Saturday, January 17, 2009

Power.

I got a pretty.


I don't know why, but gun shops and ranges seem to be roughly as gender-balanced as the Marine Corps. It's not like you need a ton of physical strength; if anything, knowing how to shoot is more important if you're not strong. I guess it's a little that some women are less comfortable thinking about violence, and mostly one of those self-perpetuating things where a woman sees a store full of big hairy guys and bikini posters and feels like she might not be so welcome there.

(It stops at appearances, though; every gun place I've ever been to has ranged in attitude from "hey, any adult with good money is welcome here" to "we're downright happy to see women learning to shoot.")

I don't want to shoot a person, obviously, and I don't ever expect to. But in the very low likelihood that I ever do get into a "them or me" scenario, it's kind of nice to be able to choose them. In the meantime, shooting is just fun.

It frustrates me sometimes that "guns are bad" is so often part of the political package deal with feminism. Personally, I think that women should be powerful--deadly powerful.

36 comments:

  1. Now that you're a gunblogger you should come hang out on the IRC channel. :)

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  2. Frankly, guns kind of give me the creeps. But more power to you. And much like a penis (or a vagina), if you're gonna have one, you should know how to use it!

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  3. What alan said. Also, nice choice! First gun?

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  4. Alan - I'm a sexblogger! I've only got the one gun and I barely know which end the bullet comes outta.

    Lawrence - Guns gave me the creeps until I started living in a gun-nut household--my roommates are self-defense wackos and have a handgun in every drawer and a shotgun under the bed--and realized how it's actually kinda comforting.

    TD - Thanks! Yep, first gun, and kind of an awesome steal as the previous owner got a really nice custom trigger job before returning it to the store practically new. (I'm friends with the dealer--he told me when it came in and I jumped on it.) (Also I had to promise to let him shoot it sometime.)

    The only sad part is that I can't actually play with it yet, it'll be like a month.

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  5. You have a gun, and you blogged about it.

    We have very low standards.

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  6. It's probably the biggest irony of feminism as a movement that there exists a weapon that is relatively cheap, easy to train with, and importantly does NOT depend on the user's height, reach, or upper-body strength, unlike basically every other personal defense tool ever... and the feminists think no one should have one, least of all a feminist.

    Also, Alan insists I'M a gunblogger, so.

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  7. Labrat - Well, you're more of a gunblogger than I am, that's for damn sure.

    "Relatively cheap?" Relative to what, a solid gold baseball bat? Diamond-encrusted folding knife? But I agree with every other point.

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  8. The feminist objection to guns, iirc, is that they've been most often used to worsen the lot of various women. But the argument is complicated, and my one sentence likely doesn't cover it.

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  9. Yzian - I think that objection touches on a fundamental disagreement I have with a lot of liberal feminists: is it better if no one has a potentially dangerous power or everyone?

    The idealist answer is "no one." If no one has guns, that's (setting aside hunting/target practice/slightly panicky "bugout" scenarios/the constitution/etc) the safest thing; you're guaranteed never to get shot! The only problem is that there are a gazillion guns already all around the country and nobody has any way (or right) to get rid of them.

    So the realist answer is "everyone." Or at least me. Yes, it would be safest if neither men nor women had guns, but since men do, the best thing women can do is catch up.

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  10. Ever priced out a sword, or a mace, or any of the kinds of tools meant to do terminal harm to another person before guns came along? Folding knives and baseball bats are tools meant for other purposes pulling double duty.

    One reason Japan immediately banned guns when gunpowder reached their shores was that their construction made them cheap enough for peasants to afford- and their range meant they could take down samurai.

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  11. LabRat - True--I just wasn't even thinking of those weapons as possibilities because they're so obsolete.

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  12. holly:
    i think that there is no such thing as "obsolete" when it comes to weapons. because, and this is the one place where i really depart from feminism, the only REAL weapons are people. everything else is just a tool to make the actual weapon - the wielder of the tool - or effective.
    but i totally agree with you; all gun control laws do is guarantee that non-criminal people will not have access to the weapons that criminals* have. there is an argument to be made that a victim having a weapon just ups the stakes, but i really think that if everyone was (potentially) armed, the rate of violent crimes committed against non-criminals would go down. (not speaking of crimes that criminals commit against each other, don't think those would change). i understand the idealism involved, i just think that in many cases practicality should outweigh idealism, and personal safety is one of those cases.
    *criminal defined here meaning a person seeking to harm another person. i don't think that prostitutes or drug users are criminals, and i also don't think just owning a weapon makes one a criminal.

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  13. William the CoronerJanuary 18, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    Holly

    That's why I've taught, over the years, about twenty-five women to shoot. God made man, but Col. Colt made man equal is still true today.

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  14. Neat. Do you have (or are you getting) a license to carry a gun at any time?

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  15. The tragedy of the "feminist" position on guns is that guns are the one solitary thing that can actually equalize *any* situation.

