Monday, February 15, 2010

You need to work on your impulse control, Rep. Jorgensen.

There's a bill in the Wyoming legislature that would remove the license requirement for (some) Wyoming residents to carry concealed weapons. That's a good thing, no doubt. I understand there's a similar bill in Arizona that might pass. Good thing, too. That's not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is an "argument" against the bill, similar to hoplophobic statements I've heard for years and years.
Rep. Pete Jorgensen, D-Jackson, went further, saying that loosening gun control regulations, except for hunting, would be dangerous to everyone.

"I've been in situations in other countries working where I'm glad I didn't have a gun," said Jorgensen, who served overseas in the U.S. Army. "I've not sure I would've controlled myself."

The (I'm looking for a word other than "argument," because this isn't an argument, it's an admission of personal weakness) goes, "I don't want other people to carry guns, because I can imagine times in my past when, if I'd been carrying a gun, I'd have used it on people who annoyed or frightened me."

Huh. Y'know, I am by no means a paragon of human virtue. But I can't think of a single time I'd ever have shot someone just because of a momentary reflection that the world would be a cleaner/safer/better place without that person. Oh, I've had that thought in the past - plenty. In fact, I can think of a few people I still have that belief about. But they're all still above-ground and likely to stay that way, at least where actions of mine are concerned. And I do carry a gun.

There have been several times when I wanted to knock somebody down for annoying or frightening me, and a few times when I did. Looking back, some of those people didn't really need to get knocked down; I could have just left. But I never shot any of them. I was never (okay, seriously) tempted to shoot any of them. And my impulse control isn't as great as I'd like it to be.

I'm trying to make two points here: First, people don't really do this. Not as a rule. Normal, sane people do not draw guns on one another at every little disagreement. It's a canard that used to get raised every time someone suggested that their fellow creatures be "privileged" to act like non-declawed adults, and reality has shot it down (sorry) every time. Blood does not flow in the gutters when people carry the means of self-defense. It's a lie, and not a very credible one.

Second, whenever someone makes this claim they're talking about themselves, not about me. But the topic is always something they want to do to me. Except for conscription, nobody in the history of this country has ever passed a law forcing other people to carry a gun.* But there sure have been a lot of laws purporting to prevent it, and at the heart of a lot of them have been "arguments" made by sad, fearful little creatures with no impulse control, and who instead of growing up and developing some impulse control, just want to defang all their fellow creatures so that they don't have to fear getting what they deserve. Contemptible.

It seems that one of those pusillanimous creatures has gone and gotten himself elected to the Wyoming legislature.

*There have been a few tongue-in-cheek local laws forcing residents to own guns, but that's not the same thing. Also, I doubt those laws have ever been enforced, but I still think they're bad laws.


Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, Joel. I particularly like you summation ("he's talking about himself, not me"). Exactly.

Can't worry too much about Rep. Lacking Impulse-Control, though. I see he's "D-Jackson."

Wyoming people will tell you that Jackson isn't really Wyoming. It's Hollywood East, Georgetown West. It's where the "tax you but don't tax me" billionaires have all moved, forcing out the mere millionaires. It's Cloud-Cuckoo Land.

The rest of Wyoming has more sense. I'm hopeful that bill will pass.

The Grey Lady said...

O.K. I admit it, I had to look up the definition of Pusillanimos. Good word but some how I do NOT see me slipping that in some converstion.

Folks want to legislate what they fear, not what is relevent or needed, there fore they do their best to make US fear it to, just look at the legislation that has been passed in the last twenty years or so on both sides of the boarder. Not too may that haven't been sold to the public, with the ever helpful media, that aren't fear based.