Question for "Gun Nuts"

In this thread, a question is raised as to the constitutionality of suspending gun ownership rights during a state of emergency. This has me asking a question here that’s been on my mind for a while, but I didn’t want to hijack that thread.

Nearly every argument I’ve heard for the protection of gun ownership rights is, “It protects me and my family.” In the thread referenced above, spark240 states, “Being armed makes me more dangerous to those who threaten me.”

My question is, what are “gun nuts” (I use that phrase in quotes because I can’t really think of a better term) so afraid of? I live in Baltimore, one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country, and I don’t own a gun. I don’t lie awake at night worrying if someone’s going to break through the door, hold me hostage, rape my cats, and drink my milk straight from the carton (and I’d wager that the majority of people also don’t). Have you made a lot of enemies and live your life constantly looking over your shoulder? Do you expect someday that the government is going to commandeer your home and you’ll have to fight off the Feds? Is there a psychological emotion associated with owning a gun – a sense of peace, thrill, power, or otherwise which makes gun ownership a very personal value?

I ask these questions earnestly. I don’t agree with you but I can certainly respect your opinions.

Most of the time, a state of emergency happens during a natural disaster.

Police are busy elsewhere, often phone service is unavailable and looting is a danger.

You have only yourself to look to for protection.

Disarming private citizens just when the odds of them needing that protection has increased is insane.

I am a gun owner. I buy an occasional lottery ticket. I understand the odds, but heck, it’s a buck. I live in a very safe rural area. But I know the odds. If an escaped killer showed up, I like the fact that the dogs would alert me and give me a chance to pull the shotgun out from under the bed. Or, if (as happened last fall) a rabid raccoon shows up in the yard. Or, if a houseguest stays on beyond our comfort zone. . .:stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think I fall into the “gun nut” category, but I do own several guns. If someone were to break in or otherwise threaten me, I would not hesitate to rack a shell in the 20 gauge. Hopefully just the sound would be enough. But that’s not the only reason I want to own my guns. I hunt. I enjoy target shooting. And it’s my right to own one. I know there are crazies out there, stockpiling weapons for when the terrorists try to take over or whatever, but the majority of gun owners are responsible average people. It’s just another case of the crazy minority screwing it up for the non-crazy majority.

Folks don’t necessarily “lie awake at night” worrying about break-ins or what not, but they do like to have some protection just in case it happens. To people who live in a rural environment, a gun is a tool just like a shovel or tractor. Sometimes you just need one.

I’ll try to answer these for our household.

  1. No.
  2. No.
  3. Peace, self-sufficiency, gun-as-tool. Most of our guns are hunting rifles & shotguns, although we do have a couple of handguns. One of those handguns is for hubby to take with when he’s out doing bushhogging - in case of snakes or whatnot.

To me, it goes beyond that. Sure, I like having guns because shooting is fun and I like to hunt. It’s also nice to have a little peace of mind that in case something were to happen- such as the 3 men running through the neighborhood being chased by cops, or the neighbor’s house being broken into-we would have some protection.

But to me, the main reason I am in favor of widespread gun ownership is for our nation’s protection. In 1775, the colonies were defended against the British by common citizens carrying squirrel rifles. It gives me great peace to know that no enemy will put soldiers on the ground here in the U.S. because there are 80 million people like me who would defend our towns with deer rifles, shotguns, .22’s and any other firearm we had in the home.

I’ll try illuminating this using a different subject - driving. I’m like the OP, I don’t personally feel “unsafe” or in need of some form of protection.

My wife, on the other hand, is more prone to feel unsafe. When it comes to driving she only feels safe in a large SUV with anti-lock, traction control, etc. I respect that difference. I feel perfectly fine in a two-seater convertible. Now no amount of statistics about accidents, rollovers, safety of which vehicle, etc. - likelyhood of danger or accident and outcome, will make her feel safe in any car other than a large SUV.

So, thinking of gun ownership - I don’t automatically see the threat that others do, the feeling of being unsafe without a gun and safe with one. But I certainly respect that others do.

I fear tyranny. I have a basement full of guns and ammo because of this.

You see, and I mean this as a 2nd amendment supporting guy, that’s just romantic drivel.

Any professional army, especially ours, would tear through private ownership of firearms with little to no trouble. All the .22s in the world won’t help against a squad of real soldiers.

To think that it would misreads history enormously. The disparity in firepower between the colonials and the British was simply not that high. Unlike today where the disparity would be self evident. Imagine someone holed up, even a platoon-sized group holed up with modern weapons someplace. Then imagine an F-15 eliminating them from the air.

For that matter, even the B and C level guys can stand down armed compounds. It wasn’t Army Rangers or Marines who took down the Branch Davidians, after all. It was the ATF. Regardless of what you may or may not think of the ATF they are NOT a military unit. If it had been a professional military unit it would have ended quicker.

