant analogy, this is like routinely having sex with complete strangers
and giving up the use of condoms because you "haven't caught anything yet." Consider that we
elect complete strangers to office again and again. All we really know about them is the story
they tell us; it's the same kind of lines you use in a bar when you're trying to pick someone up.
(The more you think about the metaphor, the more you'll realize how frighteningly accurate it is.)
Freely owning and carrying firearms is not reactive, it's preventative. Though still flawed
reasoning, it's more logical to conclude that our lack of despotism in this country is a result
of firearms ownership instead of a reason to abandon it.
Life isn't fair.
Life comes with responsibilities whether you want them or not, whether you see a need for them or
not. Taking personal responsibility for safely owning, carrying, and operating firearms is among
them. Having the ability yet electing to make someone else do it for you is selfish and immature
no matter how you try to rationalize it.