Chicago is known for being the land of gangsters and guns. There are many lobbies for gun control.
Now, I don’t own a gun. But my friend said I could have used one when I got robbed last week. If I had been armed, I might have avoided losing my small change. But I wouldn’t have escaped the trauma, in fact it would have been more scary!
Well, I don’t know, maybe I would have been more aggressive with a gun.
I’m in the lobby of my apartment house. A man comes out of the shadows and shoves a gun in my face! I only have change in my pocket. I wonder will he be angry because I only have a couple of dollars in change?
Now, even if I owned a gun, it would probably be upstairs in the night table drawer next to my bed. I wouldn’t have it on me because it’s illegal to carry a concealed weapon.
Now, the gun being in a drawer in my bedroom makes it more convenient for me to suddenly wake up and shoot my wife or my foot! I probably wouldn’t get the intruder.
Now, getting back to the gunman in the lobby. I could appeal to his sense of fair play and say: “ Do you mind if I go upstairs and get my gun and we can settle this?” I don’t think the burglar would go for that suggestion.
But, lets say that I owned a gun and had it on me when I was accosted. The burglar would probably squeeze his trigger before I even got my gun out of my pocket. In which case, I lose!
Suppose I wait until he takes my change and flees. I could then draw my gun and drop him at 20 feet!
Now, this is not the movies. I would probably miss by a mile! He could turn around and put a hole through my forehead.
The odds are bad. First, I have to own a gun and have it on me. Second, I have to be a crack shot and hit a moving target at 20 or 30 feet.
My question is: With all the guns in Chicago, why do so few criminals get shot when they accost the public?
My friend replied, “ I don’t know. All I know is I’ve got a gun and I feel safer having it.”
“ OK, but where were you, my friend, and your gun, when I needed you?”
Of course, in th UK this is not really an issue – almost no-one owns a gun and (for once) I think the UK have got it right.
I did, however, live in the Southwest USA for a number of years where there were guns aplenty and I had this debate many times. My view is quite simple, violence begets violence – it always proliferates. I don’t want a gun and I don’t want to know how to use one.
While in the US I was unlucky enough to be in a bank one Friday afternoon when armed robbers burst in and proceeded to rob the bank and the customers. Do I wish I’d had a gun and could have tackled them? Not on your life! I was happy to lie on the floor like everyone else and hand over my wallet.
I don’t mind admitting that guns scare me – I think in reality they scare most right-minded people. Your friend who felt ‘safer’ with a gun was simply deluding himself. That sort of misguided thinking ‘I have to be armed more than you to feel safe’ led to the tragic escalation of the Cold War – and I think all know what a waste of time and resources that turned out to be – Russia is our best mate now!
So, speaking as someone who has lived in places with very strict gun laws and also in places with very liberal gun laws, I know which I prefer and (for once) I have a strong opinion – guns are bad, people should not be allowed to own them, ban them. Period.
I liked your story, I dont like guns but where would old west heros like the Earps be without them?