Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gun Ethics

The Ethicist: Arm women, disarm men. It's the ethical thing to do.
I propose curbing gun violence not by further restricting the availability of guns but by expanding and reorienting it. Men would still be forbidden to walk the streets armed, in accordance with current laws, but women would be required to carry pistols in plain sight whenever they are out and about.

Were I to board the subway late at night, around Lincoln Center perhaps, and find it filled with women openly carrying Metropolitan Opera programs and Glock automatics, I’d feel snug and secure. A train packed with armed men would not produce the same comforting sensation. Maybe that’s because men have a disconcerting tendency to shoot people, while women display admirable restraint.
Set aside the delicious image of women carrying weapons around. Man, it would be like all Israeli Defense Forces, all the time.

Yeah, boy. All that time on the range, carrying weapons and ammo around the field and tempers would fly and BAM a firefight would break out. Guys on sentry duty would have a cross word and they'd spend the rest of the shift taking potshots at each other.

One imagines that Mr. Cohen has not spent a whole lot of time around guys who actually carry guns all safe and responsible like. Not cowboys who make the news and are dreary statistics but regular joes.

You know what restraint is? I've been in two fist fights in my life. Both times the two of us were armed. I can't speak for the other guys [1] state of mind but it never even entered my mind to use the means of deadly force at my disposal: it was too intense and personal for that.

I don't write this because I'm proud of getting in those fights: I wish I hadn't. But only to illustrate that the presence of guns does not mean it's all going to end in tears.

[1] J.S. was a smirking monkey who deserved a poke in the snoot. M.G. was just making fun of the girl I was seeing at the time. In retrospect, he was right: that bitch was a mile of bad news.

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