Saturday, April 11, 2009

If I Only Had a Gun

“If I Only Had a Gun” is the latest ham handed effort from Diane Sawyer on 20/20 to convince Americans (evidently the rest of the work already knows this) that guns are bad. Sawyer was quite explicit at the beginning of the show to remind the viewers that this was in no way an attempt to talk about the politics of gun control (wink wink nudge nudge), but it was an honest and refreshing talk about the American gun culture.

The show had several segments focusing on things like gun violence in the ghetto, how easy it to buy at gunshows (tugging on our heartstrings and fogging the mind by using the brother or a Virginia Tech victim to make the purchases) and how dangerous a gun can be when found by an inexperienced adolescent. These were all sideshows, because the main point of the special, as evident by the title, is that having a gun doesn’t help in situations where you might be a victim of a mass shooting.

In one scenario, they placed an “armed” individual in a classroom and then had a gunman burst in. In nearly every incident the armed student failed to adequately stop the attacker and was shot. The scenarios outcome was almost a guarantee because only one of the students had any firearm training (basically going to a range) and the aggressor always shot the student first after walking in and was a highly trained police officer to boot. There was then an analysis of the event, stressing how the people who hid and took cover were better off than the one who tired to fight back and that the student with the gun made so many mistakes that they wouldn’t have stopped anything.

The message was clear: despite what think guns won’t save you in a situation like this, and can be more harmful than good.

By that logic I cant wait for the 20/20 segments that present the following arguments

Why use condoms to stop AIDS, they are not 100% effective?
Why wear a seat belt, it doesn’t always prevent automobile deaths?
Why use birth control, its not 100% effective?
Why build levees, they don’t always stop floods?
Why stop smoking, there is no guarantee that you will die from lung cancer or heart disease?

You don’t have to be a Navy SEAL to protect yourself against an armed criminal and I would take an amateur with a pistol who was right next to me over the best trained SWAT team that was 10 minuets away any day of the week.

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