I grew up in a steel town. A dying steel town. I wouldn’t have called the area I grew up as “rough” but no one would describe it as “privileged”.
In my high school, there was a group of 5 jocks who would go around beating up “nerds”. One of my friends came in one day with two black eyes and his face incredibly swollen up. He had been “chosen”.
One afternoon, while leaving my advanced math class, I was punched in the back of the head. I fell to the ground and turned around and saw the 5 jocks. I was, relative to them, tiny. I looked over and saw a teacher who made eye contact with me and simply went into his classroom. No one was going to intervene.
When they approached, I pulled out of my bag my pocket knife. In an instant I jumped to the lead and put it to his throat and asked him if he wanted to die? In the chaos, I pushed it hard enough into his throat to make him bleed. I chose not to be a victim. I chose not to allow these thugs to beat my brains in. They backed away and then, finally, a teacher intervened.
I got suspended. So did they. The guy I put the knife to would, years later, be sentenced to life in prison for murder. As far as I know, he’s still in prison.
To this day, even at class reunions, most of my classmates know me as the guy who stabbed someone.
So what does this have to do with guns?
Just like my knife evened the playing field with the thugs who attacked me in high school, guns are the best tool we have for leveling the playing field. Every few weeks I get an email, call or message from someone who either makes an outright threat or an implied threat towards me and my family. I have had pictures of my home posted on the Internet with my address with the caption “someone should go to his house and teach him a lesson”.
In a world without guns, there would be nothing stopping thugs from breaking into my house and threatening my family. Maybe you, reader, have no cause for concern personally. Count yourself lucky. I choose to exercise my freedom of speech online and engage in free enterprise and there are those out there who passionately, sometimes violently oppose me or my existence.
If you’ve never had to deal with a crazy person, then, again, I am happy for you. But I can assure you, they are out there. And when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.