Blog: One More Bullet

There is also, in our largely cultural clash over guns, a heavy cost that is never tallied. And that is because it is so hard to calculate.


As the ongoing debate over guns in America continues to polarize and rage, one thing is becoming eminently clear. Despite their best efforts to defend assault-type weapons and hi-capacity magazines, the defenders of unfettered gun-rights have not and cannot make a case for their utility among the citizen population of America.

I have asked, in a recent series of hotly contested gun-control articles (http://woodbury-middlebury.patch.com/search?keywords=a+note+to+you+%28the+gun+owner%29), for supporters of gun-rights to cite incidents where assault weapons with hi-capacity magazines have been used in home or self-defense. Their response has not been compelling or convincing. An episode at home from 2010 (less than 10 shots fired), an on-duty security guard (not civilian use) from 2007, an unfired/unloaded AR-15 used to frighten away intruders - in other words, nothing of consequence. This should come as no surprise since not even the NRA’s star “mommy defender” Gayle Trotter who testified before a Senate hearing on January 30th could come up with a single, real-world example of a hi-capacity assault weapon used by a mother for self-defense.

Instead, what we hear are hypotheticals from theatrical Republican Senators like Lyndsey Graham about victims cowering in closets, and how “Fifteen rounds in the hands of a mother trying to protect her children may not be enough.” Unfortunately, there is nothing hypothetical about the actual, real-world lethality of assault weapons as the victims of Aurora and Newtown can attest. Unfortunately, it is always possible to posit a hypothetical scenario where one more gun or one more bullet can be justified in self-defense. As a society we witnessed similar arguments in support of ever-expanding nuclear arsenals, but somehow we also understood the madness associated with that logic, and took great pains, and great expense to limit the number and accessibility of such weapons. It was equally true that “nukes don’t kill people, people kill people,” and that is precisely why we sought to remove those weapons from the hands of people.

There is also, in our largely cultural clash over guns, a heavy cost that is never tallied. And that is because it is so hard to calculate. Immediately after the Aurora shootings I noted this:

  “Two days later (post Aurora) my community’s Sunday music concert, played on cool grass under great oaks, had the marked presence of extra police. The Colorado shooting was cited as the reason for this show of force. In the aftermath of that shooting, how many parents in my town feel the same way about letting their children go to a “late-show” or take in a peaceful summer concert? This week in Oak Creek, Wisconsin how many families feel comfortable praying in church? This, besides the tragedy and mayhem of the actual killings, is the price we, as a nation, pay for our love affair with guns - the pursuit of happiness impinged by a society that shows no inclination towards limiting the distribution and presence of guns.”

And now, with Newtown we can add one more incalculable but undeniably real cost - the absence of easy breathing and smiles as we say goodbye to our young children on their way to learn at school. That too has been taken from us. Not just by some random madman, but by our enabling culture of guns.

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not Carl Peterson lll March 29, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Lets just be simple. and clear. You said: "And remember - assault-type weapons with hi-cap magazines have virtually NO demonstrated utility as a weapon of home or self-defense". ...The government said that ..."assault weapans are suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.” So the gov. said the words "personal defense". I am not arguing over who should, or should not have them. But if you say they have "NO demonstrated utility as a weapon of home or self-defense".and the gov says: "suitable for personal defense use in close quarters, well they oughta know.....apples and apples. This is the third or fourth attempt to get s simple response from you. Don't run and hid again. this has been going on since what,March second i believe.
Robert Defulgentiis March 29, 2013 at 07:25 PM
GIT - "The government said that ..."assault weapans are suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.” I will investigate that quote for context. Nevertheless, I stand 100% behind this statement: "assault-type weapons with hi-cap magazines have virtually NO demonstrated utility as a weapon of home or self-defense". My essay elicited over 1,000 comments in Connecticut. I asked my critics there to give me examples of assault weapons with hi-caps used in self defense....they were VERY MOTIVATED to find such incidents. They came up with 3 since 2007 + in one cease the AR-15 wasn't even loaded!) They have no civilian utility other than to mass killers.
not Carl Peterson lll March 30, 2013 at 06:43 AM
Why would they not be used in self defense? I have never even seen one. But my guess is if someone is in your house at 3 in the morning, and you had no choice but to defend, it would be a bit bulky to maneuver. I didn't know you were so busy on this subject in other places. I won't get on you for "disappearing" again. I will tell you something that is new however. And yes this is the part where you might think one is off a bit. For the first time in my life I do see the possibility of needing guns. The economic system will fail. I have been following this for 14 years, and went into gold in 1999, just before the nasdaq crashed. All FIAT currencies in history have eventually failed. I believe most in positions to know, do know. And it is possible Obama in the Presidency at collapse time will doom our country. Everything changes once in a while throughout all of history. This has happened before. And hey, Robert, I used to be a Democrat. And as a republican I even voted for Clinton both times.
Randall Haney May 07, 2013 at 12:34 PM
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Is there something that you do not understand about the word SHALL? Had it said "should" your argument may have merit. Our framers of the constitution used the strongest language possible to ensure at some point in the future there would be no misunderstanding of their intent. There are other gun free countries that, I am sure, would allow you to take up residence there. If you don't like the constitution I suggest you move. I took an oath to defend that document and I will, with every means possible.
Valerie Ozeta July 21, 2013 at 09:36 AM
please three children a day die because of gun accidents....is that really worth having youf guns and anyway if the govt really wanted you gone wouldnt they send a drone, and poof your gone


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