I wonder why some people are so afraid of guns, except guns carried by the police, who are somehow magically less likely to use them to harm innocents. But maybe you want the police disarmed, too. That would at least be consistent. Unfortunately, removing guns from the world returns us to rule by the physically strongest, or the best swordsmen. I prefer the equality Sam Colt provided for ninety-pound grandmas.
I can’t imagine everybody on an airplane being in possession of a nuclear device. Whatever for? Why would anyone carry a weapon that would guarantee their own death were they to ever use it? Of course for the same reason I can’t imagine why governments think there’s any useful purpose to having nukes. Or why we the people let them get away with it.
And now you’re going to try to move the bar, and ask me to tell you where to draw the line. The problem is that nobody is qualified to draw the line. Nobody is magically able to judge the rest of the world and command that an M1 Abrams Tank is just too powerful a weapon for an individual to own. And even if they were, the only way to enforce such an edict is for the enforcers to be, you guessed it, better armed and trained than the peons they’re commanding. Force or the threat of force is always the bottom line.
In the end practicality will rule. A battle rifle is a lot more effective tool for stopping goblins than a varmint rifle (aka “assault weapon”) or a lowly handgun, but a pistol can be carried every day without hardly noticing you’re doing it, and it can provide really good motivation for a bad guy to go pick on someone his own IQ. But it can’t do that unless you have it, even on an airplane.
Another thing I don’t understand is that people who are afraid of guns seem to imagine that people routinely carrying them around would cause gun battles on every street corner. Florida discovered many years ago, when they made it easy to get concealed carry permits, that no such thing happens. If anything, crime decreases. Vermont, where I’ve lived since April, has known that for even longer. No permits have ever been required to carry guns here. And crime is very rare. Yet murder rates are high in precisely the places where the good guys are disarmed by legislative fiat. Gun owners call those victim disarmament zones. Laws against legal carry of weapons disarm only the law-abiding, who those laws turn into helpless victims.
A gun is an inanimate object, a tool. It has no mind of its own, no purpose, except the purpose to which its owner puts it. Good people want guns so that they can stop bad people from harming innocents. Bad people want guns, or want good people disarmed, so that they can do things that they could not do were somebody willing and able to prevent it. I’m willing. I’m tired of being statutorily disabled.
I would prefer a world where it wasn’t necessary for anybody to use a weapon, ever. I certainly don’t want to use one. But we don’t live in such a world. And I see no evidence that we ever will. Self defense is, unfortunately, necessary. Guns are the best tools for the job.