You are viewing valarltd

 
 
11 February 2013 @ 11:45 am
Schroedinger's Gunman, or why an armed society is not polite, just terrified  
I had a bit of insight the other day, in response to a cartoon that showed "armed good guys/armed bad guys" vs "armed bad guys/disarmed good guys".

It hit me that I couldn't tell the difference.

Let's start with the basic background:
Schroedinger's Rapist.
The baseline premise is:
When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Rapist. You may or may not be a man who would commit rape. I won’t know for sure unless you start sexually assaulting me.



When you carry a gun in public, you are Schroedinger's Gunman.

You may or may not be one of the good guys. You may be carrying the weapon to defend the helpless and save my life. Or you may be carrying it to kill as many people as you can.

I don't know the difference until you start shooting. (and even good guys can lay down "friendly fire.")

I hear the phrase "an armed society is a polite society." I counter with "an armed society is a terrified society." If we don't KNOW who is a good guy, who is a bad guy, who is armed and who is not, every public interaction becomes a frightening dance of "is this person going to shoot me for aggressiveness if I make eye contact/ are they going to shoot me for disrespect if I don't make eye contact?"

I do not wish to be shot simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, because I went to the store to get a gallon of milk.

From Starling's post:
To begin with, you must accept that I set my own risk tolerance. When you approach me, I will begin to evaluate the possibility you will do me harm. That possibility is never 0%.

Openly carried firearms raise the possibility of harm. They raise the chances I will be shot--on purpose or inadvertantly--simply by being introduced to the situation by the type of person who carries them.

Concealed carry begins to put the simplest tasks: grocerying, church, picking up my child from school into the "Unacceptably dangerous" category.

I set my own risk tolerance

It is not for YOU to say I am paranoid. It is not for YOU to say my idea of safe and unsafe is unacceptable. This is MY risk tolerance. If you have a higher one, that's fine.

I don't want weapons banned.
But I don't want to bump into an AK-47 in the salad dressing aisle either. My grocery shopping should not turn into the "Firefight at the Stuffer Shack" module from Shadowrun!

I also want gun owners to acknowledge that yes, they LIKE the idea of shooting (sufficiently othered) intruders and that they KNOW they are actually more likely to shoot a member of their own household than a (sufficiently othered) stranger. And that they know these things about themselves and don't really care.

That puts them into the "unacceptable risk to be in my life" category.
And because it is my life, and my risk tolerance, I get to set it.
 
 
( 4 debauchees — Be Debauched )
Michael: A Dudenebris on February 11th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
And because it is my life, and my risk tolerance, I get to set it.
No, you don't. That's a delusion. None of us get to do that. Ever.

~M~
Angelvalarltd on February 11th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
Re: And because it is my life, and my risk tolerance, I get to set it.
I know, it is an illusion. But just as I don't drive without a seatbelt, don't inject addictive drugs and don't bungee jump off 90 story buildings, so too, I don't knowingly go around armed people.
(Anonymous) on February 26th, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)

Expect that nothing prevents carrying concealed weapons illegally so everyone is a Schroedinger's Gunperson anyway.

"I also want gun owners to acknowledge that yes, they LIKE the idea of shooting (sufficiently othered) intruders and that they KNOW they are actually more likely to shoot a member of their own household than a (sufficiently othered) stranger. And that they know these things about themselves and don't really care."
Thats an pretty messed up generalisation right there.
Firstly why would a average gun owner like the idea of killing humans?
(Several studies have actually disproved this. Read Grossman's On Killing for starters.)
Secondly why would average gun owners want to kill a member of their own household?
(At least in Finland when a gun owner shoots someone the person is statistically not more likely a member of the shooters household than someone who is not.)

We like killing humans we don't know but we will even more likely kill someone we do know and care about?

No seriously why am I even responding to a article that claims that I am a crazed psychopath that should be killing members of my own family.
Angelvalarltd on February 26th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Those I know who talk about defending themselves practically salivate at the idea of shooting someone. As long as that someone is (preferably) black and male and a stranger.

Study after study shows that a gun in the house is more likely to be used on a household member. Women in a household with a gun are three times more likely to be shot than women who don't live with one. At base, you're more likely to be killed by a member of your own family than a stranger. A gun ready to hand just makes it quicker and easier.

I'm just wanting gun owners to say they know these things.
That they know and don't care, and therefore will cling to their idea that the gun is for self-defense.
( 4 debauchees — Be Debauched )