by Patrick O'Brien
Fearful for her safety when local police refuse to deal with a stalker, a friend asks my opinion on carrying a firearm for protection. Unable to find any useful material that might help her deliberation, I wrote these notes as discussion points . . .
The decision to possess or carry a firearm should not be be arrived at lightly and there are seven primary factors that need be weighed:
(1) Always be mindful that the purpose of a firearm is to kill things, in this case another human being. It is not possible to undo a kill.
(2) The most powerful weapon we have is our brain. Carrying a firearm emboldens the carrier by lulling them into a false sense of security and is more likely to produce an undesired outcome than had we relied on our brains in the first place.
(3) Shooting another human being is no computer game and only around 15% of the general population can do so without compunction. Even in those specialised services that attract a certain type of person, such as the military, around 80% of members require constant training and conditioning which will enable them to shoot another human being, even under battlefield conditions. In conscription armies this ratio is even higher.
(4) A hand gun (and, for the purpose of this discussion, I will assume a hand gun) is NOT an easy weapon to use accurately. There is no correlation between hitting a paper target on the range in practise and shooting another human being in the super-charged atmosphere of our scenario under discussion. The possibility of killing an innocent third party or shooting oneself is always a constant.
(5) There is no reciling (or going back) from one’s position once a firearm is brought into play. What happens if the target takes control of the firearm?
(6) Killing another human being WILL have legal repercussions and, given that in this scenario there was premeditation in the procurement of the firearm, a prima-facie case of murder could well be established — leastways (depending on your jurisdiction) a charge of manslaughter.
(7) Could you live the remainder of your life with the death of another human being on your mind . . . especially if, in your soul, you knew there may well have been another option?