In the book ‘Guns for Protection?,’ I write about the folly of Stand Your Ground laws, which allow people to go free from murder after shooting someone dead, so long as they claim to have felt threatened by the other person in some way. Just claim some sort of fear or provocation under the guise of self-defense, no matter how slight or subjective that may be, and police are obligated to set you free. In a sarcastic example of how this standard could be applied, I wrote: “If a girl scout knocked on the door and was met with a hail of gunfire, how was I supposed to know she wasn’t planning a home invasion?”
At the time It was the most absurd analogy I could think of. But leave it to our crazy society to make this absurd scenario a reality. In Idaho in late 2021, Bigham County’s Sheriff (not just any gun loony, but the county’s actual sheriff) used his guns to threaten a group of girls from a youth group, chasing them away at gunpoint after they had the audacity to leave a thank-you note on his door. (*1)Talk about no good deed going unpunished.
Thankfully, in this instance, no shots were actually fired, so the girls escaped with nothing more than mental scars. The sheriff was eventually charged with 2 felony counts for this menacing, and has since resigned. Yet the ironic thing is that in many states, had he actually shot and killed these girls, he could potentially walk away free simply by claiming he thought they were a gang of delinquents meaning to harm him.
It’s also a prime example of the reality of gun crime in America. Most gun homicides don’t involve career criminals, but angry gun owners who are having a bad day, using a firearm that is far too easily accessible in a moment of anger. This is why the gun lobby’s agenda of encouraging more people to carry guns around everywhere they go isn’t making society safer, it’s promoting more murder.
If you want to be a responsible gun owner, great. I just urge you to read our information detailing why guns offer ZERO practical benefit in terms of self-defense. This is not a political statement, it’s a mathematical fact, and the odds aren’t even remotely in favor of owning or carrying a gun for personal protection. Please keep your firearms locked and unloaded in a safe place inaccessible to children. Otherwise you, too, might be one bad moment away from starring in your own family tragedy.
Every single person we discuss in these stories thought they were too smart and reasonable to let it happen to them as well: I would never lose my temper and shoot someone… would never leave a gun lying around… I would never shoot a family member by mistake. It can and would happen to you, because you, too, are human. The more time you spend in the company of a gun, the higher the odds of something tragic occurring.
1. USA Today, Dec. 17, 2021, p. 3B