The Romanticizing of Guns in American Culture
This has been stewing in my head for a while. School shootings, mass shootings, racist killings, and more always get me wanting to start and finish this. It took the ridiculous image of the St. Louis couple inappropriately brandishing firearms and peaceful protesters (and social media discussion about it) to get to it.
The discussion around the St. Louis incident seems to boil down to basically 1st Amendment versus 2nd Amendment rights. The first seems to be clear, the protesters had the right. The local Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner has already supported that: "I am alarmed at the events that occurred over the weekend, where peaceful protesters were met by guns and a violent assault. We must protect the right to peacefully protest, and any attempt to chill it through intimidation or threat of deadly force will not be tolerated," Gardner tweeted.
So then it comes down to, was this an appropriate use of gun ownership by this couple? Is this type of event, the "Self-Defense Gun Use" or SDGU, appropriate or necessary? Let alone legal?
In America, we have romanticized gun use to the point that even rational people get so worked up about the concept of owning guns that they are blinded to whether they are needed, useful, or are they actually dangerous to the owner and loved ones to keep around. Just look at what this couple did, they brandished their guns movie-style, like kids emulating their action movie hero with toy guns, with dangerous lack of discipline.
What is a Gun?
noun. a weapon consisting of a metal tube, with mechanical attachments, from which projectiles are shot by the force of an explosive; a piece of ordnance.
The Self-Defense Argument
Per the Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Based on the 2018 NCVS, the violent victimization rate among persons age 12 or older in 2018 was 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons." That could be simpler said as 2.32 victimizations per 100 person, which is easily understood as 2.32%. If we take .9% (defenses) of 2.32% (victimizations), we come up (or down) to .02%. In a city of 100,000 people,that would mean 20 people might have thought they successfully defended themselves.