071: Bootful

Noun: bootful (plural bootfuls)

as much as a boot will hold

Some common points and rebuttals, vaguely taking a side:

– The Constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms.

=> The Second Amendment (and not the Constitution direct) guarantees us this right. Not like that’s important.

– The Second Amendment is meant to ensure that Americans can defend themselves.

=> It’s true that some research shows that weapons seem to deter crime. The study I read described a trend: robbers and thieves were less willing to act when their victims had weapons readily available.

– So weapons are major forces in self-defense.

=> Most thievery takes place during the day, during work hours, when you are away from the house, and is covertly done so that neither you nor your neighbors notice. Chances are that unless you have a gun safe, your weapon will be stolen along with all your valuables.

=> And even if someone breaks and enters while you’re in, you won’t really have time to go for your gun before they either leave or pull a gun on you first. Chances are.

– Weapons highlight the American tradition of hunting.

=> Be nice to the poor animals, they’re disappearing. And where they’re not, you can break that tradition anyway – unless you hunt for food (and there’s not much excuse to these days), change might be welcome. Kind of like the evolution of civil rights, of marriage, of sexuality – no reason why there can’t be a little change on the usage of guns.

– Weapons ensure our right to rise up against our government should we so wish.

=> This is imbecilic. If you want to rise up violently against the government, you’ll be dead before you can say “insurrection.” Facing the military with the conventional weapons and little training that most sane people have would be like hunting space aliens with a cap-gunthe kind that doesn’t even shoot.


EDIT: I would like to append a thought, after reading Reddit. Yes, stricter gun control (maybe even a ban) would not stop determined killers from doing what they do. There is a tightrope called “life” stretched over the gajillion different pits of death, all of which are of course completely fatal. Death by lead is a drop in the bucket of a gajillion.

HOWEVER, we take into account cost-benefit-analysis as a deterrent, as well as the singular human temptation. Let’s say I’m a deranged madman who wants to take revenge on society. I can go around with a garrote, strangling everyone I meet (and probably be taken down before I can even permanently harm ONE person), or I can go buy a nice shiny death machine and go around doling out death by the dozens causing mass panic and becoming a celebrity (albeit a hated figure) in the hyperactive media.

In case you failed high-school English, let me rephrase that: the CRAZY dude who wants to kill everyone will much prefer using guns because they are easier to kill with. Why go to all the trouble of actually being creative and sneaky when you can go in, guns blazing, get a bunch of people, and THEN kill yourself in a blaze of glory?

And in case you also failed middle-school English, let me add that I am not a crazed madman bent on taking revenge on society. I love people and I detest misanthropists, most of all those who would release their anger so selfishly.

In other news, temptation. Ever seen the gummy bear experiment? Kids are shut in a room with a gummy bear on the table. They are pre-informed of the premise: let the bear sit for some time (I think half an hour?) and if at the end of the period they have not touched it, they get another one! Not a whole lot of the kids kept it there. It was entertaining to watch some of them put up their fights, but in the end …

In that same sense: if you’re angry at the world and there’s a metaphorical gummy bear (“gunny” bear) sitting on the table in front of you, you can get help (let it sit there and don’t consummate your desire – call a suicide hotline or something, get mental consulting) – or you can eat it (go to town with it).

Banning (or even just restricting) guns may not necessarily be an end-all to these horrific crimes. Bans (or restrictions) would, however, be a big step in the right direction.


EDIT: An addition:

– We already have armed guards in malls and airports and churches and so many places of importance! So why not have some at school?

=> Nobody who wants revenge on society will drive all the way out to the airport to be gunned down in a trice. In a mall, there’s more exits and hiding places than there are targets – to be completely blunt, it’s not efficient for those who’re looking to gun people down. A school is uniform and often offers little cover and few avenues of exit (at least from each classroom). The victims are up close and personal. A church is an easier target, but is smaller and more selective about times – burst in guns blazing to an empty church and you’ll be forced to shoot yourself on the spot without your so-called “revenge on society.” A school – a school is a holy place in and of itself. You violate that, and you’re doing something truly awful, as the Sandy Hook shooter demonstrated – CHILDREN at an ELEMENTARY school. They’re easy targets, and they maximize the horror factor in our reaction.

=> Armed guards – especially in schools – are just formalities, for the most part. Short of imposing TSA-esque policies on any and all public places, there’s no serious way to prevent a shooter from getting the jump on everyone and blazing away anyway. Putting armed guards in schools won’t cut it. As for stripping the nation of guns, that’s not necessarily the best step, but it’s oriented in the right direction, I’d say.



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