Posted April 25th, 2005 @ 07:05pm by Erik J. Barzeski
Imagine an American man of 30. He has a young family, he's been married for a few years, and he's looking at buying a home very soon to raise his family. He'll change diapers and put money into a college savings account. He'll watch school plays and mow his lawn. He may never own a gun.
He'll do nearly everything that he can to protect his family, but he'll never spend the $300 and the five hours it might take to someday save the lives of his wife and daughter. Seemingly, this man acts as though he believes that the life of someone who would harm his family is more valuable than the lives of his family. This man is ignorant of statistics and studies which show how frequently guns are used in self defense, and how much more frequently unarmed victims who comply with a criminal's requests are raped, injured, or killed.
Is this man is failing in his responsibility to protect his family?
Gun ownership (and knowledge of use) for the protection of your family is not only a personal right but a personal responsibility. A single person living alone risks nothing but his or her own life, but a man with a wife and a daughter to protect has a little more at stake.
34% of criminals in prison today have been shot at, scared off, or wounded by an armed citizen protecting themselves from crime. Guns are used defensively upwards of 2.5 million times per year, and gun owners are not only less likely to be targeted for crime, but they're far more likely to walk away from a crime un-injured than a victim who does not own a gun.
Guns are made of metal, plastic, and other materials. They're inanimate objects that cannot unlock themselves from a nightstand drawer, load themselves, walk themselves into a room of people, and fire themselves repeatedly. Guns are perfectly safe instruments in the hands of respectful individuals - fathers who have taken the time to plan for his family.
A decent .38 revolver costs about $300. Five hours of initial instruction (including a review of the pertinent state and federal laws) and two hours per year are all that's needed to sufficiently train an individual for self, family, and home defense. I don't doubt that my friend has the resolve to protect his family, but I doubt that he has the necessary education.
My friend's objections to gun ownership are rather unsubstantiated: he had one pointed at him once and he once saw someone shot. The same friend had a look at my guns and "felt safe" around them. A little education and respect go a long way towards gun safety.
I am not advocating that every citizen obtain a concealed weapons permit. I'm advocating taking the necessary steps to honor your responsibility to protect your family - educate yourself and make an informed decision.
Florida state law (and the laws of nearly every other state) clearly allow for defensive shootings. They say that you are justified in shooting - lethally if it turns out that way - anyone invading or burglarizing your home. State laws recognize that citizens have a right to protect the lives of their family and their property, but individuals must recognize the responsibility.
I hope that my friend will come to realize this responsibility. I look forward to helping him choose a suitable firearm and educating him on the proper grip, firing, storage, and cleaning.