Friday, April 14, 2006

Hoplophobia and Irrationality

Is it so wrong to think ill of certain things you don't understand?
That question came to mind this morning as I was pouring the last bit of coffee, listening to Walton and Johnson on Rock 103.7, and making the rounds on the various gun blogs I read every day. For some reason, a conversation came to mind, one I had about a year ago with a certain female from a certain very leftist-infested area of this great land. Of course, she was just as blue as she could be, in the blue-state-red-state sense, anyway. I was telling her about that first gun purchase...why did I do this? The hell if I know. I remember once a few years earlier, a question she asked me, after I showed her a story of a self-defense incident with a gun. She came back with a story of, I think it might have been, a kid who was a victim of someone else's negligent firearm handling, and she said, " tell me what's so great about having guns."
And that one statement perfectly encapsulated her entire attitude toward firearms and firearm ownership. Just like every other stinking hoplophobe out there, she completely disregarded the benefit half of the cost-benefit analysis of firearm ownership. You know how it goes..."guns 'r bad, m'kay?"
So anyway, we were talking about my first gun purchase, and the topic of the guy she was seeing, and at the time planned to marry, entered the conversation. She mentioned that he owned a defensive sidearm, and she said this:
"He will not have it when we have kids. This has already been discussed."
I was just floored by that. Maybe it's just the Texan, gun owner and avid shooter in me, but I simply cannot fathom acquiescing to that sort of demand. I never asked her outright, as I didn't even think about it till later, but I am willing to bet what I paid for my Kimber that she probably wouldn't even consent to going to the range with him and learning how to shoot it. I cannot even begin to fathom that level of fear of an inanimate object. I don't know what could possess an otherwise rational person to be so irrational. This was the same person who said she would rather her daughter be raped and deal with it afterward than give her a gun and risk a rapist taking it and using it on her, no matter how that risk could be minimized with the right training and education. She's a good person, even though our political beliefs don't even begin to mesh, but I don't think much of that sort of irrationality.
Once upon a time I'll admit that, even though I've always been a strident advocate of the right to keep and bear arms, I was a bit apprehensive toward guns. They were loud and could be dangerous if not respected, and they kicked. Maybe that's why I don't remember shooting anything bigger than a .22. But somehow, by the time Buy-A-Gun Day rolled around last year, I wasn't even thinking about that. I just dove in and started swimming. And it was quite liberating to know that if evil was visited upon me, I had a means to fight it.The quote from Jeff Cooper -- who, incidentally, coined the terms hoplophobe and hoplophobia -- fits perfectly here:
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."
How sad that so many people will, in effect, stick their fingers in their ears and say, "Leave it up to the police." Here's hoping for their sake and the sake of their loved ones that they never find out the hard way that the police won't always get there in time.