A friend of mine just sent me an interesting video on testimony about gun control, which I supply here.  (According to Google Videos, it is 3 years old.)  

Dr. Gratia-Hupp’s testimony is compelling and articulate.  She had obviously told her story often to have delivered it so well.  I must say, had I experienced what she did I would feel exactly the same way, with the possible exception of not blaming the shooter.  I don’t care if the guy was nuts, I would still have a problem with him.

Having said all that, and being the adversarial creature that I am, I am motivated to offer some further thoughts on the subject.

Boîte à duel

Image by Sunfox via Flickr

In all my 74 years I have never once been in the vicinity of any episode in which I would have needed a gun to defend myself or my family.  Not once.  Maybe I’m just lucky, but based on the news I’m betting you, dear reader, haven’t either.  Such things are very rare, especially for people in the middle to upper income brackets.

Also, consider this.  If you are going to embrace Dr. Gratia-Hupp’s philosophy, you will need to pack heat everywhere you go, loaded and ready.  If you don’t carry the weapon, you are unlikely to have it when you need it, just as she didn’t.  In a home invasion, the bad guys aren’t going to give you time to go to the closet.

You will need to also consider the chances of accidental discharge, accidental access to the firearm by children, and the possibility of hitting the wrong target if you should have to use your gun.  If there is a breakdown of society in general, I’m thinking you are going to have to rely on others unless you have a huge arsenal.  There are (drug) people out there that have tremendous firepower.  And speaking of drug gangs, virtually all that huge firepower comes from easy access to guns sold in America.  The bad guys simply pay Americans to buy them.

If I had my druthers I would elect to live in a country where guns were tightly controlled and limited, but that’s not the way our society has evolved, and it isn’t going to change in my lifetime, so I am resigned to the way it is.  My shotgun and pistol are handy, but unloaded.  I have grandchildren.

About Jim Wheeler

U. S. Naval Academy, BS, Engineering, 1959; Naval line officer and submariner, 1959 -1981, Commander, USN; The George Washington U., MSA, Management Eng.; Aerospace Engineer, 1981-1999; Resident Gadfly, 1999 - present. Political affiliation: Democratic.
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4 Responses to Shoot

  1. jwhester says:

    Nice post, Jim. Hers is an emotional testimony–perfect for TV. The only problem is that, as you point out, it really should not be the basis for government policy. It reminds me of people who tell stories of someone who died in a car fire because they couldn’t get loose from their seat belt.


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      That’s a good analogy, John. Like buying one of those infomercial gadgets that’s a combination hammer (to break the window as you sink) and knife (to cut the stuck seat belt). If I bought one I wouldn’t be able to find it in the clutter of the glove compartment!


  2. ansonburlingame says:

    To all,

    As I watched and then considered the video it brought to mind a fundamental difference in today’s clash between progressives and conservatives that resides at a deeper level than simply gun control.

    Progressives believe that people in any society must depend to a great extent on others in that society to support them. Conservatives believe in stronger individualism, take of one’s self and family without relying on society to come to your rescue.

    If a rabid dog came after me or my loved ones should I be able to shot the dog by myself and in all circumstances or should I climb and tree and wait for society to respond? I really liked the speaker’s anaology to a rabid dog by the way.

    Of course society has pretty much solved the problem of the rabid dog through medical science and rabies vaccinations. Not so with crazy people, yet. And while I may be protected by and large from rabid dogs in town, I must still be careful in the wild with raccons around.

    In this case I side with progressives on gun control, particularly hand guns and
    assualt weapons. I feel safe enough today to climb the tree and wait for society to reduce my personal danger. And I THINK I would hold to that belief even if my wife was gunned down by my side when confronted by a lunatic. But I am not positive on that account, for sure.



    • Jim Wheeler says:

      Anson said, “I feel safe enough today to climb the tree and wait for society to reduce my personal danger. And I THINK I would hold to that belief even if my wife was gunned down by my side when confronted by a lunatic. But I am not positive on that account, for sure.”

      This prompts this thought: What we think and how we act in personal emergencies is invariably different from the rules we make in thoughtful meditation about others. I think this is why a representative democracy makes sense. Laws should be made by smart people who are removed from the emotion of the moment and personal involvement. Now, if only we could eliminate corruption.


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