God's Plan And I don't know exactly what to say to that. I'm afraid, "Good for you," would sound sarcastic at this point in the discussion. To the other, "That's your business," true as it may be, sounds even worse. It's not that I don't care, but part of that is the idea that it's your life and, well, how many details of your life are mine to care about. The wishy-washy zone goes on and on, as I'm sure you can imagine. What about the idea of mandatory licensing and testing to use any firearm? As in, "not just the concealed weapons"? There is also the anecdotal communication I received from a friend--as in, he looked into it, I didn't--many years ago that it was easier in Oregon to get a concealed weapons permit for a gun than a knife. The circumstances explained to me made it sound rather quite impossible to make the knife I carried at the time legal. If you've ever encountered my occasional that police are more afraid of knives than guns, or the anecdote that explains that point, this is the backstory. Sorry it wasn't so easy to just say, "Congratulations". I would like to focus for a moment on the phrase, "to a person properly using their weapon": - What does this phrase mean? I would actually like to agree that "a person properly using their weapon" is of no risk to me. But do you recall those examples I've listed about "responsible gun owners" who, well, behave badly? That's the point: they see themselves as "properly using their weapons". Additionally, I'm not sure how to take the apparent juxtaposition of "properly" and "criminal". There are plenty of circumstances insurance could be good for: what if you shoot the wrong person, or shoot a person accidentally? Even gun control point #4 (which plan does not include mandatory insurance) doesn't go so far in its assignation of absolute responsibility to the shooter as does the opposition of proper and criminal. So the guy in Texas who shot through a closed door and killed a student who was attempting to ask directions was acquitted of any crime by a jury. Good for him. But there is something amiss about the "shoot first, ask questions never, or later if you're a bad shot" mentality. There seems to be a middle ground that would be good to have insurance for just in case the unfortunate target survives long enough to sue you. An interesting suggestion. See the next section for further considerations: Why explosives? How does your reading of the Second Amendment justify that abridgment of rights? Oh, and I did read the bit about "individual hazard". Cute, but it doesn't work. It seems to me that if the point of an automatic weapon is about individual targets, you're wasting ammunition and creating secondary hazards. You're right. The sex industry was dangerous once. Coming out of a grocery store in Eugene, Oregon, we were accosted by a drunk and had to restrain a friend from getting in a fight. He had a prior for mutual assault, and we didn't think it worth it for our buddy to go back to jail over a loudmouthed drunk. Oh, yeah, the sex industry? We were on our way to a strip club at the time. I suppose it would have felt safer if I'd had a gun and just shot the bastard. Of course, and our buddy. Because he was scary-pissed off for a while. I remember one time a pot dealer in Salem, Oregon, revealed that he was packing heat. Want to know how to avoid violence in the drug subculture? One important step is to simply make a note that he's packing, and never buy from him. Anyone who has to establish the appearance of danger up front is not someone to trust when there's a bogus war afoot. The greatest danger I've faced over the years seems consistently to be wearing official badges. And I'm not about to start shooting cops. Even if I thought it a good idea to keep a gun around. The point being that whatever difficulty you have accepting the idea that in my years associating to various degrees with two statistically dangerous subsections of society a gun would have been of use exactly zero times is your own problem. That's why I raised the point in the first place. In the first place, it is inevitable that those who choose to carry firearms for defense carry their fears closer to the surface than those who choose not to. But what I can't understand is how it is that all these "responsible gun owners" find life in law-abiding America so damnably more frightening and dangerous than the drug subculture. I can even go so far as to use the phrase "international drug trade", but making any special point of that circumstance would be exaggerating its influence. Of course, I didn't write the law that classifies my proximity as active participation. (What? I live in the Seattle area; we get some good dope down from our lovely neighbors in B.C., and I thank 'em kindly.) There are reasons I find the American gun culture creepy and bizarre. Consider one of the reasons punks have always been outsiders, even when punk was vogue. When people found them distasteful, the punks gave folks the finger. There is no subcultural wonder so pathetic as a self-proclaimed punk blubbering about, "Why doesn't anybody like me?" (That's what goths are for, damn it.) So as the gun debate continues, here's part of the problem: The gun advocacy voice employs the politics of fear. So does the control side, but that's another issue. The problem is when life doesn't scare somebody to the same degree. After a while, with so many go-rounds of the rhetoric that the words lose meaning, the gun advocates start to seem like these quivering, frustrated twits who think that just because they're scared of their own shadow, so should everyone be afraid of themselves. The compensation is a machismo so heavy on the cheese that we're all amazed. Yes. It's strange and creepy, and just a little scary the way any appearance of psychiatric instability can put people off. See, because not only do you seem strange and creepy, but, as you've reminded us, you're armed. Most of the strange and creepy people I encounter aren't packing guns. But here's the thing: despite all the bluster and condemnation and machismo, people are somehow being unfair when they point out the bluster, condemnation, and machismo? It's kind of like watching the punk who needs to dye his 'hawk jet black, let it hang over his face, and start buying Bauhaus albums and door-size posters of The Cure. Stop, please, for at least a moment, calling bullshit at everything that confuses you. I'm just asking you to think about the idea that, while I can't keep a straight face while asserting that the drug and sex subcultures are somehow safer than law-abiding Americans, the comparison does suggest something about how people see the world. Some people perceive enough threats to flash their guns; some shoot through closed doors; and some don't even carry guns. And, yes, there are plenty of degrees between and about. I suppose I should consider myself lucky, though. I can't imagine what it would be like to see the world as such a frightening place. I wonder if I can blame the fear on Original Sin?