It is not enough to have a gun, anymore than it's enough to have a baby. It's a responsibility. I would have to orient myself to that fact. I'd have to be trained and I would have to, with some regularity, keep up my shooting skills. I would have to think about the weight I carried on my hip and think about how people might respond to me should they happen to notice. I would have to think about the cops and how I would interact with them, should we come into contact. I'd have to think about my own anger issues and remember that I can never be an position where I have a rage black-out. What I am saying is, if I were gun-owner, I would feel it to be really important that I be a responsible gun-owner, just like, when our kids were born, we both felt the need to be responsible parents. The difference is I like "living" as a parent. I accept the responsibility and rewards of parenting. I don't really want the responsibilities and rewards of gun-ownership.I think it would be wise for Second Amendment defenders to remember this attitude. Not everyone wants to carry a weapon, and they should not be pressured to do so. Those who want to own firearms should also not be pressured not to have them. Ideally, every gun owner should take this responsibility as seriously as Mr. Coates. I think that it is the fear of people like Mr. Coates that gun owners do not take it as seriously as he does. Gun owners should remain the calm and balanced voice in the debate in order to help show the skeptics they have nothing to worry about. One way to do this is not to assume that everyone should want to carry a weapon.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Being armed means being responsible
Ta-Nehisi Coates, of The Atlantic, writes: