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There are debates about the efficacy of firearms in deterring or stopping crime, but we'll leave those for another time.  Granting the theoretical value of having a gun in the home, provided it's secured, the issue that interests me is whether the people are acting on rational priorities or just to alleviate totally paranoid fears.  And the best question I've found to answer that is, Do you have a portable defibrillator in the house?  A portable defibrillator is a smaller version of the device you've probably seen on TV where people's hearts are given a shock to return to normal beating if heart rhythms are going crazy and someone's in danger of going into cardiac arrest - problems far, far more likely to occur and endanger your or a family member's life than crime.  So, gun owners, have you got one, or is having the gun not really about protection, and more about having a feeling of power and control regardless of reality?  

In fact, we can extend it to other things as well: Have you and your family learned CPR?  This is another thing vastly more likely to save lives than a gun, so if you and your family have not taken the time and effort to learn CPR and yet have a gun or guns in the house, you've got some 'splainin to do.  Do you depend on hunted game for food?  If not, you'll have a hard time explaining why in the hell your household is armed and yet lacks even basic life-saving skills.  Hopefully there's some reason better than "I never thought about it" or just being a paranoid coward who prioritizes fending off imaginary dangers from other people over preparing for natural dangers in ordinary daily life.

Speaking of which, I assume you make a point of being physically fit and eating healthy, since you're so concerned about staying alive, right?  I wouldn't want to think you were potentially compromising the safety of others by contributing to the proliferation of firearms based on an excuse (personal safety) that you prove with every other decision isn't that important to you.  Because if that were the case, than the only function of a firearm would not be protection, but the power to get revenge on a criminal for daring to violate your precious property.  And I'd rather not believe that anyone is nihilistic and worthless enough to put their possessions and petulant egos ahead of human life, even though we know for a fact there are tons of such people.

But hey, if you've got a portable defibrillator in your house and know CPR, and take all other rational measures to deal with threats to yourself and family more likely to occur than criminal violence, then I suppose you could be armed without being irresponsible.  But we all know that's not likely.  If you're like the overwhelming majority of gun owners, that gun is there to assuage your fear, not protect people, and the lack of that fear on other matters that are objectively more dangerous is why you haven't acted on them.  Putz.

Originally posted to Troubadour on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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