I've seen a number of articles smearing gun owners, and a particularly wrong-headed article about why people carry guns. That's where I'll start today.
Chief Ken James of somewhere in CA (sorry, I couldn't find exactly what PD he runs) says that people carry guns to "intimidate and show power". Really? After reading that, two things were stuck in my mind. First, was "this man must have literally NO penis at all". Second was a great song by King Missile.
There are a few problems with the Chief's assertion. First, most lawfully armed citizens choose to carry concealed rather than carry openly. If people can't see my penis...er...gun...then how will I intimidate them and show power?
Second, the gun is the very last step in most people's minds. My friends and I generally have several steps, or layers of security before it becomes time for a gun. Iowa has a VERY low crime rate, and places with higher crime rates *cough* East Des Moines *cough* are places we try to stay away from. Also, most violent crimes occur between 10p.m. and 5a.m., so I try not to be out that late. It helps that I generally get up for work at 4a.m., so by 8:30p.m., I'm completely exhausted. It also really helps your odds if you don't consume alcohol in public--and stay away from bars and nightclubs. I'm too old for that shit anyway.
Third, a gun is just a gun. Any personification you invest in a gun is more a reflection of your psychology than any meaningful analysis of how an inanimate object feels or acts. If you think guns are for intimidation or for power, it probably means your gentleman's region is very, very small. It could also mean that you feel fearful and helpless and probably need a hug.
So how about turning that Freudian analysis back on me? Well, I think a gun is just a gun. It is a tool, something along the lines of a spare tire or a first-aid kit. it is something I carry in case of emergency. I don't go to town hoping I get to change a tire alongside the highway, or place a tourniquet on an arterial wound. I carry a gun (and a spare tire, and a first-aid kit) because I live in reality. In reality, bad things happen and we usually don't know when or where. I would be perfectly happy if I lived the rest of my life without having to fire another shot in anger, or having to change a tire in the pouring rain alongside I-35, or treat a severe wound. I'm not concerned with "showing power", and I have no desire to "intimidate" anyone.