Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.
Imagine you are a professional violinist or even a skilled amateur with professional training. One day a friend or acquaintance approaches you. They ask to borrow a violin. You know that this person does not know how to play a violin, they’ve never even held one. They explain to you that there is an important concert tonight and they may be expected to perform. If they don’t do well, their whole life will change for the worst. Perhaps very badly so. Obviously it would be no problem to borrow one of yours, perhaps one of the better ones of course. Certainly you would be willing to help someone in their time of need.
It should be pretty obvious that lending them a violin would not help them and likely be bad for you. If they attempt to use the instrument they will only look more foolish then they already are and there is a pretty good chance that your violin may be damaged, possibly even lost or never returned. Who in their right mind would lend an instrument for such a situation. I would not, would you? Yet people ask to borrow guns.
Yup, ‘I don’t like the looks of the new guy next door’, ‘I was threatened by my ex-whatever’, ‘Rioting is getting closer’, ‘ If things get bad I’ll just use one of yours’ and on and on. A gun is an instrument of deadly force, even if some specific gun was intended only for recreation. Using guns requires knowledge and skill. Not just technical knowledge of the ‘How to do it’ but the knowledge of how to avoid unnecessary harm or damage from accidents. The use of a gun for defense requires a different addition set of knowledge.
When’s the last time someone asked to borrow your car? I’ll bet that each of us knows a good number of people to whom we would lend our car if there was some emergency but that we also know people to whom we would never lend it. What if the person asking to borrow your car might know how to drive, that is, how to operate it, but had no idea what the road signs meant, which side of the road to drive on, speed limits, or even what stop lights and stop signs meant? Yet people who have never even touched a gun assume that in an emergency they could use one just fine, and they have no clue whatsoever about the legalities involved. Regrettably, this also applies to those people who bought a gun for ‘Just in case’ and it’s been in the closet for the last 10 years.
Don’t be one of these people. If, no, not if, when you encounter them, gently attempt to educate, though often their resistance to education, truth, and facts is extreme. And, please, examine your own level of preparedness.