Okay, I'm having a discussion online and have run into the anti-gun crowd, as often happens. I want to lay out a line of debate here, bear with me.
Let's divide the room into two groups: If you cannot conceive of yourself ever using deadly violence against another human being for any reason, even in defense of your life or that of your family, go stand over there by the door.
If you would would be willing to take out somebody offering dire threat to yourself or loved ones, then step over there, by the bleachers.
Good. Those of you by the door? Use it. Even Gandhi allowed there were times when he'd choose violence over the alternative, and it's obvious that if you wouldn't step up to knock somebody down threatening your child, we are done talking about this. I have nothing more to say to you.
Now, those of you who would do what it takes to do the job, let's subdivide you into two groups: A) Those who would use whichever tool came to hand–rock, stick, knife, gun, SCUD missile–to stop the bad guys, and B) those who have scruples that won't allow them to use a gun.
Okay, those you who chose option A, have a seat there in the bleachers, you can stay and watch.
The rest of you who wouldn't use a gun, why not?
There's an old joke. Guy talking to a good-looking woman. He says, "Would you sleep with me for ten million dollars?"
"Great. Would you sleep with me for a hundred bucks?"
"No! What you think I am!?"
"We've already determined what you are; now, we're just haggling over price."
If you are willing to kill somebody if the necessity arises, we've already determined what you are–and I'm right there with you–so now we're just haggling over the means.
Using the right tool for a job is a basic rule of efficient function. I mean, a guy with a gun is pounding on your door and about to kick it in, and his intent certainly seems potentially deadly to you and your family. Would reach for, say, a whisk? Maybe the newspaper? Or would you rather have a gun?
I know about martial arts. Empty-hands don't work real well against knives and guns. If they did, our armies would be marching bare-handed, and they've never done that; even the great apes will pick up a stick and whack something with it.
Call 911? Sure, but unless they have The Enterprise's transporters, they might not get there for a while. What to do until the Law comes?
There are a lot of reasons for not keeping a gun on hand, and I understand some of them. But what I don't understand is people who narrow down their choices so they don't really have any viable ones in such a situation. If somebody else has a rock, I want one. If they have a gun, I want to be able to shoot back. It's the option, you see. If you don't want it, that's fine, but why should I go there if I think it's not a good choice? I've owned guns for more than fifty years, never shot anybody, and with any luck, never will. But whatever else you might say about the NRA–an organization that certainly does have some blind spots–the slogan that "It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." makes sense to me.
So, if you are willing to use deadly violence in justifiable defense of your life and loved ones, maybe even the next door neighbor fighting off a rapist, then why would you handicap yourself as to the legal tools available to you?