Gun Safety vs. Gun Control


Colt 1911





Dear Mr. Government;

Please roll me up in bubble-wrap, and put me in a big box full of non-toxic packing-foam peanuts, so that nothing – not even a bad word – can hurt me.


Recently, some Idiot (a woman, as it turns out – just to disprove female claims that all Idiots are male.), managed to get herself shot to death in an American Wal-Mart, when her 2-year-old son reached into her purse, beside him in the shopping cart.

She was described in local papers as “an atomic scientist.”  She was a chemical technician who worked at a power plant.  This is not Big Bang Theory!  She was an ‘atomic scientist’ in the same way a homeless panhandler is a “Charitable Donations Canvasser.”  Still….

In an outpouring of telling others how to run their country and their lives, a Toronto area man sent the following letter to the Toronto Sun, titled More Gun Control:

I just read about the tragic death of a 29-year-old mother in a U.S. Walmart.  She was shot by her two-year-old after the youngster pulled a gun out of his mom’s purse.

I can’t think of any reason why it would be necessary to bring a loaded gun to go shopping.  What a waste of life, not to mention the emotional scars this child is going to have to deal with the rest of his life.

The NRA and its lobbyists need to be muzzled and better gun controls in the U.S. are long overdue.  There’s been too many of these senseless events for far too long.

I agree that it was a sad and preventable occurrence, but this writer leads a far too protected life, and uses way too many hysterical mistakes and lies to justify it.  Even the term “loaded gun” is a loaded term.  Can he think of a reason to bring an ‘unloaded gun’ shopping?  The title is another flag to show his bias.  He doesn’t advocate ‘Greater Gun Safety’.  He demands ‘More Gun Control.’

Through lack of forethought and research, I recently spent a weekend in a dangerous part of Detroit.  This was near Eight Mile, where the white rapper Eminem got street cred by growing up in a tough Negro area.

My motel had an armed security guard patrolling after dark.  My place was quiet, but the downscale motel directly across the street was well known for gunshots and police and ambulance calls.  The pizza shop on Eight Mile had floor-to-ceiling, half-inch thick, bullet-resistant Plexiglas.

The ‘Trade Center’ (more like a cheap flea market) that we went to on Sunday, had signs on the doors which read, “All hoods must be removed on entering”, and “We will provide a security escort to your vehicle, but we will not carry merchandise.”

As an unarmed Canadian tourist, I was very careful where I went, and when.  I can understand and sympathise with local residents who feel the need to carry firearms to protect themselves from gangbangers and drug dealers.

If even the Trade Center management feels the need to provide protective escorts, there must be a good chance that there might actually be someone in the parking lot to protect from.  I might not need a handgun while I’m shopping, but if there’s someone out there who wants to rob/rape/kill me before I get to my car, then I might need the gun when I leave the store.

Just what further “gun control” does this conservative Canadian feel Americans need?  The woman in question underwent a background check, and endured the 10-day waiting period.  She paid for, and enrolled in, a concealed weapon carry permit training session.  She was psychologically stable, and the weapon was duly registered.

Sadly, stupidity still carries the death penalty, and she’s posthumously (there’s no other way) enrolled in the Darwin Award hall of shame.  While she might have been intelligent enough to work at a nuclear generating plant, neither training nor legislation can instill common sense.

To have a loaded gun is one thing.  To have a loaded gun with several children around, including a busy, curious two-year-old, is something else entirely.  The story does not say if the purse was open, but even if it was closed, she was not paying sufficient attention to the child and the gun, sitting side by side.  The gun was not merely loaded, but almost surely must have been cocked, and the safety off.  Little two-year-old hands can’t do these things.

Just what ‘senseless events’ is he referring to, the accidental shooting death of a mother by a young child?  I don’t ever remember hearing of another!  Perhaps he could worry less about the NRA’s somewhat overzealous desire to preserve the legal right to possess firearms, and vent his indignation on gangs and druggies and other criminals who make carrying them seem like a good idea.

And that’s a view on Gun Control vs. Gun Safety from a grumpy, old, unarmed Canadian, north of the border.

18 thoughts on “Gun Safety vs. Gun Control

  1. BrainRants says:

    She was stupid, and paid for it. A little training could have saved her life, because the safety was clearly not engaged. I won’t even touch the issue of loaded guns around toddlers.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Yes, people watch movies and cop TV shows with everybody waving guns, and (don’t) think, “Anybody can do that.” Jim Wheeler and Daniel Digby, below, have several cogent things to say about that conditioning, and guns without safeties.
      The Darwin thing didn’t kick in soon enough. She’d had time to breed. And the Canucklehead could have kept his mouth shut, but we know that’s not how things work. 😦


      • BrainRants says:

        People don’t realize guns are lethal because they view them as fucking appliances. Everyone should have the right to carry one BUT only after extensive (!) training so that they never put a loaded, un-safed weapon in their goddamn purse. Like an idiot.


  2. I have no issue with gun ownership, or even carrying but use common sense as you said. She could have easily had a knife in her purse, which probably wouldn’t have killed her but could have killed her child if she or he fell upon it. Would the writer have called for more knife control?


