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Most gun owners are responsible

By Ben Tanner
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 10, 2000
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To the editor,

I am writing this letter in response to Zack Armstrong's commentary "Keeping the Redcoats at Bay." In his letter, he sarcastically discusses the importance of firearms in situations such as pest control, solving traffic disputes, and even freedom of speech in an attempt to undermine the value of personal ownership of guns.

Unfortunately for all of us, his letter is a subtle reminder that a large percentage of American citizens consider guns to be merely "penis extensions" for the insecure or dangerous little toys that should be taken away from reckless children. There is a small fraction of irresponsible gun owners - I understand. But personal firearm ownership is actually more important to Zack than he knows.

Guns are powerful. Guns are deadly. So let us imagine a situation in which an armed government wished to strip some basic freedoms from its people. Hypothetically speaking of course, let's say that the federal government is getting a little reluctant to spend so much money on ONDCP and a Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads (drug control propaganda), only to have citizens publicly advocate the merits of smoking the occasional joint. Let's imagine that it instates a 30 year prison term for public opposition to federal drug policy. That seems reasonable - that seems deterrent - that seems in-line with recent federal legislation.

The only thing standing in the way of such infringement on personal freedom would be the gun-owning man or woman who they must quietly take to prison - the same citizen that Mr. Armstrong characterizes as a trigger-happy, pigeon-shooting, ignorant ruffian in his insipid article. Oh so suddenly we can see the importance of the silent majority of gun-owning citizens. And yes, in this hypothetical situation, I'm suggesting that the gun-owning citizens use their firearms to defend themselves against the police officers who attempt to take away their freedom of public speech, with the application of lethal force if required by the situation. For what purpose would this hypothetical government seek to disarm its law-abiding citizenry, other than to gain control over them?

Zack may say "But my democratic vote makes me powerful!" But he will be wrong, as seen when voters in our own great state of Arizona were denied the use of medical marijuana after a majority vote in favor of the drug. "Medical marijuana isn't good for you." Janet Reno would say. And we'd all stand in line, forced to believe in the lie, gunless and powerless.

Ben Tanner

MCB junior

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