Knowing and Horses

One of the pieces that stood out for me in the Vox piece on smugness was the following line:
Knowing that you're actually, like, 30 times more likely to shoot yourself than an intruder.
It occurs to me that there are two ways you can go wrong here. One way is that you could know something that isn't so. Hillary Clinton was just giving a speech on the 'epidemic' of gun violence in America, when in fact gun crime like all violent crime is near an all-time low. It's been cut roughly in half over the last two decades. Still, let's take this statistic as completely accurate for the sake of argument.

The other problem is that you can know this without the knowledge determining a course of action. The author suggests that the knowing realize that such a mathematical proof should determine them to avoid guns. After all, you're then trading a high-percentage threat for a low-percentage threat. That's smart gambling, right?

While I don't know whether or not this figure is really correct, however, I do know that accidental discharges are very dangerous. Crime rates out here in the country are even lower than the national average, although help would be a very long way away if I were to call for it. So, is there any other way to address the dangers of guns without purging guns from my life?

Sure there is. There are lots of ways to limit the dangers of firearms. Of course, the knowing don't know them because actually knowing about guns -- rather than knowing the sexy statistic -- is unfashionable. There are a number of ways to limit the dangers of firearms ownership. For example, you can keep guns and ammunition separate (easily done with, say, an AR-15 whose ammunition comes in detachable magazines). If the firearm is not loaded, it won't go off. Since loading it is the work of a second, you can keep a rifle by your bedside at night and a magazine of ammunition in the nightstand drawer without much sacrificing your ability to bring the rifle to bear if the low-percentage intruder actually does show up.

You can select a single-action revolver as a carry gun instead of a semi-automatic pistol. You can religiously practice the four rules of gun safety, which overlap in such a way that obeying even one of them should reliably prevent tragedy. You can do a lot of things to address the high-percentage danger without sacrificing an option for dealing with the low-percentage danger.

Of course, to do these things you'd have to know the four rules of gun safety, or the difference between single-action revolvers and double-action revolvers (or either and a semi-automatic).

In addition to that, I have another thought, which is that even a utilitarian calculus should take into account the pleasures as well as the pains.

Another thing I know is that riding a motorcycle is not just 30 but 85 times more likely to get you killed than driving a car. Does that mean that the smart play is to purge motorcycles from your life? What about horses? Horses are damn dangerous.

But would you miss out on them?

How much more, then, the joy of being a man of the old fashion? Of being strong, of upholding the weak, of being protector rather than protected? How could you walk away from that at any price?


Ymar Sakar said...

That's why HRC pulled off Steven's bodyguards and private State paid for security. He was more likely to be shot by one of those than killed by AQ.

DLSly said...

"...or crack your ribs just by laying her weight on you."

Yanno, I've also heard that we make great impromptu Lazy Boys for them.

raven said...

Rebutting gun issues with a Leftist is like cutting down a big maple in Puget Sound- before you can cut the maple, first you have to cut all the brush (lies) away first, to get to the core.

Once the inner city gangbanger quotient is removed, the gun deaths in this country are on par with western Europe.

If white, middle class citizens were really killing each other in an "epidemic", the Left would be handing out guns like candy.

Firearms accidents were at their highest in the early 1900's, primarily because of hunting mishaps. A multi-generational effort by the NRA has successfully brought those numbers down to near insignificance.

As most know, but few will say, the reason this continues to be an issue is because the Left would like to make any resistance to a political monopoly impossible. Yes, they DO want to kill us, but they are usually careful not to say it- but if you read comments in leftist sites, it comes up all to frequently. They have this quaint idea that any conflict will involve the LEO's, whom they despise, and the "redneck clingers", whom they despise, shooting it it out, leaving them to read about it on their phones. The nature of "civil" war escapes them, probably due to the abysmal quality of their education, if it is not stretching the term too much.

Grim said...

Yanno, I've also heard that we make great impromptu Lazy Boys for them.

It seems like I've heard that too. Many, many times.