I Don’t Own a Gun

gabriel conroy

Gabriel Conroy [pseudonym] is an ex-graduate student. He is happily married with no children and has about a million nieces and nephews. The views expressed by Gabriel are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of his spouse or employer.

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26 Responses

  1. JoeSal says:

    Excellent post.
    You and I would probably not agree on policy, but if I were to choose three people in the world to be at the table to discussing such things, you would be there.Report

  2. Pinky says:

    One of my main reasons for not owning a gun is that I live alone. I don’t have to protect anyone. I am personally unlikely to be targeted for an attack, but if I were, it’s no great loss. If I had a wife and kids, though, I’d want to be able to defend them, and I’d want the missus to be able to defend them as well. So, even though it may be counter-intuitive, I’d be more likely to keep a gun at my place if there were children there. I understand the importance of gun safety training for children, and I’d want them to participate in such training even if I didn’t have a gun at home.Report

    • JoeSal in reply to Pinky says:

      Do you live in a highly restrictive area?Report

      • Pinky in reply to JoeSal says:

        Do you mean gun restrictions or a secure neighborhood? I’m sure there are gun ownership restrictions in my area. I’m personally not likely to be a target for crime because frankly I look more like a threat.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

      We’ve never felt the need for a gun for home protection, but we live in a place with a freakishly low violent crime rate. The city’s violent crime rate is a tenth the national average. As best I can recall, in 30 years there hasn’t been a case in my (gossipy) neighborhood of breaking and entering when the homeowner was there. Lots of Denver cops retire here because, to quote my retired Denver cop neighbor, “Big inner-ring Denver suburb conveniences with small-town crime rates.” The costs of having a gun for home protection, storing it safely, and maintaining proficiency has never seemed worth it.

      For completeness, I spent most of my early life in a rural area where household gun ownership, at least of long guns, was simply taken for granted.Report

    • gabriel conroy in reply to Pinky says:

      “I’d be more likely to keep a gun at my place if there were children there. I understand the importance of gun safety training for children, and I’d want them to participate in such training even if I didn’t have a gun at home.”

      I can see the point and maybe would have a different view from what I express in m OP if I had kids.

      I do know that my siblings and I were impressed from a very early age that there’s no such thing as a safe gun and we should assume that all guns were loaded and could go off. Whatever else was wrong or problematic about my upbringing, our attitude toward gun safety was healthy.Report

      • As a partially relevant aside, I’ll say this: I’ve found two positions on guns that seem gun rights friendly, but that are actually contradictory. One position goes, “if you’re a responsible gun owner, you keep your guns locked up so that your kids can’t get into them” and “you need a gun for self-defense” don’t work together. If you need (or might need) a gun for self-defense, it doesn’t do much good locked up. (I mean the generic “you,” of course.)

        It’s not that anyone actually (to my recollection) makes both claims. It’s just that they both seem to be used in the service of a gun rights argument. I have a hard time conveying exactly what I mean, but there’s an unaddressed disconnect there.

        At any rate, if I had kids and chose to own a gun for self-defense, I’d make sure they knew about gun safety.Report

        • Damon in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          This…”At any rate, if I had kids and chose to own a gun for self-defense, I’d make sure they knew about gun safety.”

          I was raised around guns and my father kept one for self defense. I knew how to use them and from an early age new the impact of their use. I also knew where he kept his self defense pistol in the bed room. I also new I was NEVER to touch it when I was younger.Report

        • InMD in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          Having dealt with both of these situations I think they can be consistent due to changes in circumstances. I had inherited long guns and purchased a tactical rifle for reasons I laid out in a post here a few years ago which I never really considered suited for self defense. They have always been locked up and unloaded outside of the range.

          My family later ended up in a situation with a crazy neighbor and we bought two handguns my wife and I were comfortable with for self defense. Ive gotten a couple others since (I went through the licensing requirements and they needed a home) but the self defense firearms were treated somewhat differently. When we got indications it was going to be one of those nights we would have them ready. When the storm passed we would lock them back up, and now that we’ve moved and that threat is no longer present they stay locked up.

          My point is just that circumstances are fluid. Part of responsible ownership IMO involves understanding that, and continued awareness and re-evaluation of your purpose. When the situation changes so should your approach.

          Truthfully it would weigh heavily on me when we were on alert and I’d get a huge feeling of relief when it was time to put them away again. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t just get rid of the handguns (I could never part with the guns I inherited from my grandfather) but then I think today is not forever so I stick with safe storage for now.Report

  3. CJColucci says:

    I own a couple of long guns, of the sort nobody worth taking seriously is interested in keeping sane, law-abiding people from having, and used to own a handgun, which I got rid of when license renewal came up because I had used it so little. Although where I now live has restrictions on guns (I probably couldn’t get a carry permit if I wanted one), I grew up where gun ownership was no more interesting than chainsaw ownership. I don’t miss the handgun (though I’m toying with the idea of getting licensed and getting one for largely recreational use), and, although I have lived in and have traveled daily through dodgy neighborhoods for decades at all hours, I have never been in a situation where I would have felt safer carrying a pistol.Report

    • Pinky in reply to CJColucci says:

      You’ve never felt unsafe, but that’s because you’re carrying a chainsaw.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Pinky says:

        I’m actually better with a gun, despite my rusty skills, than I ever was with a chainsaw. I routinely carry a pocket knife, Swiss Army folder with a two-inch blade, which, from a self-defense standpoint is better than nothing, but just barely. People sometimes think it’s weird, but I find reason to use it for ordinary civilian purposes several times a week.Report

    • “I grew up where gun ownership was no more interesting than chainsaw ownership”

      For me gun ownership was actually boring. My father put up tables at quite a lot of gun shows, and I and my mother sometimes went with him. For the first 10 minutes, on the Friday when he set his guns up, it was kind of cool to walk around and look at all the other guns people had. For the rest of that Friday night, and the next two days, however, it was pretty meh. (ETA: and the turquoise jewelry. Ugh! People displayed it by the gallon. There’s nothing wrong with turquoise, but I’ve just seen too much of it in my life.) (My siblings…or at least two of my brothers…were much more into guns, both more as connoisseurs and as enthusiasts.)Report

  4. its tempting. but on the other side i guess one should own one lets assume you own a farm or other business that needs more security. But honesltly dont own oneReport