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  16. Well, my view probably won't be popular here then, but I object to arming everyone on the grounds that it will, at least in theory, increase the number of fatalities. Let's ignore the fact that owning a gun means you're more likely to get shot by your own gun than ever use it in self-defense. (Accident, suicide, enraged spouse, criminal who breaks in and gets to your gun before you do, etc.) Let's pretend that legal guns are 100% safe for the user and can only ever be used in genuine self-defense. Even in that case, while crime will go down some, the remaining criminals will have no compunction against acquiring submachine guns, sniper rifles, and similar high-powered assault weaponry and use them to slaughter anyone who *might* be carrying a gun before they even have a chance to draw their weapon. And probably wear bulletproof vests in case anyone slips by them. It might not happen that way, but do you really want to risk ending up living in a world like that?

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  17. Of course, Anonymous, your view is obviously heavily distorted by inaccurate facts, presumptions, and failing to note the examples of the places where your views have been either been implemented or rejected.

    I object to arming everyone on the grounds that it will, at least in theory, increase the number of fatalities.

    And the difference between theory and reality is? Well, in theory, it works, in reality, it doesn't.

    Let's ignore the fact that owning a gun means you're more likely to get shot by your own gun than ever use it in self-defense.

    That's not a fact. It's something you made up. (And in fact, the "studies" you might cite go back to Kellerman's "studies". Where he defines "Child" as > 25, and drug dealers shooting each other as "friends and family".)

    Now, if your "assumed fact" was so true, then you'd expect to see some proof of that in areas of high gun ownership, versus cities such as D.C, Chicago, NYC. Who's got the highest gun homicide rates?

    Let's pretend that legal guns are 100% safe for the user and can only ever be used in genuine self-defense.

    No real need to pretend. Gun failure is exceedingly unlikely.

    Even in that case, while crime will go down some, the remaining criminals will have no compunction against acquiring submachine guns, sniper rifles, and similar high-powered assault weaponry and use them to slaughter anyone who *might* be carrying a gun before they even have a chance to draw their weapon. And probably wear bulletproof vests in case anyone slips by them.

    So I'm sure you can point to the places where that's happened.

    Since it's so logical and all.

    It might not happen that way,

    But you said that's what would happen! Wait, so you're not so sure now? Maybe you should rethink what basis your "facts" and what you're actually ignoring and paying attention to.

    In the meantime, concrete evidence to back your position would be greatly appreciated.

    You could start by noting the example of England, where personal firearms have been for all practical purposes eliminated, and the crime rate is now far in excess of anything outside of major inner cities in the US - where the same gun policies are in effect.

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  18. Don't forget how in Japan personal firearm ownership is similarly non-existant, and yet the suicide rate is curiously high even without them. And without the guns, they even like to take others with them. Those damn guns are using mind rays to make them kill themselves with cleaning products!

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  19. Whoops, dead link. Try this one for suicide by gas.

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  20. I hear you on the gun range gender distribution. I was a bit nervous my first time shooting, but my (very manly) friend informed me that learning how to shoot is the highest form of feminism because guns make everyone equal.

    ...'course, then he laughed when I couldn't pull a double action, so maybe not.

    Anyway, I just kind of had to comment on this particular entry. Have fun shooting!

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  21. Mazel tov!

    I'm not going to argue with the antis here, I just think it is awesome that you got one. Congrats! Have fun with it!

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  22. unix-jedi:

    Okay, you win the argument. I say "argument" and not "debate" because you did the exact same thing as you accused me of doing, plus threw in some straw men as well. That kind of thing's impossible to lose, regardless of whether you're actually right or wrong. Since you win, you can go ahead and ignore the rest of this, since it's for everyone else to read anyway.

    But you said that's what would happen! Wait, so you're not so sure now?

    At no point did I say that it was anything more than a theory. So theory = automatic truth now?

    failing to note the examples of the places where your views have been either been implemented or rejected.

    That's because they don't exist. There are currently no nations where everyone is armed with guns. Which is why it is only theory.

    in theory, it works, in reality, it doesn't.

    Again, no current examples exist, hardly making it "reality".

    So I'm sure you can point to the places where that's happened.

    Of course not. Theory.

    Who's got the highest gun homicide rates?

    Apples and oranges. I did say that crime would probably go down. But who's got the highest gun suicide rates? Cops and military folk. Who have the highest rates of gun ownership and probably know best how to use them. And people in other high-stress jobs might kill themselves more often if the have a gun. Which kids under 12 are most likely to get shot? The ones who stole their parent's guns and let their friends handle them. And so on. I said the death rate would theoretically increase, not that the death rate would necessarily increase by homicide. Or maybe it would, because if literally everyone was armed, then a well-supplied criminal would make sure that ordinary guns were near useless. Possibly by killing everyone they see in the course of committing a crime. Or perhaps "excessive force self-defense" would go up as people start shooting anyone they see as dangerous or suspicious "just in case" when they don't really need to. There's no absolute way to tell, because that reality doesn't exist yet.

