An open letter to Barbara Sanders and gun control advocates like her.
Dear Barbara Sanders,
Your first paragraph is extremely well-written. That is to say, it tells me what I need to know about you and your thought process, which appears to begin and end with “gunz r bad mkay.” I do have to applaud you for making your bias so wonderfully clear in your opening paragraph, though I do have some questions about the objectivity of The Tennessean’s editorial board.
I would like to take this opportunity to openly admit my bias on this topic, and I hope this trend catches on. I believe in individual rights and responsibility. I have owned and built multiple “assault weapons” and carried a handgun every day for over three years.
Now let’s look at your story highlights.
“Please help us all understand your thinking, feelings or logic.”
Not big on the Oxford comma, I see. At any rate, feelings don’t matter and thinking ≈ logic, so this one should be easy: We are individualists, and individual rights are important to us. There are no collective, social, or group rights; there are only the rights of the individual. One of them happens to be the topic of this open letter: ownership of property.
Story highlight two:
“Even if you were in a challenging shooting situation, are you the judge or the jury?”
Neither. I’m the witness to a crime, the victim of said crime, and the first responder to that crime. You might be surprised at how long it takes a judge and jury to show up to a crime scene.
“You hold innocent lives in your hands by carrying weapons around schools, parks and churches.”
I actually don’t. The only person holding your life in your hands is you. If anyone happens to take your life illegally, there’s a whole overpaid criminal justice system just for that. It’s also a good thing that, out of 500,000 people in Tennessee who have Handgun Carry Permits, only about 20 per year are arrested for any crime. (I like how you leave out malls, movie theaters, and airports. I’ve carried a firearm in all three such places, legally, this calendar year alone, without incident.)
The rest of your open letter consists of flawed conclusions that come from flawed premises. Instead of addressing your conclusions, I’ll address your premises.
Pistols and ownership thereof do not protect anybody. They do, however, increase one’s physical ability to protect oneself. In fact, a 2lb pistol makes a 90lb paraplegic deaf black woman physically superior to a 200lb athletic rapist.
“Defenseless” animals breed themselves out of their food supply without hunters, and several of them even kill livestock that actually are defenseless.
A weapon that “can mow down large groups of schoolchildren or moviegoers” does not exist. No weapon can act on its own accord. The person holding it does those things. Individual responsibility, remember?
Additionally, most “military weapons” that citizens in the USA own are surplus rifles like the Mosin Nagant, Springfield 1903, M1 Garand, and so on. The modern sporting rifles to which you allude by saying “large groups of schoolchildren or moviegoers” are not military-grade. It’s possible the shotgun that was used in the Aurora movie theater was of military quality, but the rifle was not. The rifle lacked both full-auto and burst fire capacity, and it likely cost too much to produce for any military contract.
If you think “military-grade” means “more dangerous than civilian quality,” then you must only be talking about the food.
The Constitution said no such thing about militias. If you’re not going to listen to me, listen to Roy Copperud, English Language Expert: The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.”
I’d like to bring this response to a close with an invitation: If you’re ever down near Chattanooga on a weekend, I’d like to take you to a shooting range. I’ll pay for everything except your hearing protection and eye protection. You should choose those yourself to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
I also request to remain anonymous, as owners of conservative voices often find themselves lynched in the public sphere (see Gregory Elliott’s ruined life due to disagreeing with someone on social media). I won’t give you my name, but you can contact me via email at email@example.com and via Twitter @Gunsplain.