A friend of mine who is sympathetic to the gun-control cause said to me the one day, “What the heck are gun owners so afraid of that they need all them guns? Like really, what are you so afraid of?”
I thought it was a fair question. Though I don’t think that gun owners are really any more fearful than the average joe. In fact, I’d probably argue the opposite. I think because many of us are familiar with firearms and have actively thought about and prepared for a self-defense situation we are less afraid than the average joe… I don’t want to get too far off topic. But I do acknowledge that there is a perception out there — however baseless it may seem to us — that gun owners are a bunch of scaredy-cats. So, perhaps to humor my friend, I decided to list the top five things that scare me the most, currently, as a gun-owning Patriot. Maybe some of it will resonate with you, maybe it won’t. But I look forward to reading your $.02.
1. Ebola – Yeah, this stuff will kill you! Not in a pleasant, fade-out style death where you get to look all of your loved ones in the eyes from a not-too-uncomfortable hospital bed and tell them how much they’ve meant to you before you slowly and softly cross over into the next world thanks to a cocktail of sedatives and pain killers. Nope, it doesn’t happen like that with Ebola. You become feverish, rashy. Then the vomiting starts. Then the butt vomiting starts. Then the external bleeding starts. Then the internal bleedings starts. Then you die, alone because you’re highly infectious – or around people in spacesuits, either way, a lonely way to go. You probably die from kidney or liver complications, low blood pressure or loss of fluids. Not a good way to go. This scares me.
Why does this scare me so much? Because there’s no way to really stop it. Contain yes, stop no. And the government doesn’t seem to be taking the threat all that seriously.
2. Government – Yes, now that we’re on the subject of government, I should mention that I fear the government. Not [government] tyranny per se. At least not right now. But it’s good intentions. It seems like whenever the government is out to do right by the American people it just makes matters worse. Student loans is a prime example. College isn’t right for everyone, but since the government believes it is, it’s handing out billions and billions of dollars (student loan debt is now at $1.2 trillion) with no real way of recouping the money. Yes, we should invest in young people. But we ought to be a little more selective on who we opt to back financially (Maybe we should conduct drug tests before we hand out student loans? Seems fair). Just saying.
In a nutshell, I would chalk my fear up to the government ineptitude with respect to our pocketbook. More specifically, the government is actively bankrupting this nation (not to mention the war spending, the housing loans, the health care, etc.). That’s not good. I fear what may happen if things don’t change.
3. Gun control – Yeah. This scares me. No, not background checks so much. But think about what’s going on in New York State right now under the SAFE Act. As the New York Times recently pointed out, state officials are adding folks to a gun ban list in record numbers. 34,000 currently. Why? Because nurses, doctors, psychologists, counselors, social workers, etc. are required by law to report to the state any patient “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”
To put in another way, “The threshold for reporting is so low that it essentially advertises that psychiatrists are mandatory reporters for anybody who expresses any kind of dangerousness,” Dr. Mark J. Russ, director of acute care psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, Queens, told the New York Times.
The federal standard to strip one of their 2A rights, as it relates to mental health, is one who has been adjudicated mentally defective or one who has been involuntarily committed. This lower New York standard creates a system where potentially non-threatening and law-abiding gun owners are at risk of having their lawfully owned firearms seized by state police without having time to go before a judge or a jury of their peers to make a case.
This is scary. Not only in its current iteration, but for what it augurs for the future. This may be only the beginning of how mental health laws are twisted and abused to deny one the right to keep and bear arms.
4. Hardened Criminals – I cover DGUs (Defensive Gun Use) stories enough to know that they’re are some crazy people out there. Bat-shit, ‘I-want-to-smell-your-daughter’s-tricycle-seat, I-want-to-rape-your-dead-grandma, I-want-to-peel-off-your-skin’ crazy out there. They exist. And yeah, that type of evil, which is beyond rehabilitation, is pretty freaking frightening. Don’t get it confused though. While I think there is good reason to fear these miscreants, I don’t live in fear of them. Why? Well, largely because I know how to use a firearm. And I actively train to confront not only the craziest of the crazy, but anyone that knocks on my door looking for trouble. Being prepared to defend oneself and one’s family is a way of life, one that I’m happy to embrace.
5. Apathy – People just don’t seem to care anymore. Hell, maybe they never did. But as angry as some people get sometimes at their political leaders in Washington, D.C. or at the state level, that typically recedes and they just go back to not caring anymore. Or they care, but they don’t care enough to make a difference. Like, in a few weeks, the November elections will be upon us. I now live in New York State. The Empire State. If people really cared here, if gun owners really cared, the 8 or so million of us in New York state would go out to the polls and vote Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office. We would. If we cared, we would send that feckless, anti-gun dingbat packing. Unfortunately, I predict, it won’t happen. In fact, I bet the anti-Cuomo turnout is shamefully meager. People just don’t care about who’s in charge or what that leadership means for the future of our Constitutional rights. That’s not only sad, it’s scary.
I hope I’m wrong about this, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
With all that said, the answer to my friend’s questions about why we need to own all those guns is that it’s a mistake to conflate fear and gun ownership. One doesn’t necessarily drive the other. I own firearms, not because I’m afraid, but because I can. It’s a constitutional right. I also believe in self-defense, as mentioned. And being proficient with a firearm is the optimal means of defending oneself.