Dead Santa

Sam Harris discusses firearms as a viable defensive choice in 21st century America in his post on Jan 3 2013.

Some background: I too enjoy shooting sports and have been trained and licensed in the legal use of handguns for self defense. That said, I believe Sam Harris overreaches in his promotion of lethal force as deterrence to violence, in his most recent writing. Still, his is a more honest discussion than many editorials on either side of the issue, following the various national calamities of gun play, and deserves a read.

Mr. Harris’ comments reflect his experience with death threats precipitated by his controversial publications. Sam cannot be blamed for arming-up in response to bad intentions pointed his way — yet projecting a similar need among others, who live a less notorious life-style, strikes me as excessive.

I particularly question his dismissal of efforts to ban high capacity magazines. Equating multiple lo-cap magazines as equal in force to hi-cap single fill clips, begs the question. He seems to allow unbalanced killers the calm to dexterously swap cartridge clips — while suffering within a blinding craze of destruction. And speaking for the well-armed citizen, what would be a thoughtful situation demanding a hi-capacity response? A wild Indian raid? Perhaps a Zombie attack? Where outside of actual warfare, does massive fire power following a pull of a trigger, offer other than liability to innocent bystanders.

While Sam offers statistics which purport a relative low-risk from death-by-lunatic, he oddly follows this conclusion with an argument in favor of the introduction of weapons in schools as a deterrence from attacks by madmen. Before we implement such defensive protocol, perhaps we could talk to a few seasoned teachers, who confront teenage angst daily. Let’s see if they favor introducing lethal alternatives into the soup of childhood hormones. Not likely, and certainly not conducive to a calm learning environment.

I begin to wonder whether controversy is the goal rather than the byproduct of Sam Harris’ brilliant essays.

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