Do you own a fire extinguisher? (Gun essay)


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Shadan7
June 10, 2006, 11:54 AM
Hey all,

This got mentioned in passing in a thread yesterday, but I thought I would post it here. It's an essay I wrote about a month ago aimed at those in the general public who are unknowledgeable or slightly anti-gun. It was posted on a couple of other forums at the time, but I wasn't registered here yet - if someone else cross-posted it here and I missed it, my apologies for the duplicate thread. If anyone wants to use it, or cross-post it elsewhere, please feel free (I'd appreciate credit for it).

Hope you enjoy it. I won't be around much to respond to comments today, but will try and check in later.

7

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Do you own a fire extinguisher? Why?


Do you own a fire extinguisher? Why? Are you expecting a fire? Or do you have some sort of left-over juvenile desire to play fireman, a private macho image of rushing into a burning building to save a child? Don’t you know that improperly used, a fire extinguisher can be dangerous to yourself and others? And there have been “studies” done that show people who own fire extinguishers are actually more careless with fire risks, thinking that they’ll always be able to resort to their fire extinguisher to solve the problem. Besides, firefighters are always right there when you need them, and can put out any fire for you, so there's no point in having your own fire extinguisher.

How about an emergency first-aid kit? Do you have one of those? Why? Are you expecting to injure yourself? Or do you have some sort of left-over juvenile desire to play doctor, a private macho image of saving someone from bleeding to death with an improvised tourniquet? Don’t you know that improperly used, medical supplies and equipment can be dangerous to yourself and others? And there have been “studies” done that show people who own first-aid kits are actually more careless in general, thinking that they’ll always be able to resort to their medical supplies to repair any injury they sustain. Besides, Emergency Medical Technicians or doctors are always right there when you need them, and can instantly patch you up if you get injured, so there's no point in having your own first-aid kit.

Are these responses to being prepared absurd? Yeah. But they are exactly the sorts of responses I get when people find out I have a permit for carrying a concealed weapon, and generally carry a pistol whenever and wherever I can legally do so. And my experience is not at all unusual - most gun owners encounter the same sort of reaction from non-gun owners. We’re asked if we’re expecting to have a shoot-out in the supermarket. We’re asked if we have some childish fantasy about playing cops & robbers. We’re told that if we want to play with guns and shoot people that we should join the military. We’re confronted with facts that guns are inherently dangerous to ourselves and others, and that “studies” have shown that owning a gun makes it more likely that we will behave in such a fashion as to need to resort to using one to get us out of a dangerous situation. And besides, there’s always a cop around when you need one, just to protect you, so there’s no need to have a weapon for self defense.

Are there gun owners who think that carrying a weapon makes them invincible, and they therefore go around with a chip on their shoulder, putting themselves in dangerous situations thinking that they can always whip out their pistol and escape? Yeah, probably. But that is no more the typical mindset of a gun owner than is the notion that someone who owns a fire extinguisher is going to be careless with fire risks. Are guns inherently dangerous, and if used improperly present a threat to the owner and anyone else in the vicinity? Definitely. Which is why anyone who carries a weapon has a responsibility (usually mandated by law in the state which issued their concealed carry permit) to know how to safely handle and use a firearm, how to safely store it, and when it can be legally used in defense of self or another. And are there gun owners who think that they’re some kind of auxiliary police force, ready to jump in and right any criminal wrong they see being committed? Yup. In fact, a lot of people who legally carry a firearm do so precisely because there are situations where intervening could save the life of a loved one, a friend or even a stranger. But that doesn’t mean that they are wanna-be cops. Rather, they’re just trying to help contribute to their own safety and the safety of others. The police, firefighters and EMTs can’t be everywhere. We do have a responsibility to protect ourselves, to make prudent preparations in the event of an unexpected turn of events. That means having a fire extinguisher handy in case of a fire. It means having a first aid kit, and knowing some basic medical skills for dealing with an emergency. And for me it means having a gun available as a tool for self protection. Your level of comfort with how you are prepared for what situations may well be different, but that does not mean that my decision, and the decision of millions of other Americans, to legally and safely carry a concealed weapon is wrong or paranoid.

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Cromlech
June 10, 2006, 01:00 PM
That's rather good, nice work. I may quote you on it in the future, but I will make sure I credit you for it!

Art Eatman
June 10, 2006, 01:12 PM
Quite good! Similar to my usae of no house fires, no property-owner lawsuits, no major car wrecks--but I've always carried insurance. A self-defense weapon is just another form of insurance agains harm from an unlikely event. (The advantage is that the premium is not an ongoing cost.)

:), Art

atlctyslkr
June 10, 2006, 01:27 PM
I've always thought of my carry piece as a fire extinguisher of sorts. Just having it may stop a fire from starting in the first place!

sm
June 10, 2006, 01:36 PM
Very Nice!

Some may recall *somebody* around here put a gun lock on a fire extinguisher, and then asked an anti-gun person to put out a simulated trash can fire.

Insurance is good, does not need "restricting".

Shadan7
June 10, 2006, 01:59 PM
Gun lock on a fire extinguisher...I like that. Very instructive. I'm going to have to steal that one...thanks!

7

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