There have been a few shootings in Denver lately. In one incident, two cars were firing at each other, and a bullet hit an eight-year-old girl playing nearby. She'll live, fortunately. The police caught the shooter, and a local TV station interviewed him in jail, where he's all weepy and remorseful, explaining to us that it wasn't intentional, that he would never have shot at a little girl. He, his girlfriend, and their eight-month-old daughter had been in a nearby park when he got into an argument with some men, one of whom is his cousin. He, his girlfriend, and their daughter left, but as they were getting ready to drive away, his cousin pulled up beside them.
"And he pulled out a gun," the weepy perp told the camera, mimicking putting his hand in his pocket and pulling out a gun. "Like this! So what was I supposed to do? I had to protect my family. I had my little girl in the back seat. I couldn't just pull over and let him shoot at me. So I pulled out my gun." Mimicks pulling gun from pocket, pointing it. "I put it out the window and went bam, bam, bam, just like that." Bursts into tears again. "I didn't mean to hurt the little girl! It wasn't intentional! I'd never do that!" He was just trying to kill a grownup, which would have been okay.
Libertarians like to say that an armed society is a polite society, quoting one of their heroes, Robert H. Heinlein. Noooo. An armed society is a society splashed with blood, littered with corpses, and filled with broken hearts.
In my ideal society, neither of those men would have had a gun. And each of them would have had a vasectomy.
Update: On the way to work this morning (Thursday, 6/26), I saw a local paper in a vending box with a headline reading that the shooter in the above story has a felony (conviction?) and therefore should not have been able to get a gun. This illustrates a whole separate problem. We need to agree on what laws to have, but they also have to be enforced; gun control laws seem to be particularly susceptible to not being enforced.
Update 2: This evening (also Thursday), there was a story about a local one-car accident. The car rolled multiple times, for some reason. The driver was thrown out and severely injured. But the car then rolled into the path of a freight train and was smooshed. So if he had been wearing his seatbelt, he'd have been smooshed too! From which we conclude that drivers shouldn't wear seatbelts, right? No. We conclude that that driver was a very, very lucky idiot. The relevance is that whenever someone does defend himself against bad guys with a handgun, certain types say that that shows that handguns are the best defense for the individual, and never mind the far greater number of innocents who get killed by idiots or bad guys with guns. I call that the Adolescent Red Dawn Fantasy Bullshit argument.