I am an excellent shot. I don’t shoot often, but it’s like riding a bicycle for me. I can pick up a gun, and within the space of about three shots, I can get a feel for any weapon I pick up and use it with “deadly accuracy.” (That’s a term that needs to be revisited in a separate post.) I know this about myself. No brag, just fact, as Walter Brennan used to say. It doesn’t make me an expert, or a professional. I just don’t care about shooting to practice enough to get that good, but I am good enough with a shotgun to kill 10-12 doves with a box of shells. Anybody who hunts dove will tell you that’s a very good average. I can shoot a tight group with a pistol or a rifle. I also know this about myself, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m not good enough to be a “good guy with a gun.” Unfortunately, many people are confused on that point, and don’t understand how damn good you have to be to win a gunfight.
There are guns in this house. All but one are mechanically disabled, so they can’t be used in the heat of the moment. Only one will fire, and it’s hidden. I would have to be awake and on my feet to find and use it. It’s a single action revolver, and I am good with it, especially at close range.
Guns are dangerous, even in the hands of people who are comfortable with them and trained in their use. The best way to draw fire is to fire. When you carry a gun, you make yourself a target. Trying to be a “good guy with a gun” will get you into deep trouble more often than not.
In my own case, I live with my mother. We’re way out in the country, but not out of reach of our family. They know where the house keys are hidden. My sons might end their shifts (they live in another city) and decide to come down for a visit without announcing themselves.
So here’s scenario #1: At 3AM, I hear noises and fight mightily to rouse myself from a sound sleep, grab a gun, burst from my room, and shoot anything that moves. The likelihood that I would kill a relative, most likely one of my children, is very high.
Scenario #2: I hear noises, but don’t know whether it’s a target or a family member. It’s up to my 3AM brain to evaluate the threat, and respond with lethal force if required. If there is an armed intruder, he will be wide awake, possibly in a heightened state of consciousness, and will also be prepared to shoot anything that moves. So put a fully prepared opponent with an already-drawn gun up against a sleep-fuddled “good guy with a gun”, and see how the odds are stacked in favor of the armed intruder. This scenario will likely end with me dead.
In fact, any scenario I can envision, except one, ends with me (bad enough!) or a member of my family (even worse!) on the floor, dead or dying. The only other possible outcome would be for me to kill the “bad guy”, which would pretty much break my mind and prevent me from being a functional human being for whatever time I have left.
And none of these scenarios include carrying a weapon in public, open or concealed, because my religious beliefs demand that I seek peace with my fellows wherever i go, and not use the weapons of conflict, like armed intimidation, to force an obscene parody of peace on those around me. I can’t make peace by means of making myself a bigger threat than those around me. That’s not peacemaking. It’s bullying. People who carry guns in public lie when they say they’re not doing it to pick a fight. And i don’t care what their bullshit reasons are. Open carry is BOUND to lead to some punk thinking he has to show he’s badder than you. If you think that going out into the world poses a direct threat to you or your loved ones, the terrorists have won and you would do better to stay at home. Jesus wouldn’t carry a gun, and neither will I.
Final analysis about guns as defensive weapons:
NOT WORTH IT!!!
Your mileage may vary, but I don’t anticipate that it would vary by much. Go ahead and gamble with your life and the lives of your loved ones if your fear drives you to, but stay the hell away from me with your weapons.