“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Before SYG statutes were initiated, people drew guns as something of a last resort; to protect themselves, their family or property. I’d like to think that it was also because of our intuitive appreciation of human life.
Today the ordinary, private citizen is given carte blanche to pull a weapon and blaze away with questionable or little regard for the consequences knowing that the slant of the statute has their proverbial back.
In this manner, more times than not these days it’s as if we’re swatting flies with bazookas. Channeling Maslow, it becomes if they have a weapon, they will use it, under any and all possible circumstances. Judgment and restraint will no longer matter as we tread into dangerous territory where everyone is touchy, irritable and packing.
And that’s the dark side in all of this. Are we prepared for the people who will eagerly seek those chance encounters, possibly even manipulating them to a violent, one-sided conclusion? The sad and horrible truth is that some folks want to kill somebody and welcome the opportunity to do so under justice’s blind eye.
Guns, along with SYG, are becoming a definitive tool of conflict resolution. Forget talking out your differences or simply walking away. And you dare not get into a fistfight with someone. It could cost you your life.
It used to be that people settled their differences in a safe and relatively harmless way. Even if the disagreement or argument became heated and a fight broke out, more times than not the individuals involved would live to see another day.
It’s a memory we all need to reflect on as more incidents occur and go to trial. If we allow SYG to ignore the total human condition-things such as intent, temperament or rationale-before rendering judgment, guns will slowly, but ultimately, become the only tool in our arsenal of negotiation and the way we settle even the pettiest of squabbles.
We should ask ourselves, do we really want to become like that?