Friday, October 17, 2008

From his cold, dead hands

I stumbled across this article today in the Arizona Daily Star. In case you don't feel like clicking, a University of Arizona student shot and killed two armed home invaders early this morning.

I'm trying to decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, how terrible that two people lost their lives in such a grisly manner. On the other hand, here's hoping they were the same two guys who were terrorizing our neighborhood earlier this month. I'll stop short of saying I am glad they're dead - perhaps "relieved" is a better word. Relieved that there are two fewer bad guys out there, and relieved that the victim wasn't harmed by their - or his own - gun. From all accounts, it sounds like the U of A student was just a normal guy who happened to have a gun nearby (or brought it with him to the door, depending on which article you read) and wasn't afraid to use it.

And that brings me to the larger issue at hand. Until very recently, I've always thought that having a loaded gun in the house is a very, very bad idea. Jeremy went through a brief phase a couple of years ago where he read up on gun laws (The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide: Who Can Bear Arms, Where are Guns Forbidden, and When Can You Shoot to Kill? I'm not kidding), but it never amounted to anything.

I am still against having a loaded gun in the house. A gun in one secure place, ammunition in another secure place, whatever. But what good would that do you in a situation such as the one described in the article? And yet I just can't reconcile keeping a lethal weapon relatively accessible in a home where there are also small children. Because it would have to be relatively accessible to be of any use against the type of crime we're talking about.

I realize, of course, that it doesn't always turn out so perfectly. I think this particular U of A student was lucky to escape from the whole ordeal entirely uninjured. I hope that in time, he will be able to recover from such a harrowing experience. I also hope he realizes that basically the entire city of Tucson is behind him and approves of his actions, at least according to the comments on the news stories (but maybe right-wing NRA-types are more likely to populate internet newspaper article discussions...?).

In the meantime, I guess we have our baseball bat, stashed beneath our bed, always at the ready.


Jeanerbee said...

I grew up with loaded guns in the house - my dad's a cop. We just knew not to touch it and really were never curious to - he did take us shooting once in a while so maybe it satisfied our curiosity. My mom kept one in her nightstand/under her pillow for protection since my dad worked a lot of nights away from home... and she was a paranoid cop's wife, lol. That being said, we don't have one and I have the same worries about little ones getting into one if we had it.... plus you really should have some decent training if you are going to keep one so you actually know how to use it and not get it used on you if the situation ever arose. Lots of idiots own guns...

Liz Johnson said...

I'm with you - no loaded guns in the house. I have a cousin that was accidentally killed by people "merely being curious" with their dad's gun that was in the house. They didn't even mean to pull the trigger. So yeah... I have personal issues with that whole issue.

All in all, what a crappy situation. I really wish we didn't have to worry or think about stuff like this.

Crys said...

What do you mean not harmed...he killed two people...I can't imagine that isn't going to leave some type of damage even if that is probably better then the alternative of ending up dead because of a home invasion. Really Bridget it is time to move. Every time something new like this happens do you start pushing Jeremy a little more on the whole graduation thing? Anyway so here is my gun thing. We grew up with a gun loving dad/gun hating mom. Our dad used to run guns to Mexico where they are illegal. Yes he thought he was part of the Mexican Mafia. When I was eighteen he tried to give me a handgun along with a car for my birthday. I said, "What the heck am I suppose to do with that." Luckily he put it away and just filled my trunk with a really nice emergency kit. (Dad is military). My mom on the other hand wouldn't even let us have play guns. Our water pistols would magically disappear and we most definitely were not allowed to point anything weapon like at each other. Of course we did it every chance we got away from her. So now I'm married to a guy who likes to shot and loves to hunt. He actually owns a rifle that sits at his parent house because I've said, "What the heck are we going to do with that?" Of course I say the same thing every time he drags another book home as well. But here is my problem. One I have a temper problem and I think if I was packing I'd probably shot someone...I mean really did we need to add a gun into the whole neighbor dispute. Two when Jason's sister was three years old she shot his dad in the head. He lived but not without permanent personality changes. He worked nights and she had one in the night stand for protection. One day he came home, went to bed, and the three year old came in to play. She found the gun and that was that. Twenty years later she still feels guilty. So sad!

Scotty P said...

It's a tough call. I see good arguments on both sides. On the one hand, a baseball bat may not (probably won't) provide much protection should an intruder enter the home. Particularly if there are multiple intruders. Who knows what could have happened to that U of A student had he not had a gun.

On the other hand, you've got the risks of owning a gun. I've never owned a gun, but, sheesh, it sounds like Tucson is a dirtbag-infested hole. I can't say that I would actually purchase one if I lived there, but I would be sorely tempted to. You could always sell it once you move.

I guess the question is, are the risks of owning a gun ever outweighed by other factors (e.g., the area in which you live)? I think a gun is unnecessary in most areas of the country, and maybe everywhere.

Maybe you could get a taser. Just don't let Jeremy bring it home for the holidays because I know he wouldn't hesitate to use it on me.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

If the incident happened the way the student said it did, he is to be pitied in finding himself in a no-win situation like that. Wish the criminals would learn one thing from this incident--they're involved in a dangerous profession & just might end up being the "victim" instead of victimizing someone else.


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