I’ve lived by myself for most of my life and am well aware of all the news stories of violent crime against women. I have even had friends who were raped in their own bedrooms by intruders in the night. Yet, I have never once had the desire to own a gun; just the opposite, in fact. You see, I fear that the temptation to use it would be too great.
While I’m a pretty mellow person now, there were years in my life when the needle on my mood meter wavered somewhere between highly-irritated and righteously pissed off, and shooting someone – anyone – would have felt damn good. So, maybe I couldn’t shoot the head of the network who had put the kibosh on my latest script, but I could damn well shoot the motherfucker who just cut me off and took the parking space I’d been eyeing.
Even today, I wouldn’t trust myself to be carrying. Say someone approaches me with a gun and demands my handbag. Like hell I’m handing over my Spring 2013 Michael Kors, so I pull out my gun. Now the guy who really only wanted my stuff has no choice but to shoot my stupid ass and, in all likelihood, he’s going to get his shot off before I do.
And I consider myself to be above average on the national intelligence scoreboard – a low bar, I know, but still…
I don’t believe that every single citizen is mature, reasonable, or medicated enough to exercise their “right to bear arms,” those of us with impulse issues, for example. Or that more guns on our streets make anyone any safer. I don’t want to go into a bar for a drink where everyone’s packing heat. Drunks do not have great judgment.
Though I absolutely believe in self-defense, I’m real iffy about how that applies if you are the one who started the confrontation in the first place. In the State of Florida, you can stalk a kid walking in your neighborhood whose looks you don’t like, get out of your car and confront him, and then when a fight ensues claim you felt “threatened,” shoot to death the kid that you picked the fight with and no foul.
In auto accident law, there is such a thing as “contributory negligence,” whereby you can be held partially responsible in some scenarios, even when you’re the one on the receiving end of a crash. In the above scenario – oh, why be coy? In the Zimmerman case, this would likely translate to manslaughter which, in my humble opinion, would have been a reasonable verdict. But in America, it would seem that we value our cars more than we value human life. Unless, of course, that life is still in the womb, and then it’s sacred.
We’ll never know why Trayvon Martin was walking through that upscale community at that time of night, looking at houses he would never be invited into, because he was dead by the time the police arrived to ask.
I don’t mean to make light of any of the recent events in Florida. What has occurred there is not only a tragedy for those involved, but the Pandora’s Box that’s been opened can only lead to more of such cases. While the “Stand Your Ground” law was not technically used in the court case, it would be hard to believe that its influence didn’t emboldened Zimmerman in his actions. This law is so subjective that it puts more people at risk than it protects and has created a prosecutorial nightmare. So please. Do not allow me to have a gun. I may decide that I “feel threatened” by you, blow you away and who is going to prove otherwise?
Oh, and I’d avoid doing my Christmas shopping on “Black Friday” in the hanging-chad state if I were you.