From a recent comment-roll on National Review Online:
The entire experience of mankind shows that as gun ownership decreases, so does possession of guns by criminals. Millions of Americans who get bamboozled by gun manufacturers propaganda and buy guns "for self-defense", not only endanger themselves, statistically speaking, but also keep criminals well armed, since so many guns get stolen. Speaking of which, former owners of stolen guns should have unlimited civil liability for whatever guns stolen from them are used for - unless the police report from the time of theft shows the gun was stored reasonably securely (e.g. in a standard gun safe). If you keep a gun in a night stand, you REALLY should know that that's the first place a burglar will be checking for valuables.
I like folks who have an opinion but I prefer that they know what they're talking about. I take issue with a few points raised by the commenter:
- Exaggeration: "the entire experience of mankind" is over-written. Gun ownership has never decreased; it has only increased. Population and manufacture have increased. The point he's trying to make is fallacious and arrogant. The possession of guns by criminals is a fact of life. You're not responsible ... it's not your problem.
- Misdirection: "bamboozled by gun manufacturers propaganda" assumes that gun owners are ignorant and easily led. People buy guns because they like to shoot. As more shooting sports appear (eg: Cowboy Action, IPSC, Three-gun etc.) more people find a reason and an outlet for their purchase of firearms. And having "matches" at "Clubs" allows them reason to practice shooting, leading to a better degree of expertise. Competition also allows individuals an opportunity to meet new friends, share experiences and advice, and become more comfortable with gun ownership. (That is not something that Anti-gun Liberals want to hear.) Criminals buy or steal guns, and use them for less "socially acceptable" purposes. Responsible gun owners will find the safe-storage solution which provides the best balance between self-defense and keeping THEIR kids from shooting each other. As far as everyone else is concerned? Not your problem!
- Lies from Liberal Sources: "...people who buy guns 'for self-defense/, not only endanger themselves, statistically speaking, but also keep criminals well armed, since so many guns get stolen ..." is a Two-For-One. Not only does it surreptitiously channel the debunked Kellerman fallacy, it also also provides the subtle suggestion that firearms owners should ALWAYS keep their guns locked up. If you own guns for personal defence in your home, storage in a "safe" makes it much more difficult to access it when you most immediately need it. Yes, you need to balance the security of your firearm against the security of your family. The decisions you make will probably be the most appropriate for you. What everyone else does with their guns is not your problem. (The assumption is that there are people in your home who are not to be trusted with a gun that isn't locked in a huge metal box. It's a valid point in some homes, but not in ALL homes!)
- Night Stand Storage: Well, it's uncomfortable to sleep with your gun under your pillow. And "occupied residence home invasions" are becoming more common as intruders are (incidentally) encouraged by published articles which suggest that it's A Bad Idea to keep a gun in a nightstand. You'll find the best balance between accessibility in an emergency, and accessibility by people who can't be trusted with a gun. Other people might not agree with your decision, but you don't need to please them. Their opinion is not your problem; your family is.
Post Script: former owners of stolen guns should have unlimited civil liability for whatever guns stolen from them are used for - unless the police report from the time of theft shows the gun was stored reasonably securely (e.g. in a standard gun safe).
Liberal thinking is often that it's the next best thing to a mortal sin to take responsibility for your own actions and for your own safety. You should count on your Government (fire department, police, janitor) to keep you from burning up your own home, defend you against armed aggressors, and clean up the mess you left behind.
Conservative thinking is that when the stuff hits the fan, you're often all alone. Calling the fire department is great for fires and rescues, but isn't it better to not smoke in bed? Calling for the police is a good idea, but by the time they get here the blood might have already flowed, and isn't it better that it's not your blood?
And if you get stuck in a tree trying to rescue a cat ... the cat would have found its way back to earth eventually.
Even if it's your cat ... It's Not Your Problem!