OFF: guns debate

Carl Edlund Anderson cea at CARLAZ.COM
Wed Nov 22 05:43:36 EST 2006

On 21/11/2006 23:58, Jonathan Jarrett wrote:
> For anyone who's safe to be handling firearms that 
> ought to be an object lesson; these things are, as Skynyrd observed, 
> made for killing.

I believe that the intent of the Skynyrd lyric was to observe that 
handguns were made for killing people, being relatively useless for 
anything potentially more useful like hunting (for which rifles and 
shotguns serve very admirably).  If you want to put dinner on the table, 
a snub-nosed .38 is a ridiculous tool, but it's it's very practical for 
shooting someone in an alley (where deer are seldom found).

(That's really the only reason I chimed in: so I could comment of the 
interpretation of the lyrics.  The rest of my wibbling below is just so 
much gravy :)

> I wonder just how 
> much of that problem is that the US doesn't take guns that seriously.

There is probably an strong element of truth in this.  I suspect the 
number of accidents -- and number of "stupid things done that, alas, 
can't really be classed as accidents" -- among "people who take guns 
seriously" is far lower.  Mind you, whether in the US or UK or anywhere 
else, I suspect the number of road accidents amongst people who take 
cars seriously is also lower!

> But I consider 
> myself an experienced firearms user, and I wouldn't like to say that the 
> populace would be safer if I carried a concealed pistol. The thought of 
> people, even people with the best of intentions, without that experience 
> doing so makes me decidedly uncomfortable.

I don't think I would have any objection to the existance of good 
training and licensing programs to enable one to carry a concealed 
firearm ("good" being an important concept, which I shall not even 
bother to attempt defining further at this time :) though I can't say I 
would feel any _desire_ to carry a concealed firearm in the part of the 
UK where I live at present.  But if I lived some part of the world with 
a much higher risk of violent crime, I would probably have a different 
desire.  A concealed firearm, after all, isn't meant to keep the 
populace safe _per se_ -- it's meant to keep _me_ safe by virtue giving 
me the power to gravely endanger specific segments of the populace as I 
deem necessary ;)


Carl Edlund Anderson
mailto:cea at

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