So enjoy your weapons. Hunt, target shoot, teach your kids, whatever. But don’t for a minute think that you are doing anything at all to protect the United States from invasion. The things doing that are A) two wide oceans, B) friendly Candidians and Mexicans, and C) professional soldiers.


I have enough firepower to pacify Nicaragua. I have them because I like them. Once you get locked into a serious collection, you always want to push it to the limits. I’ll settle for owning one example of every Mauser ever issued, by country. Plus my SMLEs. And the pistols. And shotguns.

Odds are I’ll never have to use any of them for protection. Odds are my house won’t get destroyed in an earthquake, either. But I still buy insurance.

Branch Davidians screwed up, you don’t garrison, you head out of your area and snipe guerilla style.

I dont care, even if you want to get suicidal, a good sniper can take out an amazing number of people in an urban context as long as they do not get pinned down. Please note that most of these guys and gals were using a bolt action ancient weapon in very inclement conditions. The militants in Afghanistan and other areas of the middle east are currently demonstrating exactly what crappily armed people can do against your modern military.

And D) radioactive elements lying silently in long tubes.

The same goes, largely, for notions of the gun as “protection.” I’ll buy that it has a certain deterrence value, and certainly is useful;l for retaliation. But to cite just one highly visible example of how bad guns are for protection, look at the time Reagan was shot by a fourth-rate idiot with a slow revolver. Hinckley got off all six shots, despite the best-prepared guards in the world being armed to the teeth. After the shooting was over, you can see on the recorded video agents everywhere with handguns and Uzis (iirc), but the President was already hit.

The average gun owner has no statistical chance of being anywhere near as alert and ready as the Secret Service. He can retaliate afterward, but, unusual circumstances aside, he will not defend himself with a gun.

I also note that every one of those guys and gals was part of a modern military and was able to rely on considerable passive support just from the state of war itself – I mean, the Germans couldn’t lock down the city and hunt for one sniper because the Guards Army was also present and would object. It’s massively easier to snipe with the support and backing of a modern army, safe areas, supplies, communications, etc.

The militants of Afghanistan, I have seen it argued, are giving us so much trouble precisely because they actually have a sophisticated military support network that happens to be based in Pakistan, which we can’t attack for reason D) above.

We can’t attack Pakistan for political reasons, not because they have nukes. A and C kinda preclude any retaliatory nuclear strikes by the Pakistani Air Force.

Am I the only person here laughing his ass off at these two statements?

I know, I spewed my drink when I read them. Then checked to see if there was another sun in the sky!

You say that now. Will you still repeat these words when your house is broken into/you’re held hostage, etc? Will you still NOT at least think about owning a firearm?

I live in a very safe neighborhood, despite being spitting distance from DC (which itself is, generally speaking, a very safe city, at least in the areas I frequent). It’s safe enough that I have no qualms about leaving my door unlocked for friends, etc.

But I also live next door to a bakery which recently had a double murder-suicide. This just convinced me that crazy can happen anywhere, any time. And for the low cost of a home defense weapon, I didn’t see the point in not doing it. I already owned a gun (an M-1 Garand) for target shooting, but that didn’t serve a home defense purpose, so I went out and bought a shotgun. I don’t like shooting shotguns, so it sits there, only taken out so I can stay proficient with it. I hope I never use it, but there didn’t seem to be a great reason not to have it. I hope I never use my car insurance either, and I don’t “live in fear” of a car accident, but I would maintain my Geico policy even if the Commonwealth didn’t require me to have it.

I think the chances of that are so low that I don’t need to own a firearm. That’s what we have the police for.

I have thought about buying a gun in the past, but it hasn’t chalked up to more than a thought. I don’t disagree that people have a right to protect themselves. If you want to own a gun because it makes you feel safer, who am I to argue? What I don’t understand is:
[li]People who own multiple guns for so-called “protection”. Do you really need four pistols, two shotguns, and a semi-automatic rifle to protect your home?[/li][li]People who are against policies that offer the mere suggestion that their 2nd Amendment rights are being restricted. This goes for opponents of gun locks, waiting periods, etc.[/li][li]Gun advocates who ignore or dismiss tragedies involving guns (e.g., Columbine, Virginia Tech, that guy who held people hostage at the Discovery Channel, etc.) If guns were more difficult to acquire and required psychological screening, then those hostilities either wouldn’t have happened, or would have been a lot easier to handle.[/li][/ol]
The way it appears to me, many gun advocates feel that buying a gun should be as easy as buying a gallon of milk. Guns are weapons. They kill people. They are not toys. If you feel like target shooting, buy a BB gun. What’s the difference?