Mississippi gun store shootout reaffirms our faith in humanity

Okay, I’m a few days late with this one, but it’s so interesting and its implications so profound that it’s taken me some time to fully digest it.

On Saturday, a father and son entered a gun store in Mississippi to pick up a firearm they’d left for repair. When presented with a bill for $25, the two began arguing with the store owner and his son. No one is quite sure what happened next, but somehow the argument turned violent, and both sides shot at the other. The episode ended with the gun store owner and his son dead and the customer and his son in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking. This pretty much proves the argument that arming people reduces crime and people should be encouraged to carry guns like the students at Liberty, the world’s largest Christian university (and as of today, officially a supporter of the god-fearing evangelical Donald Trump). I mean, what if the customer and his son hadn’t been armed? Why, it’s certainly possible that they’d have been forced at gunpoint to pay the $25 bill and thrown out onto the street angry and embarrassed. Instead, because they were able to defend themselves, they are now able to hold their heads high, or would be were it not for all those tubes coming out of their bodies, and will have the respect of the whole yard while they spend the rest of their lives in prison for murder.

Sure, they got shot, too. But the truth is that gun ownership is risky business. According to Wikipedia, in 2013 there were about 33,000 deaths by guns in the U.S. Of those, 2/3 were either suicide or accident, e.g., like the incident in a Hayden, Idaho WalMart where a two year-old sovereign citizen shot his mom with the gun from her purse.

1/3 were the result of homicide. According to the Bureau of Justice, about 60% of violent crimes are committed by non-strangers and only 40% by strangers. So it’s a fairly safe conclusion that most homicides with guns are against people who live with people who have guns, not unarmed strangers. Although gun-hating liberals whine about guns a lot, the truth is they’re not the ones at risk. Fact is it’s dangerous to own a gun and it’s dangerous to live with someone who owns a gun (and for that matter, it appears it’s dangerous to hang out in gun shops, but I digress). Add it up—that implies a whopping 84% of gun deaths were of gun owners or their friends and family.

But there’s more to this story than just proving the value of owning and carrying guns. This is also a blow against libtards who lump racists and gun owners into one single, homogeneous group. True, what we see on the news are stories of old white men shooting unarmed young black men, but this proves that old white men are just as happy to shoot other old white men and armed young white men. These Mississippi men didn’t make judgments based on the color of each other’s skin. They knew that inside that center mass beat the same red heart as theirs, regardless of the color of the skin on the outside.

It’s this sort of story that reaffirms one’s faith in humanity.

9 replies »

  1. This wouldn’t have happened if the store owner had a gun.

    No, wait. That’s not right. Let me try again.

    The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

    Fuck it. I give up.

  2. Disregarding generalizations formulated from a singular event I would think antigunners would be pleased with this incident. As Guy Saperstein said, “This would be the best way to end the gun control issue: have all the gun owners kill each other.”

    Fortunately most gun owners aren’t blood thirsty maniacs. And a sad day for the gun store owner’s wife. By local accounts the father and son were well liked and respected in the community. Not much color on the desperado customers yet but I suspect they represent a radical fringe that none of us would approve of.

    In the end this story says as much or more about Southern honor culture than it does gun culture.

    • Since you wrote a serious response to my not-so-serious post, I’ll give a serious reply. Not sure it’s Southern honor culture. I think it’s a little more complicated than that, although as Sam said, it’s connected. I think if anything, it’s primarily tribal–white, evangelical, rural-ish males (and black urban young males, too, btw) feeling that the world is closing in on them. Guns are an unfortunate outlet for their frustration. Their paranoia is being deliberately aggravated and encouraged by a predatory media.

      I own three guns and never touch them. I have many guests, who don’t own guns, who are fascinated by them and spend all day out back shooting cans. In short, some people like guns and some don’t. There’s nothing particularly wrong with owning guns. However, the number of guns in the US has doubled in the last ten years while the number of gun owning households has fallen. That’s because the average number of guns has gone from 4 per household to 8. Guns have gone from being a tool or source of enjoyment to a lifestyle, and it’s not a good thing.

      This is not completely new by the way. Read the bit in Roughing It by Mark Twain about Va. City. It was the same thing then, which is why gun laws came into being in the first place.

  3. Ah come on, aren’t you guys going to jump my bones over the logical inconsistency of over generalizing my disregard of over generalizations? What the hell man?

    Back on topic, I do agree Otherwise and Sam. This story is one weird fucking amalgamation of commerce gone wrong, blood lust, and insanity. I guess 25 bucks is 25 bucks but dayum!

  4. You got me thinking Otherwise, thank you. While I suspect there’s some common ground between us I also know we’ll never agree on this subject in totality. Might as well be arguing god or abortion, there’s just too much emotional investment on all sides.

    I do question your “more guns fewer gun owners” statement though. I assume the basis is the General Social Survey and while you report the polling numbers accurately I don’t believe you’re allowing for the squishiness of the data. How many people answer stigmatic questions truthfully?

    If the data is true, why the proliferation of new shooting ranges and gun clubs?

    If gun ownership is fringe activity supported by primarily white male christians why are so many young people, women, and people of color taking up the sport?

    Just a little counterpoint for the conversation. Have a fine Friday!

  5. Actually, I have change my position on abortion on what I think are unemotional arguments, but as the research has shown, often decisions are driven by emotion and the consciousness just comes along later and mops up the mess with constructed logic, so who knows?

    While I agree with you that surveys about things like gun ownership may need to be taken with a grain of salt–I certainly see why people would underreport–I still suspect gun ownership per household continues to increase. I know anecdotally that whenever I’m at a gun counter, which has happened more than I’d like because the shelves have been empty of 22 ammo for three years because of hoarders buying up all the stock as soon as it comes in, the guys buying guns are obviously gun owners. My guess is it’s like most things–80/20–a few people own a lot of guns.

    Still, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if some segments that traditionally didn’t own guns are starting to, e.g., women and black middle class. I do think it possible that the combination of fear mongering by the media and an effective marketing campaign by the NRA et al has encouraged some people to try shooting who might otherwise not have, and it’s entirely plausible that some of them found they liked it. While there’s obviously an overlap between gun ownership and shooting, it’s surely not 100%. Many people just like guns and have no intention of shooting anyone or anything.

    Having said all that, the NRA and the gun lobby are very, very adept at sponsoring friendly research and planting stories. So while it certainly sounds plausible to, like everything connected with this argument on both sides, I’m wary that it’s much of a trend.

    (And of course you’re right. The Miss. story is so bizarre that it’s impossible to really take any lesson from it. At least with things like Sandy Hook you can tease out something that makes sense: You probably shouldn’t stockpile unsecured guns in a home with a paranoid schizophrenic. But other times, like this one, it’s hard to make any sense of it at all. It’s a lottery ticket event.)

  6. I don’t disagree about the number of firearms per gun owning household increasing Otherwise. I don’t know what else to call it besides hoarding, same with ammunition.

    One of my disappointments as I age is seeing our society go from not trusting the military (I was a young Marine in the early 70’s) to this ultra nationalist Rah Rah Tacticool love of all things martial. Mix that with some xenophobia and manifest destiny and we have arrived at some strange and scary brew indeed!

    But enough of that. Here’s a link to some reasonably priced 40 grain .22 ammo. Avoid the 36 grain truncated projectile stuff, it doesn’t feed very well in some semi-autos.

    Nice talking with you friend.