Sero wrote:Actually, I don't see that. That is, that an inexperienced gun user is likely to somehow make a mistake with a gun and injure some innocent bystander if it's used for self-defense. Using a firearm for hunting or sport shooting when you don't know what you're doing? THEN you're likely to injure a bystander. But in self-defense, the person who's most likely to be harmed is the person using the gun, by not using it effectively. By missing or failing to take the safety off or some other mistake that renders their weapon far less effective and provokes a response with lethal force from whoever they just tried to defend themselves from. But I mean, the chances are against them hurting someone random if using it for self-defense. Oh, there are situations I could imagine it happening, but it doesn't seem likely to occur. Realistically, a bullet is pretty unlikely to hit anything that matters if you're not aiming at it. There are situations where that isn't true, but if someone breaks into your home, if you shoot at the home invader and miss, the odds are against you hitting someone else, in most situations.
Several things wrong with this statement:
First off, being a gun owner and knowing lots of gun owners (I could name 30-40 off the top of my head) I can tell you that we ALL take our firearms out to the range and practice with them. Target shooting is a fun and rewarding hobby, as it helps with stress relief, improves hand strength and hand/eye coordination, and usually allows for a social atmosphere that is conducive to positive thinking (if you are at a public range with other shooters) I have seen complete strangers offer advice and training for rookie shooters, simply because they saw someone struggling with something. Just like with any other hobby, if you enter into the social aspect of it, you will find mentors who are more than willing to teach and train you. If you choose not to get any training, and never fire your weapon, then you are not only disrespecting the firearm, but yourself.
Secondly, I was in Law Enforcement. I drilled twice a week at the range, and had bi-monthly live-fire training in tactical situations. The one and only time that I had to draw on a subject, I tunnel-visioned like crazy, and my hearing went away. But after the fact, I looked at the situation and realized that I had still maintained my line of fire, good sight profile, and good gun safety. This was after being on the job for less than a year, with a shorter academy than standard law enforcement. If you train yourself, or better yet, get trained by a professional, then you will still be safe, even in the supremely tense and frightening situation of self-defense.
Thirdly, a bullet is just a likely to hit something important as not. Maybe if you live way out in the country, a loose round won't hit another person. But in an urban or suburban setting? A 9mm handgun round has a maximum range of about 2km, but on a flat trajectory (shooting parallel to the ground, say, at an intruder) you're talking more about 300-400 yards. Look around your house, how many houses and/or families live in that range? What about pets? Other people's cars or possesions? Also, if the gun is pointed upwards, say, firing from a prone position, that range starts extending greatly. A 9mm will penetrate most house walls without much deceleration, and will still kill. So if you have to fire in self defense, you DO have to realize what is downrange of your weapon, know what your weapon's capabilities and range are, and do everything in your power to make sure that your rounds hit only what you intend them to.