Guns don’t kill, people with guns do

Are we so filled with fear that we make for an easy trigger happy killing society? Chris McEvoy wonders.

It’s true that guns don’t kill people – but people with guns seem to be a lot more efficient at killing people than people who don’t have guns.

So it seems fair and reasonable to believe that if Oscar Pistorius was a person without a gun, Reeva Steenkamp might well have made it to her next photo shoot.

Okay, sure, if the prosecution is correct and the murder was premeditated, the end result might well have been the same.

Despite his disability, I don’t doubt Pistorius’ ability to kick down a bathroom door. But without a gun at hand, Steenkamp would have had some small chance of escape, and failing that, Pistorius would, at best, have had to work up a sweat. It would seem like the least he could do under the circumstances.

No, guns don’t kill people – but they sure as Hell make killing people easy.

But it’s the defence’s argument that really disturbs me. According to Pistorius, “It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet.” So without hesitation, he fired.

Whichever way you look at it, it seems apparent that Pistorius shot to kill someone.

Anyone. It could have been a friend, a mischievous kid, or, maybe even his girlfriend – you know, the only other person in his home at the time in his security-obsessed gated community?

But hey, let’s go with the bloodthirsty rapist psychopath option and see where that takes us.

We live in a violent, fearful society, and we all have revenge fantasies about saving our children, spouses and flatscreen TVs from marauding murderers who can’t shoot straight. I have that fantasy, and I don’t even have a gun.

But real life is nothing like our Xbox-like fantasies. Even if you kill the most despicable human being on the planet, you’re going to be traumatised.To borrow the hippie parlance, it’s bad karma.

Show me someone who enjoyed the grim satisfaction of their first kill as much as they thought they would, and I’ll show you a sociopath who should check themselves into the nearest mental hospital.

This is why every self-defence instructor will tell you, if you can run, RUN. And Pistorius is apparently very good at that sort of thing. So no excuses there.

Now please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not attacking gun ownership rights. Of course law abiding, sane people should have the right to protect themselves and their families from violent robbers, unwelcome in-laws and Jehovah’sWitnesses.

No, I’m attacking gun owners, many of whom seem to have forgotten why they have the right to own their gun in the first place.

It’s for self-defence, folks. Are you with me?

It’s not for revenge; it’s not for your video game fantasies, it’s not for your anger, it’s not for your fear, and as too many gun owners have tragically discovered, it’s not for indiscriminately firing into blind spots because you heard a noise.

Perhaps our culture of violence and fear is not the best environment for owning efficient death machines that can turn any impulsive flash into a fatality.

Something has to go.

Follow Chris on Twitter.


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