We've been having a most interesting discussion of guns at The Low Carb Diabetic site. Those guys are kewl -- even though i'm not diabetic, i regularly visit their blog for the sake of the interesting and educational posts, the wicked sense of humor, and the never-give-up attitude when faced with CW coming at one from all sides.
The really remarkable thing about this conversation is that although most readers seem to disagree with me, they nevertheless show a respect and tolerance with my point of view which compels my gratitude and respect in return. The anonymity of international internet forums frequently encourages people to be just as rude as they desire, but NOT THERE. Wow.
Shaw described England and America as two countries separated by a common language, but that was just a witty epigram -- we're separated by a lot more these days. Pity. We're separated by hundreds of years of diverging situations. Once upon a time, Britain felt insulated and protected by the English Channel, just as a lot of Americans long felt the same about the oceans to our east and west. During the course of two world wars Britain's apart-ness evaporated, and the USA's has been damaged by the nuclear age and what followed. They became citizens of the world before us, but despite the dragged-kicking-and-scratching attitude of a lot of my fellows, i have confidence we'll eventually get there too.
Truth is, there's still a lot of "frontier mentality" when you get past the east coast metropolises (metropolii?). I live in the middle of the country, and often drive into what USED to be the Wild West -- and ya know what, some of it still IS. I'm VERY familiar with places in Texas and Utah where you can't even get a cell-phone signal, and i've traveled through parts of other states in the same situation. So what do you do when you're in one of these places and an emergency occurs? You count on yourself, and tackle the problem on your own. THAT is how i define "frontier mentality" -- the readiness to do this.
A firearm is the great equalizer for women, particularly. Even if armed with an edged weapon or a baseball bat, it's not easy for an untrained person of the female persuasion to protect herself. Would you leave her UNprotected if her car broke down or her home was broken-into in one of these incommunicado places? Would you limit her movements (i.e., her freedom to go where she needs to) so that she doesn't run a risk of needing to use deadly force? Not good enough -- how many women are assaulted in their own (locked) homes?
Until my fellow citizens are sufficiently evolved that violence is an anomaly, i'll be one of those who speak up for the right to keep and bear arms. I won't brandish them in public, or hold out for automatic weapons holding scores of bullets, but if you break into my house, ignore my alarm system and barking dog, and keep coming ... i WILL show you my favorite pistol.