Recent shootings have ignited quite the debate among amateur 2nd Amendment theorists; the battlefield turns frequently to Facebook, using status updates, “fact sheets,” and news articles to voice opinions—fair enough, for most of us this is the best means of getting the most people to see our message. With plenty of Marines and Soldiers on my friends list (a former-Marine myself) the trend on my newsfeed has been in support of the NRA theory that guns serve as a deterrent.
Bottom line up front: the more people we have in our society toting guns, the more likely we are to have gunfights or kids gaining access to guns or accidental discharges. Sure, examples of the noble citizen killing a lunatic on a shooting spree would increase, as would opportunities for this noble citizen.
More perplexing to me in this logic is that the use of deadly force is an extremely complex situation that even the ‘professionals’ struggle with at times—people are going to mess it up and more guns give them more opportunities to do so. Undoubtedly this will lead to a proliferation of perceived street-justice and create death sentences for petty crimes by converting fistfights into gunfights. Realistically, can we really expect all citizens to not only be as proficient with a firearm but also as judicious as we expect our law enforcement and military to be? Keep in mind, every felon was at one time a non-felon, and the lack of a felony seems to be, for most states, the only qualification needed to own a gun!