Confession time: I've spent an enormous amount of time paying attention to the current round of firearm legislation debates. It's not because I'm committed to one side or the other. It's because I'm fascinated with the arguments themselves, which are so very often completely and laughably stupid. It's like watching mental train wrecks in real time.
I've made it no mystery that I have great sympathy for the rational firearm control arguments. It's not because I agree with them, but more because they aren't, for the most part, completely insane. They tend to be more factual, less personal and they often focus more clearly on the goal most all of us share. Frankly, it's hard to have sympathy for arguments that are sensationalistic, fantastic and fearful, like those foisted by Gayle Trotter:
Uhhm, what? Gun control regulation disfavors women because AR-15s are scary against the 3,4,5 hardened criminals invading your home, and the wimmens need something light and easy to shoot? That is what she just argued, right? So let's set the stage:
Molly homemaker with her brood of precocious but not at all misbehaved children is simultaneously cooking dinner, vacuuming the floor, planning her next pregnancy and doing dishes, when suddenly, the MENS break in! There have to be at least 3,4,5 of them, beastly bulging hardened criminals, no doubts with prison tattoos and an agenda of rape, carnage and cannibalism! If only Molly's husband were home (or not passed out on the couch watching BassMasters) he could engage these ruffians in hand-to-hand struggle, given his superior physical prowess, all 3,4,5 of them. But no, Molly is left only to her whits and her trusty assault rifle. She deftly unslings the weapon, and with terrible accuracy she fires into the chest of the first Brute. Of course, the .223 is kind of a poodle-shooter so she requires 15 more rounds from her 100 round drum to drop the monster in his tracks. The other 2,3,4 beasts, seeing how scary her Bushmaster looks, flee in terror of Molly. The day is saved, and ... Scene!
If you can read that without at least cracking a smile, then you are either at least as much of a fantasist as Gayle, or you know nothing about firearms and the concept of initiative. Here's some of what I'm getting at: 1) The best weapon for home defense is small, light and easy to use effectively under pressure. I suggest bird-shot in a pistol or a small caliber shotgun. 2) Home invasions happen far more rarely than mass or accidental shootings. 3) When home invasions do occur, it is rare that the invader is of a right mind to be rational, and if they are, they are rarely unarmed. Here in Bozeman, just this past week, a 'home invader' was repelled by being swatted at with a broom-stick. Not very rational, and most certainly not a "hardened dangerous criminal". 4) A gun's effectiveness is absolutely proportional to its proximity to a ready shooter. If these fragile and vulnerable wimmens that Trotter speaks of aren't packing a *rifle* at all times, then it likely won't do them much good as a defense. 5) I've written it a hundred times and been proven right a hundred times. The best defense against a home invasion is a large breed dog.
Trotter's little fear-fantasy fails to be persuasive because of it's obvious absurdity. But it truly and ultimately fails because it relies on an assumption that underlies almost every stupid argument from the pro-gun crowd. Trotter thinks that someone is going to take her gun away. Uhh, no. Not going to happen. Simply put, that's why I don't fear this debate or feel all that emotionally attached to either side of it. I don't fear that someone will take my guns. I don't fear registration or control of sale. I don't fear an "assault weapons ban" because prohibition has always proven useless. If I want an AR-15, (and I do) I'll get one eventually. But the second I start to argue that I "need" one, or that I'm a victim because someone else doesn't think I "need" one when I think I 'really do', then folks, please point and laugh at me. Just like I'm pointing and laughing at Gayle Trotter, and you should be too.