Guest post from Nate Winchester:
The following is a true story*.
Where I grew up is on the border of rural and suburban (subural? rurban?). A little less than a mile from that house is a neighbor, we'll call 'Ed.' He's an older fellow, the spitting image of what pops into your head when you picture "old farm boy." Yeah, a walking cliché of "rough around the edges."
This road I grew up on is one surrounded by farm lands behind and around all the houses lining it. Some of the farms hold crops, others livestock. One day, a bull owned by another neighbor escaped from his field and attacked Ed who was working outside in his yard. Now, if you're pretty citified, the most exposure you've had to bulls is probably the Spanish fighting ring and rodeos. You might even believe the clowns of the latter are more of a threat than a walking steak. So let me explain how a bull attacks someone: the one ton plus animal likes to body slam its target, which will knock said target to the ground nine times out of ten. Once the target is on the ground, the bull proceeds to continue to ram its head, body and front hooves into the target over and over and over until the target has no more bones. Needless to say, it takes awhile and is fatal.
Luckily for Ed (well, as much luck as he could have after somehow getting a bull mad at him**) a bull attack isn't exactly silent and several neighbors heard what was happening and came running to help. From what I understand, they started shooting the bull. It wouldn't stop. Neighbors had to keep escalating firepower before they were finally able to stop the beast. If I heard correctly, they started with a pistol, then tried a shotgun, finally someone had to use a high-powered rifle and even that took more than one shot.
Now this story does have a happy ending. Although it was iffy for awhile, Ed ended up recovering and after a long stay in the hospital, is now back home (it helps that decades of hard work have made the guy too tough to die). So what was the point of this story? Only as an answer to those who want to ask "what do you need ___ for?" when it comes to the gun control debate. What do you need "assault weapons" for? Because less firepower only makes the bull mad. Why do you need a greater than 10 bullet magazine? Because those first shots may not slow the bull down.
I will be honest here. Had gun legislation gone through and kept weapons out of the hands of Ed's family & neighbors, do I think the supporters of such legislation would have wanted Ed to die? Of course not! That's why such things are called unintended consequences. Because nobody intends them. Heck, during the entire gun legislation debate, I never even considered such a scenario as an argument for the gun rights side. In a country of millions, none of us have any hope to realize every possible scenario on how a law will affect one of those millions.
Thus we should all approach law with humility and the realization that there will be unseen costs to our actions. If we are not willing to pay them, then we should reconsider.
*I hate to make a claim without some evidence (especially with all the hoaxes that happen on the internet) but after a lot of searching, I never could find a local news article covering the incident. I also know how some people can be outright assholes when it comes to people challenging their notions so I'm not giving any more details to allow jerks a chance to harass Ed. (Though do you really want to mess with a guy who survived a bull?) If you're with a legitimate news organization and would like to verify the story, talk to Hube.
**To this day, nobody knows why the bull hated him so much. Sometimes you just get a nemesis.Posted by Hube at September 16, 2013 06:25 PM | TrackBack