Okay, I can understand how having a handgun would protect you from would-be muggers, rapists, and carjackers. It could also get you killed, because it escalates the confrontation into whole new territory, but you know what? I’ll give you this point, just to be nice.
So how come the hand gun that protects you from muggers, rapists, and carjackers doesn’t also protect you from burglars? I guess you could argue that the shotgun gives you superior stopping power (read: increased ability to turn another human being’s organs into mush). Shotguns have that extra scary factor, which could help you repel a burglar without actually having to shoot him, if you’re in a “live and let live” sort of mood. (You don’t have to be a vicious death merchant all the time, you know.) So I can give you this point as well. Shotguns can be effective tools for home protection, but easy on the trigger finger, killer.
Do you need a rifle with a scope to put food on the table? Maybe. I use my debit card, but I’m a liberal softie. Actually, I have nothing against hunting. I haven’t ever participated myself, but if you want to trek out into the pre-dawn woods and freeze your derrière, be my guest. I will point out that you can put food on the table using a bow and arrows or a snare, both of which are much less likely to blast your face off while you’re cleaning them, but to each his own. Go on and get your dinner. I won’t stop you.
But I have to draw the line at the AK47. See, this is really the crux of the gun debate. When you ask a gun lover why he needs a handgun, a shotgun, or a rifle, he might be able to provide a reasonable answer, but when you ask him why he needs an assault weapon, he gets downright frightening. What kind of enemies do you have, Mr Private Citizen, that you need military-grade assault weapons to defend yourself from them? Did you piss off the mafia?
And what kinds of “freedom & liberty” are we protecting? Something tells me you’re not going to carry your AK47 down to your state legislature and wave it in the faces of lawmakers who are curtailing a woman’s freedom of reproductive choice, or a black man’s liberty to vote without having to show an unnecessary identification card. No, when a gun lover talks about “freedom & liberty”, he is almost always referring to gun rights. That’s what makes the gun proponents’ mantra so scary; the America they want to defend is their own idealized, non-existent version of America. They don’t represent the good of the nation, but they’re armed to the teeth.
If the phrase “prevent government atrocities” doesn’t greatly worry you, then you probably own an assault weapon. By whose judgment shall an atrocity be determined? For my part, I don’t want a man with a machine gun making that kind of call, especially in this age of political extremism. That’s my greatest concern about gun proponents: that they have taken it upon themselves to decide when the government needs an overhaul, and they are trying to build up the firepower to accomplish that task. The irony of this situation is that it is completely untrue to the principles upon which America was founded. This isn’t democracy, gun lovers; it’s terrorism. I’m not being dramatic. Implying violence in pursuit of political aims…that’s part of the definition of terrorism.
Now hang on, I don’t mean to say that every gun enthusiast is a terrorist; that would be irresponsible. If you imply that you need assault weapons to keep the government in check, though…well, maybe you’d be happier living someplace else. Clearly the United States have somehow failed to become the might-makes-right nation you were expecting.