Friday, February 4, 2011

GPP 030: Lost in Thought, Part Three

In part three of my ramble: why Sarah Palin's 15 minutes of fame are up; how the media is by no means leftist; how arming everyone won't stop a Tucson-like massacre; should I buy a Glock? Then, a rant about the moral problems of cliched, triumphalist crowing about keeping a handgun for self-defense.

This is the article I was referring to:

http://www.davekopel.com/2A/OpEds/Why_Good_People_Own_Guns.htm

I mis-remembered some details, which is not surprising when I do a discussion like this without notes. However, if this is the same Bessie Jones, it is interesting to note that she was apparently very upset about shooting the robber. She is quoted as saying "I didn't want to kill him. I just wanted him to leave, but he wouldn't go." She had no indication that his intent was anything other than robbery; in other words, she used the gun to defend her possessions at the expense of the robber's wife. And per the article, she was having some difficulty with the moral implications of that trade.

The other case I was able to find referenced in The New York Times. The gun that was used to rob the man who killed the two young men with his unlicensed handgun? It was a pellet gun. He presumably did not know and under the circumstances could not have known the gun that had been put to his head was entirely non-lethal, and in my view was entirely right to believe that his life was endangered. But it puts an interesting spin on the confrontation that cost the two younger men their lives. The "hero" was technically the one committing a real gun crime, and in reality the only thing at stake was the wallet -- a thing certainly not worth anyone's life.

Google tells me that both the above high-profile cases are mentioned in a book, on this page:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Fj4P8OhTZrYC&lpg=PA46&dq=american's%20guns%20and%20the%20second%20amendment%20book&pg=PA6#v=onepage&q&f=false

Some information with a different bias, one that matches my personal values a little more closely, can be found here:

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence/gunsinthehome

DID YOU KNOW? A gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.

Every time a gun injures or kills in self-defense, it is used:

11 times for completed and attempted suicides (Kellermann, 1998, p. 263).
7 times in criminal assaults and homicides, and
4 times in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.
Today's episode itself:

MP3 File

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