I’m all for opposing points of view. They force me to assess my position to make sure the arguments for it are sound.
What I can’t stand is ignorance. It’s one thing to object to a point of view; it’s another thing to argue like an idiot. There’s a lot of that going around.
Read this Facebook post about gun ownership and the Second Amendment to see what I mean:
This guy claims that people with guns – the share of American households with guns is around 34 percent1 – will only shoot other things but never actually defend themselves against people who want to do them harm.
What’s missing in this claim is that people with guns don’t want to shoot anybody and people who want to do harm stay away from people or situations where they know guns are present. A criminal who suspects that someone has a gun will dissuade him. It’s safer to go after a soft target.
Instead of a gun, the Facebook poster wants victims to be “reasonable.” How is that supposed to work? This is where his “argument” gets even more muddled. I’ve lost his train of thought if he ever had one.
He seems to be saying that the Second Amendment protects and arms the bad guys. Criminals don’t need a right to “keep and bear arms.” They are by definition lawbreakers.
But back to being “reasonable” with criminals. This is similar to advice given by NBC in a segment on “How to Protect your Family from Home Invasion.” Here are two things you will need, according to former NYPD detective Wallace Zeins: car keys and wasp spray. If someone breaks into your house, grab your car keys and push the alarm button. Who pays attention to car alarms? The better approach is to have a home alarm system that can be set to “stay” or “home.” Wireless home security systems are now on the market. Homeowners don’t have to worry about having their phone lines cut. They are easy to set up
How will people who live in a high rise apartment building benefit from pushing the car’s panic button when their car is parked far from their apartment?
Then there’s the wasp spray defense. What will stop the person doing the spraying from being affected by the spray if it’s sprayed in close quarters? The same can be true of pepper spray. Then there’s this:
“A Seattle family would argue that Zeins’s advice was wrong. In December of 2013, Ken Boonstra broke into a home and the husband tried using wasp spray to fend off his attack on his wife. The spray did not stop the attack; only a well-placed and very sharp steak knife was effective in ending the conflict.
Another problem with wasp spray is that “spraying an intruder with a neurotoxin-laced bug spray is a violation of Federal law.” (Of course, if it comes down to being raped or killed, non Federal law is going to stop me from protecting myself.) Also, the label says, “Never use indoors.” Check out this site on the effectiveness of wasp spray.
If someone has enough time to reach for a set of keys or wasp spray, he or she has enough time to reach for a gun.
With a gun in your hand, criminals can be very reasonable.
- This statistic is hard to nail down because many people will lie about gun ownership to people asking poll questions. They don’t trust them. They would rather keep their gun ownership a private affair. This is especially true when “questions on the presence of guns at home were asked on a broad federal public health survey.” [↩]