Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why We Need to Cling to Our Guns and Religion (Or at Least Our Guns… We’ll Tackle Religion Another Day)

Gun rights...

I just got reminded some of the reasons why I didn’t like studying abroad last night, when my church’s 20-year old British intern spoke up out of ignorance, prejudice and arrogance.

If that makes him sound horrible, I’m sorry, because that’s not what I’m going for. I’m sure that he’s a very nice lad even if I can’t help but be royally annoyed with him right now all the same.

But nice aside, it’s bad enough when your own countrymen and women attack your beliefs because they don’t take the time to figure out that you’re your own person and not just another group thinker. But it’s especially insulting when an outsider says something snobby about “gun-toting, right-wing fundies” (i.e. fundamentalists).

The accent just makes it that much easier for it to get under my skin, especially since it’s not the first time I’ve heard such brazen commentary from a Brit I’ve just met (They can be quite the cheeky prats when they want to be.) and since his remarks were preceded by other ones – not from him, in all fairness – about the hatred of those who would oppose the Ground Zero mosque, I’m – I think – understandably unsettled.

Side note: I really need to get more conservative friends.

After doing might I say an admirable job of keeping my temper in check and fighting back the urge to commandeer the Bible study by countering what they had said, I got home only to see the following headline:

“Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47”

Silly fundy. Why ever would he think guns were a good thing to own?

Guns Make For Great Self Defense

My first automatic reaction to that kind-of headline is outrage: How dare they infringe on the man’s second amendment rights! Then, my calmer self steps in with the much more cautious: You might want to get all of the facts before you get even more worked up.

So, that’s what I do. Setting my annoyance and ire aside, I read the article. Here’s my summary…

George Grier was about to drive his cousin home when he became alarmed enough to go inside and get his fully licensed AK-47 assault rifle. With five men in his driveway – whom he suspected of being MS-13 members, a particularly prevalent gang in the Uniondale, New York area – Grier told his wife to call the police, went back outside and asked them to leave, gun in hand.

The men allegedly dared him to go for it and shoot them. In Grier’s words:

“He starts threatening my family, my life. ‘Oh you’re dead. I’m gonna kill your family and your babies. You’re dead.’ So when he says that, 20 other guys come rushing around the corner. And so I fired four warning shots into the grass.”

Those warning shots got him arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, his first criminal mark, incidentally. Apparently, the law gives people permission to use physical force only when confronted with physical force. And since Grier never saw anyone pull out a gun, he broke the law.

Now, in all fairness, there could be more details that come out later, which may justify his arrest, but short of finding out that Grier flat-out lied, I’m rather hard-pressed to think of any at the moment. If the formerly law-abiding Grier is to be believed, there were some twenty-five men trespassing on his property and threatening him and his family with physical harm.

I’d say that’s a good enough reason to fire a few warning shots.

Yet instead of commending him for going through all of the trouble of obtaining a firearm legally and doing the proper thing in defending his life, a constitutionally and God-given right, we yell at him for daring to show the bad guys that he’s serious.

How dare he? I mean, come on… he could have hurt somebody with that thing!

A Few More Examples of Why Guns Can Come in Handy

As a single female living in a city that largely deserves its bad reputation, do you know what gun rights means to me? It means leveling the playing field.

I’m not big or intimidating in any way. In fact, as my much taller, younger brother would attest to, I’m rather fun to pick up and throw around.

Not that I’m advocating using a gun on my younger brother at all (that’s more a matter of threatening not to give him Christmas money towards the iPod Touch he’s currently craving), but there are other guys out there much less interested in practicing swing dance moves on little girls like me and much more set on causing intentional damage much worse than a strained back and a twisted shoulder.

Guns make nice deterrents for such situations, should they arise, especially in places such as D.C., where crime is rampant and police forces are stretched thin. While I respect most of our law enforcement personnel, they’re definitely not perfect.

For that matter, they’re not even legally responsible for your safety, as three women brutally found out in D.C. one night. I found the bare but still horrifying details in Glenn Beck’s book, “Arguing with Idiots” on page 55 – 56. (Incidentally, that larger chapter on gun rights is very compelling.) But if you don’t own the book, you’re more than welcome to look up the case itself: Warren v. District of Columbia.

Or you could just accept my summary: Two women woke up to hear their roommate screaming after their apartment got broken into. They called the police. Twice. Both times, their calls were treated with an appalling lack of respect and decorum, so all three women were raped and terrorized for the next fourteen hours. And when they later tried to sue the police for negligence, they were denied.

And sadly, that’s not an isolated issue. Go ahead and do your own research if you don’t believe me. You might come to realize why little girls like me think that guns can be an excellent idea.

The Founding Fathers tended to agree with me on this one. But I’ll save that for tomorrow… and the anti-gun counter-arguments for Thursday.

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