Most gun owners would agree that the Second Amendment is not so much about self-defense as it is about protecting the rights of hunters and sportsmen to keep and bear arms.
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is to hunt and shoot clay pigeons,” said Thomas Jefferson, during the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
More recently, other important and credible politicians have reminded us that hunting is what our right to keep and bear arms is all about.
“No one needs ten bullets to kill a deer,” said the venerable statesman Andrew Cuomo, the acting governor of the Empire State.
Indeed. No one needs ten bullets to kill a deer. Moreover, no one needs a firearm for self-defense. In fact, a recent Gallup poll showed that 92 percent of gun owners say they own a firearm for hunting or sports shooting, exclusively.
The survey also revealed the mindset of the typical gun owner on matters of self-defense and personal responsibility. An overwhelming 87 percent of respondents said the government is solely responsible for their safety and that of their family’s. Only 5 percent of respondents said they were on the hook for protecting themselves or others.
When asked the key question of whether it was better to be a victim or a vigilante, 89 percent of respondents said it was better to be a victim. To help explain why law-abiding gun owners feel this way, I’ve listed five reasons why it’s better to be a victim than a vigilante.
1. Violence only begets more violence
Shooting an attacker, rapist, or robber in a self-defense situation is only going to create more violence. Think about it. What are you telling other law-abiding gun owners?
You’re telling them that it’s okay to kill a criminal. This is the wrong message to be sending. No one, including career criminals, should have to fear for his/her life. Furthermore, no gun owner should be encouraged to use force, including deadly force, against another person — no matter the circumstances.
Instead of shooting serial rapists, craven sociopaths and drug-addled killers, gun owners should shower them with love, good-will and a positive can-do attitude. Only then will we break this cycle of violence.
2. Better to be carried by six than judged by 12
Two words: survivor’s guilt. Two more words: civil (or criminal) lawsuit. Together, they make for a pretty troubling experience.
Think about it. Do you really want to sit in court facing a jury of your peers for shooting a criminal? Do you really want to be engaged in a protracted legal battle with the criminal’s family? Think of how costly that could be – not to mention embarrassing (What would you wear to the courtroom?).
If you think sitting in the Post Office for an afternoon is bad, try being on trial for three months. No fun. I think most of us agree that one would be better off…
3. An armed society is an impolite society
That’s the mantra of the modern pro-gun movement. When people are armed, they’re dangerous. But they’re also very, very needy and finicky.
Everyone who’s been around a concealed carry permit holder knows what I’m talking about:
FRIEND: “Hey, let’s go to Buffalo Wild Wings for some Honey BBQ boneless joints?”
CCW PERMIT HOLDER: “No, I can’t. I refuse to eat at BW3.”
FRIEND: “What, why!? Their wings are so tasty and they have great lunch specials.”
CCW PERMIT HOLDER: “I don’t eat at BW3 because it’s a ‘gun-free’ zone. They don’t allow law-abiding gun owners to carry concealed in the restaurant.”
FRIEND: “Jeez… Well, maybe we’ll just pick up a pizza at Costco.”
CCW PERMIT HOLDER: “Can’t go there, either.”
FRIEND: “Why? Wait… lemme guess, they don’t allow CCW permit holders inside?”
CCW PERMIT HOLDER: “Well, yeah, there’s that and I also went into insulin shock after polishing off one of those irresistible Hand-Dipped Chocolate Almond Ice Cream Bars…”
I think we’d all agree that society needs fewer prima donnas aka licensed concealed carry permit holders.
4. Lesson Learned from Willy Loman
Everyone loves the great Willy Loman. And if there’s one thing the ‘New England Man’ taught us it’s that a robust life insurance policy is the key to happiness.
“After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive,” said Willy.
This lesson has particular relevance when it comes to deciding whether one would rather be a victim or a vigilante. If one does an honest cost-benefit analysis and really takes a long, hard look in the mirror, he/she may realize that choosing to be the victim – whatever the consequences – is the most economically viable option.
As noted earlier, opting to be a vigilante comes with great legal and financial burdens. No one wants to saddle his family with debt or the embarrassment of being on trial for killing an economically disadvantaged or downtrodden serial rapist.
5. Better to die upon one’s knees than live upon one’s feet
Pride will get you nowhere in life. Neither will morals or a code or taking a stand against the criminal element.
See, we’re all cracked vessels. We’re all imperfect human beings. We’re all victims, when it comes down to it. As such, shouldn’t we just accept our plight? Why fight nature? Why try to make a stand? It’s much easier to accept our reality, passively and with open arms – come what may.
As Socrates once said, in The Apology, Line 38c, “Fatalism is its own reward.” To that end, so is victimhood. If someone tries to steal your cat, allow that person to take your cat. Don’t resist it.
Besides, that individual probably needs your cat more than you do. You can always purchase a new cat or find one on the street that’s like the old cat, the stolen cat, because there are plenty of cats out there that look alike.
You could even name your new cat after your old cat and no one would really know the difference between the two. Except for people who were really fond of the old cat, like your mom. But you could lie to your mom and say that you had your cat’s spots adjusted or stripes removed and that explains why it looks slightly different and why it keeps scratching her when she goes to pet its tail.
“The cat just had spot removal surgery ma, that’s why he’s being so temperamental. You shouldn’t pet the damn cat mom until it fully heals.”
Your mom’s old. She’ll believe you, eventually.