    And my theory comes not from gun statistics, which are clearly distorted on both sides of the fence anyway, but on general statistics from primitive peoples. When few people have weapons (bows, spears, clubs, whatever), murder tends to be virtually unheard of; but in heavily armed tribes, murder rates are around 30%. I have a hard time believing that modern humans are fundamentally that much removed from anyone else. While there might be something "different" about guns, I don't think it's worth the risk to find out.

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  23. How much did your gun cost? New ones of the type in your image seem to be pretty expensive---maybe not relative to other guns, but more than I'd spend at one shot for anything I didn't really need. (If you think you need a gun for self-defense, that's a different story; I don't know your situation.)

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  24. Anonymous and Unix-Jedi are arguing about angels on the heads of pins. It's not about reducing crime or increasing suicides. It's the simple fact that every human has the right to self defense and the tools to do so.

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  25. I don't like it when women carry guns. They scream so much nicer when I stab them.

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  26. Kommander:

    Exactly right.

    Anonymous:
    because you did the exact same thing as you accused me of doing, plus threw in some straw men as well.

    No, I didn't. I gave you concrete examples, and asked you to back up your wishful thinking with hard data. Examples. Many places have outlawed guns. Surely all of those "logical" concept you have could be proven with one of those. If not, then what does that say about your "logic?"

    That's because they don't exist. There are currently no nations where everyone is armed with guns. Which is why it is only theory.

    But there are plenty where there are none. How free are the women in those places? Surely they should be very safe there! There aren't any guns to worry about!

    It's not theory. It's reality. One you can quite easily look and analyze. If you're actually interested in reality.

    At no point did I say that it was anything more than a theory. So theory = automatic truth now?

    You "objected" on those grounds. That makes it not just an idle theory. You then took that and ran with it in a dishonest and illogical way. Now you're upset that someone says "Hey, that makes no sense at all."

    And even after you "concede" defeat, you still keep it up. Not worth the "risk".

    What risk? It's not worth the risk to let you keep posting, because a sheep might turn pink!

    That's every bit as "logical" as your "theory".

    . But who's got the highest gun suicide rates? Cops and military folk.

    According to?

    Who have the highest rates of gun ownership and probably know best how to use them.

    Which follows... how? Suicide harms only the single person. "How to use a gun" is meaningless. You started off talking about people being slaughtered in the street and criminals upgrading to Robotech... Now you're saying (based on what I want to see) that the highest suicide rates are from people who "know guns?"

    Anyway. Kommander is right. You'll deny people the fundamental right of self-defense, to support a "theory" you have, when you're intellectually unaware enough to even go look at where your "theory" has been put into action.

    I suppose it's just incidental that traditionally the hardest hit by your "theories" put into action are the women.

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  27. Anon - It seems like you're only willing to discuss scenarios where literally everyone or no one is armed, and those are about as relevant and predictable as scenarios where everyone is made of cheese.

    The more relevant question is "living in the real world, should I be armed?" and the answer for me (a childless, nonsuicidal noncriminal) is yes.

    (Although if I did have kids I'd teach them to shoot, because--as with sex!--"here's how and when it's okay to touch this" is a lot more effective than "don't touch this.")

    GreenEarth - I paid about half that. :)

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  28. Also, the Japanese (who by and large don't have to regularly deal with high-stress situations like child abuse, domestic abuse, and other harms-the-innocent crimes aside from their cops) without guns still have a higher suicide rate as an entire society than our cops with guns, a very small subset of our society (and one which as it turns out isn't dramatically out of line with the rate for the entire population). Any thoughts there, Anon?

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  29. well done Holly!

    My gun club is heavily male dominated (mmm .. male dominated ...), umm, sorry, but anyway i'm slowly introducing more of my female friends to shooting to even up the balance :)

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  30. Since smart people are already talking about the deep stuff, I'll just be all shallow and gun-nerdy and point out that Kahr makes a schweet, well-built pistol. Nice catch!

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  31. Nice gun. You don't see a whole lot of those around. I have a P9 myself, but I bet the recoil of the metal-framed version you have is easier to control. Let us know how you like it when you take it out to the range.

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  32. Oh, well, that's a good deal, then, especially if shooting's going to be a big part of your life from now on.

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  33. Welcome to the wonderful world of Gunbloggers.

    LawDog

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  34. HAH! See Holly? I'm not the only one.

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  35. Hey Holly, not to say that _all_ shooters are of a conservitive bent, but ownership of the tools of self-reliance give liberals hives.the Left wants us dependent on govt., not independent. Don't know what they'll do when Obama can't walk on water.......

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  36. Very late to this game, but could not help myself. What the thing is with you American folk and guns, I will never understand. But anyway, according to Wikipedia (search Gun Violence), "The United States has the highest rate of gun related injuries (not deaths per capita) among developed countries, though they also have the highest rate of gun ownership and highest rate of officers.

    Maybe you're doing the right thing in context, I don't live in your country and can't pretend to know your society's values, culture, etc.

    Guns scare me, that's all I know.

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