OK, you pro-gunners—sign off, now. I am about to go on a rant about the twisted logic of pro-“guns-for-all” folks in this country.
CNN.com just posted an article with the title, “Gun Seller Offering Discounts to Save Lives” This article, written by Abbie Boudreau, describes the efforts of the owner of the company, TGSCOM, Inc.—the company that “sold firearm merchandise to both the Virginia Tech University and the Northern Illinois University shooters”—to sell guns at cost for the next two weeks in hopes that “law-abiding citizens will buy them to prevent similar tragedies”.
Hmmm…a real fire(arm) sale.
A public relations coup?
I am guessing that Eric Thompson, the owner of TGSCOM, a Green Bay, Wisconsin company that operates “about 100 firearm selling websites” (including www.topglock.com and www.thegunsource.com) must have gotten himself a PR/marketing consultant of some sort.
I think that our guy Eric must have said to himself, “Hey, how can I turn this bad news (he sold the guns to the killers) into good news (how can I sell even more guns?). “I know, he may have said to himself, “I’ll tell them they should buy more guns so that they can protect themselves from the bad guys with guns (that I sold to them).” This is really weird and reminds me of the famous movie, “Gunfight at the OK Corral“.
Perhaps the PR/Marketing guys or maybe Eric alone decided that “the best defense is a good offense”—so let’s get out there and tell folks “I want to help people save lives.” If every college student is armed, so goes the argument, either a potential perpetrator won’t open fire, or, better yet, the guy in the front row will pull out his (concealed) Glock, fire off a few rounds, and miraculously save the entire classroom from the evil-doer (insert wild applause here). It is a great fantasy to sell to the networks, but, sadly, it doesn’t reflect reality.
Sounds good, does it match what really happened?
Go back and read about what happened in these events. The killers entered the classroom and unexpectedly pulled out their guns and started killing students. Most of the kids did what I would do and I suspect most of you would do, duck and cover or run to the nearest exit if possible.
There were no, and, I believe there could be no, Richard Widmark–type “Gunfighting Heroes” in the classroom. Excuse me, the kids were there to learn English, History, Math, or whatever. They weren’t sitting in the room, a hand on their holster, waiting for the bad guy to come in and shoot down their friends.
Nor should we want them to be…imagine what kind of society we would be if everyone was armed, finger on the trigger, waiting for some suspected, presumed, or actual bad guy to reach for his gun (or maybe his wallet, or handkerchief, or even pocket change). Hmmm, need I bring up the OK Corral again.
Let’s get real about this gang. People like Eric Thompson do what they do and say what they say because they are in the business of making money from selling guns—the more, the better for his bottom line. The NRA is not a pro-hunting organization, at heart, it is a trade association advocating for its members (primarily gun producers) to make as much money as they can selling guns.
I will grant you that the NRA has been more clever than most trade associations in disguising its big paying members’ self-interest as something else (protecting self-defense, promoting a supposed second amendment protection, guaranteeing hunters the right to shoot Bambi and her mother with a semi-automatic, etc.). But at the end of the day, we need to recognize marketing messages as just that—marketing messages.
Is the only way to live free and live safe is to live in a society that is fully armed?
There probably is a place for guns in our society (e.g., real hunting activities, legitimate self-protection scenarios, such as certain domestic violence situations). But I don’t believe it is in the best interest of our society to have firearms end up in the hands of everyone who has been “sold” by companies and individuals with a profit motive, on the necessity to have a gun to protect themselves and/or their families. Is it really the end-game of a freedom loving people to live in a society where their fellow countrymen, in the course of their daily activities, are cowed into believing the only way to live free and live safe is to live in a society that is fully armed?