Myth Number Two: If I start carrying a gun, I’ll do something stupid.
This guy shot a lawnmower last week with an AR 15. The lawnmower was full of explosives.
Most people know better than to shoot a lawnmower full of explosives. In fact, if you were going to shoot any lawnmower (not something that I would recommend), one full of explosives would be the very last lawnmower that you want to shoot.
But he isn’t endowed with common sense. Something that one should use liberally when it comes to explosives and guns, and probably lawnmowers. He had a YouTube channel, a gun and some tannerite to make stuff blow up, and so he did it. And he filmed it.
And after the smoke had cleared and the shrapnel had settled, he was missing a leg.
He’d become That guy.
Last week, that guy was Jamie Gilt, who bragged about how her four-year old son loved to shoot stuff. Then her four-year old son shot her in the back.
She won the Darwin award but might have lost the use of her lower torso, custody of her son and her freedom (charges are being filed against her) in the time it takes a four-year old to pull a trigger.
Stupid shit happens all of the time. Because we live in a fast-moving society full of sharp, dangerous things, sometimes stupid actions have lethal consequences. There are whole TV shows dedicated to stupid people doing stupid things. It’s a subgenre of Reality TV that will never go away or run out of material. But you don’t hear about most of it.
When someone does something irresponsible with a gun, though, it becomes an anti-gun talking point.
Those stories fly around the echo-chamber so hard and for so long, that you would think that four-year old children are the latest menace to Western civilization. I’ve had a four-year old. They aren’t easy to have around, but with a little bit of common sense you’ll live through it. You know; common sense. Use car seats (her son was free-roaming in the back seat) and don’t leave a gun on the floor. The basics.
For some perspective, according to a 2011 Gallop poll, 47 percent of Americans own guns. A 2014 study published by the Crime Prevention Research Center suggested that 11 million of those gun owners are licensed for concealed carry.
I tried to find statistics for crimes committed by concealed carriers and landed on a site called “Concealed Carry Killers.” To paraphrase their mission statement, guns are bad and concealed carry should be stopped.
The site is broken down by state. I chose Georgia.
Concealed Carry Killers detailed three homicides in Georgia by license holders in 2014, including the shooting of one police officer.
In 2013 there was a murder/suicide and a homicide.
In 2011 there were two homicides and one negligent discharge.
“I’ve got news for the elites who look down their noses at us and our rights: gun owners are a heck of a lot smarter than you’ll ever be.”
That’s what Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the NRA said. He was wrong. Gun owners are a cross-section of everyone else. Some of us are smart. Some of us are stupid and foolish and all around horrible.
If there is anything that we can learn from these stories of very irresponsible gun owners, it’s this… Get your shit together. If you’re going to carry a gun, you have to know how to carry it responsibly. You’ve also got to know the laws, so that you don’t become this, that guy. Tatiana Duva-Rodriquez tried to shoot a shoplifter at Home Depot. Concealed Carry isn’t a license to enforce the law. Don’t.
If you are afraid to carry because your four-year old is shady AF, Don’t start side-eyeing the toddler. Educate yourself. You should be doing that anyway. Find solutions that work for you. Maybe that means not carrying when your child is on your hip. It definitely means not leaving your 1911 rattling around on the floor of your F-150.
Concealed carry isn’t about being on auto-pilot with a gun on your hip, or in your purse, or between your couch cushions. Everything about it demands deliberate forethought.
You can do it; think. We tend to slide through our days switching our focus from one screen to another, but the human mind is perfectly capable of gathering up information and making informed decisions.
There is a wealth of information out there to learn how to carry safely. You really don’t have an excuse.
Having a gun won’t make you do stupid things. You won’t instantly become that guy. If you do decide to strap explosives to something and shoot it real good, I’m calling you out. You were stupid long before you bought a gun.