    • Jim Wheeler says:

      With respect, AlwaysARedhead, guns are psychologically different from knives and that’s why I suspect more guns are taken shopping than knives. Allow me to explain.

      Due to the dead landscape of daytime television my wife and I have lately taken to recording old Andy Griffith shows on our DVR so we can watch something amusing while we have lunch. The other day there was an episode in which a Hollywood agent approached the Andy Taylor character as potential material for a TV show because he had seen a news item that classified him as “sheriff without a gun”. (Deputy Barney Fife of course had a gun, but was allowed only one bullet, and that was to be carried in his shirt pocket.) When asked why no gun, Andy replied that he wanted to be respected for his authority and not “feared” because of the gun.

      The potential of guns for instant, damaging violence is something everybody instinctively understands and the psychology of that has been studied by experts – it is real. Even carrying a gun with a concealed permit is known to make people feel differently, because its potential is ever present, and commonly it imbues its owner with a certain feeling of responsibility for action in imagined potential situations, something that almost never happens. (I’m over 70 and have never encountered such a situation, although admittedly, I don’t live in Detroit either. If I did, I might pack heat too, but not here in Joplin.)

      Some people want to live in a society where any non-felon can pack heat, including moms. Personally, I prefer not having to worry about the potential for accidents with the damn things and trust the cops to protect me, as they have successfully so far. Hell, it’s all I can do now just to keep track of and protect my iPhone, much less a gun.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      Not this particular Chicken Little. That’s not his pet hobby-horse, but there are lots of those to take his place. AKTI, the American Knife and Tool Institute, partners with the ACLU to fight back against rabid police who blackmail reputable retailers like Macys, by threatening to lay charges for distributing dangerous weapons, if they don’t stop selling pocket knives. Macys would (possibly) win in court, but only after wasting huge amounts of time and money.
      AKTI also works with the NRA to prove that ‘the right to bear arms’ also includes edged tools and weapons. Customs officials have been known to loosen the pivot screws on imported knives and oil them, then grasp the blades by thumb and forefinger, and snap them down, forcing them open, to prove that they are ‘illegal gravity knives.’ There’s more than enough interfering blue-noses to go around. 😦


  3. Well said! Thank you!!


  4. Sightsnbytes says:

    Those ‘Crazy Yankees’ and their guns.


  5. Daniel Digby says:

    I’m over 70 and have never encountered such a situation, although admittedly, I don’t live in Detroit either. If I did, I might pack heat too, but not here in Joplin.

    I’m also over 70 but am somewhat less fortunate than you; I’ve been on the wrong end of a gun 3 times — one was an armed robbery in a Memphis restaurant, and another was a stupid kid shooting at random in my direction in the woods. The scary one was the kid whose parents thought it was perfectly okay to give their precious child a gun and let him use it unsupervised. Hearing bullets hit nearby objects is not my idea of a fun time hiking.

    Our woman “nuclear scientist” broke one of the cardinal rules of gun safety by carrying her gun in a specially made purse with a separate zip-up compartment for carrying her gun. If you’re going to carry a loaded and cocked gun, it must always be on your body — either in a holster (to prevent snagging the trigger) or in a special-purpose compartment in something like a fanny pack (sorry if there are any British readers).

    Furthermore, there are sidearms that have no external safety, like Glocks, which I think is a mistake, but police departments love their Glocks. Some guns have an external grip safety which is released when you are holding the gun with sufficient pressure on the grip, like the Springfield XD series. Others use a decocking mechanism, which only requires pulling the hammer back to fire. Last, is the frame safety introduced on the Colt M1911, which may be flipped on or off with your thumb. My guess is that the woman was carrying a Glock.

    Anyway, I wanted to congratulate you on distinguishing between gun control and gun safety, a concept our politicians don’t seem to have mastered. This is something I’ve written about for over 20 years with 3 specific recommendations, none of which anyone else seems to be interested in. Almost every unintentional shooting is a direct result of violating one of these safety concerns, and there is no such thing as an “accidental” shooting. (Okay, there are two cases that I know of where a gun fired accidentally, but the reasons were because of extraordinary circumstances, which are unlikely to occur again.) One of these rules can even prevent some intentional shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook, but who cares about that?

    Thanks for clarifying a situation that is always confused by the American press.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve never personally met you, but, as I jokingly said, about meeting John Erickson, no-one is who we think they are. I am amazed that you are an old codger like me. By your crisp, erudite opinions and comments, I’d have thought you perhaps in your 30s.
      Canadians are discouraged from even looking at picture of guns, but, even as an American, you seem quite knowledgeable about them. Squeeze-handle Colt safeties are bad enough, but I also don’t trust the, ‘pull-the-trigger’ to pull the trigger, Glock safeties(?). 😯
      I had a head-sized hole put in my bedroom wall, a head’s width away from my head by my own brother, with a shotgun. He had not received the 300 hours of gun training that I had. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I see your points. Well done.


  7. I’ll agree with you, Archon. Gun safety is a lot like leading a horse to water. You can do it, but you can’t make him drink.


  8. benzeknees says:

    I’m sorry I still don’t see the need for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms. Those firearms too often end up in the hands of people who don’t care about obeying laws when they take them away from the people who endured all the regulations to get the gun legally in the first place.


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