Gene’s Nickle: Guns and Civilization

10 December, 2012

Football fans, of which I am one, have had different reactions to the murder/suicide of Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins. Unquestionably, this is a terrible tragedy; and fans, friends, and family are crying, questioning, and dealing with anger or various forms of depression.

I knew that sooner rather than later, folks with the agenda of controlling or banning guns from private citizens would seize upon this occasion to promote their selling points. They do so after every high profile shooting: like the high school in Columbine, Colorado; Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona; the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; or the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Even though it was expected, I found it exceedingly irritating to listen to Bob Costas use the Sunday Night Football half-time show as an opportunity to express his opposition to Americans owning guns. He finished his commentary with this statement:
“But here wrote Jason Whitlock is what I believe, ‘if Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun [,] he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today.’”

Mr. Costas and Mr. Whitlock are entitled to their belief; however, the idea that an inanimate object, the handgun, can be blamed for a behavior that requires thought or intent is ridiculous.

I have seen pictures of Mr. Belcher and, Ms. Perkins. At 6’2”, he towered over her petite frame. His career path dictated that he physically dominate men of his size or larger. There is no doubt that he could have ended her life with his bare hands, the nearest solid object, or a knife.

The natural attributes and years of conditioning Mr. Belcher possessed made his use of any weapon superfluous. Ms. Perkins, on the other hand, needed an equalizer. If she had owned and been taught how to use a firearm, that equalizer might have saved her life.

Major L. Caudill, USMC (Ret); ended his essay “The Gun is Civilization” with this paragraph:
“When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.”

I am sure these august journalists believe that possessing a firearm is barbarous and far from civilized. However, a 53 year old woman from Duluth, GA, would probably disagree. In May of 2011 a knife-wielding man broke into her home while she was taking a shower. He forced her into her bedroom and onto her bed. She promised him money from her night stand. She produced a pistol instead and shot him multiple times, killing him.

I contend that a smart woman using an equalizer benefited civilization this day.

That’s my nickle

Gene Brown