Gun Control

Gun control is a big topic in the United States right now. With recent shootings, particularly the school shooting in Connecticut, many people want tougher gun control laws. As with most issues, there are many sides to the discussion, some more rational than others.

We know that violence fills the history books. There have been incidences far worse than the murder of young children in a school. Firearms have been only been a short part of that history. On the other hand, many of those past atrocities required the work of many people and shootings typically require only one person armed with a gun. Firearms have made the violence easier and more efficient, which is the original design goal for them.

Over all, though, the world has grown more peaceful since the advent of the gun. It is easier for a small defensive force, such as the police, to defend the public peace from marauders in the age of the firearm. Of course, there are places where the police are the marauders and it is up to the people to keep the peace. This is the one of the biggest arguments against gun control; the people must make sure their government doesn't forget its place. Oddly enough, this was the same deterrent philosophy used to justify nuclear arsenals during the cold war.

Do you need a gun?

Does this mean everyone needs a gun? No, but it does mean everyone should understand what firearms are and that they are not magical. Everyone should learn gun safety, how to shoot, and how guns work in general. This will take a lot of the mysticism from gone and help prove that guns do not give you real power. It is good to understand that people may fear and respect the gun but not the gun holder and that as soon as the gun holder turns his back someone will take him down.

Also important is the understanding of what to do when someone comes in shooting. This is important for the Asatru people who may, at some point, come under fire from Christian extremists. If this happens, it is good to know which materials provide effective cover and which do not. It is also good to understand how the sounds of gunfire cover your sounds and how to damage the weapon of the shooter.

Will laws help?

In the big scheme of things, laws don't stop criminals, but laws can make things more difficult for them. Many hope that by making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get high capacity weapons it will also make it harder for criminals to get those weapons from lawful sources. For some bad guys this would be the case, but not for all of them. Criminals are extremely resourceful.

It turns out that drug cartels are building their own submarines for smuggling drugs into the United States. Given the success of their early submarines, they have gone through great expense to build really nice ones. The Coast Guard has captured one or two already. That's how resourceful bad guys are. If the technology exists out there and a bad guy really wants it, it can be gotten.

In the case of the Connecticut shooter, his weapons were acquired legally, so the laws may have helped there. I'm just glad he didn't use a herbicide sprayer filled with kerosene when he decided to kill children or things could have been much worse. However, if his weapons were outlawed, then the deterrent idea would be violated. There are those who say that the shooter only could do what he did because there weren't any responsible adults armed enough to stop him.

So what do we do?

The key, as with most things, is education and communication. The better people understand firearms and how they are just mechanisms and not evil incarnate, the better things will be. People must understand that bad things happen and you must be prepared to protect those you for whom you care. You have a fire extinguisher and an evacuation plan. You know where to go in a tornado and you teach your children about it. You should know what to do when confronted with a nut with a gun, and so should your children.

There probably will be some laws passed. Like with the nuclear deterrent, you don't need enough bombs to destroy the world repeatedly, but it may be OK to have enough to destroy it once. Likewise, I don't necessarily need an entire arsenal handy, but it is good if each of my companions can show up with their weapon of choice if the need arises. As long as the laws don't try to completely disarm us, we shouldn't be in too much danger. I still have my axe, and I still have a distinct technological advantage over almost everyone in the world because of my education. Guns are great technology, but they are old too.

In the mean time, go take a gun safety class. If your children are old enough to do so safely, take them to gun safety classes too. Purchase your firearms with a specific goal in mind (home defense, hunting, target shooting, doomsday, etc,) and do so legally. Then go learn about all the ways that firearms are somewhat obsolete.


Most of this piece is my opinion. Some of the parts about learning to defend one's self and about weapons beyond firearms were guided by the Silent One.