In a certain fairly serious sense, for me, owning and being able to use a gun is about having a Plan B. Plan A is, of course, civilization. People being able to deal with each other like civilized adults and not having to resort to violence. And generally, Plan A works great. Human violence has declined more or less steadily for centuries because Plan A is awesome. I am a big fan of Plan A, and work every day to try to strengthen it, to the extent I can. But, and perhaps I'm paranoid, I am just not comfortable only having one plan. Yeah, folks talk about a massive failure of civilization: nuclear war's one option, but I think pandemic, natural disaster, or structural collapse are more probable at this point, not that any of them strikes me as overwhelmingly likely. (Except possibly climate-change-induced catastrophe.) However, even a localized failure of Plan A is sufficient to kill most people. One person, or a few people, who in one terrible moment can no longer act like civilized adults and thus resort to violence. In case of such a localized failure, I want a backup plan, and for me, that means gun ownership. It's about having access to violence as an option, for situations where better options have failed.
(There's also a collector's appeal for me because I'm sorry, but the Colt 1903 .32 Hammerless is a fucking MASTERPIECE of design. Folks talk about the 1911 .45, but whatever. I was into John Moses Browning before he sold out with that big military contract deal. The 1903 is gorgeous; the proportions, the lines, the surfaces, the integrated magazine safety, that amazing trigger... it's a classic. Yes, I'm a handgun hipster. Assume I'm screaming THIS IS PORTLAND and kicking a guy into a pit.)
1. It's one of a number of issues I care about. Ranks below strengthening the social safety net and improving healthcare, but I have talked and written about the issues around gun control in the past, because there's a history of bad legislation there. (Not joking: actual laws passed to ban things that don't exist.)
2. This is a batshit-crazy non sequitur of a question; you do realize that, don't you? You not only take for granted that all gun owners are "preppers", but imagine that the apocalypse they're preparing for is necessarily nuclear. I'm trying to take this in good faith, but you're not making it easy.
3. Yes, very, very frequently, as others have cited. Furthermore, in the overwhelming majority of cases where a gun is used for self-defense, IT IS NOT FIRED. Most often, simply seeing that someone has a gun is sufficient to persuade an invader or assailant that their time would be better spent elsewhere.
4. The problem here is less a slippery slope than a rachet effect. Once restrictions are passed, they're almost never rescinded, meaning that they tend to accumulate into a vast, Gormenghast-esque archive of rules, each of which seemed like a good idea at the time. For example, look at the way right-wingers have been chipping away at Roe vs. Wade, adding one restriction after another until it's de facto impossible to obtain a legal abortion in large areas of the country.
5. You've got your cause and effect in the wrong order here. Every time there's a prominent shooting incident, there's renewed calls for greater gun restrictions. That makes sense; it's a natural reaction. So it's at those times that you hear from gun owners arguing against the renewed calls for legislation. It also gives that asshole Wayne LaPierre the spotlight he likes, but frankly, the less said about the NRA, the better. They represent manufacturers, not users, and it really shows.
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