An Analogy

To Josh Sugarmann, Bryan Miller, and all the other gun control advocates out there who are using the murder of Meleanie Hain at the hands of her husband to make a point about guns and self-defense, let me offer you an analogy and turn the tables. If Paul Helmke were gunned down in a robbery in the District, would pro-gun people be assholes for pointing out that’s what happens when you don’t carry a firearm?  I would argue they absolutely would be, and would be just as indignant toward anyone on my side who suggested as much. I think most other prominent people in the RKBA movement would too. It would be no more illustrative of the notion that everyone needs a gun to protect themselves than the suggestion that Meleanie Hain’s case is illustrative of the fact that guns are just bad news.

But why is that? I think because we really don’t believe a gun is for everyone. It’s a matter of individual choice and circumstance as to how one chooses, or does not choose, to protect themselves. To the other side, guns are always the wrong solution, for everyone, everywhere, and in every situation, and that’s why you shouldn’t have one. But they don’t advocate the choice, they advocate compulsion.

22 thoughts on “An Analogy”

  1. Your comparison is invalid because Meleanie’s husband was required by his job to carry a gun. She was murdered by the very kind of person that we are constantly told are the “only ones” responsible enough to carry guns.

    Her political views and 2nd amendment stance were irrelevant to the fact that she was the victim of a murder at the hands of her husband (domestic violence) who was also an “only one”

  2. I think your analogy is perfectly valid, Sebastian. Great writeup.

  3. chris:

    He was not required. Parole Officers in Pennsylvania are LEOs for the purposes of carrying while on duty, but they are ordinary citizens outside of duty. In addition, parole officers are only allowed to carry while on duty if they complete the training requirement for police officers, which since Scott Hain was a corrections officer previously, he would have completed.

    It’s worthwhile to note he’s the kind of person who would have been allowed to have a gun even under strict gun control, but he is not in the least required by his job to have a gun.

  4. Tell us, Chris; why are the majority of tragic, senseless firearm deaths in this country male suicides?

    Could outreach towards men at risk of suicide have prevented this tragedy?

    Is it possible that Scott Hain committed this apparent murder-suicide because he was facing the unbearable horror of losing virtually all access to his children, just as has been done to so many other men in north america, and believed he had no other options?

  5. Acksolm:

    There is _nothing_ that can justify what Scott Hain did. Nothing. End to story. There is no debate on this. Murder is murder. That he offed himself just saved the state time and trouble.

  6. yeah…acksiom, and all that drug dealing and gang violence is because they can’t see their kids…because they forgot where they dumped their seed. Get real. There may be something to it…maybe, but it has no more to do with this then the clouds in Cleveland. Guys a guard or po (which is actually the case I’m not sure, seen both as the current job) married to a woman who carries a gun at a kids soccer game.

    Hmmm, tough one for a judge, but chances are his “only one” status would have landed him the kids, or at least joint custody.

    All that said, I can agree with Seb on one thing. Look at all the anti-gun folks with behavioral problems, I don’t want Helmke or ANY of the Brady bunch armed. That’s the kind of thing that would lead to blood in the streets. For real.

  7. Sebastian, could you please point out where and how in my comment I provided you with the impression that I mean any such thing?

    I know it’s entirely possible to ask serious questions about improving the prevention of such tragedies without giving the appearance of justifying them, because I’ve seen other people do it.

    Obviously, however, I have failed to communicate my viewpoint clearly, and I would appreciate some feedback to help me do better in that regard. I honestly don’t know what I did wrong to give you such a mistaken impression, so unless you assist me, I’m stuck, and have no idea how comment here again without giving similar offense.

  8. It kind of sounds to me like, if we had only understood Scott’s anger, he wouldn’t have murdered his wife. There’s no anger, there’s nothing, that justifies murder. Maybe that’s not what you were saying, but it certainly sounds like it.

  9. I see Chris beat me to it, but her husband was an “Only One”. He may have been an ordinary citizen when off-duty, but do you really think that he was prohibited from having guns when off-duty? Of course not. But the Dansers Macabre will conveniently ignore that little fact.

  10. I liked your original post too. It was very thoughtful.

    In keeping with being thoughtful, I wonder if I might speculate on something else? Is it possible that Meleanie, being familiar with living with guns, lost her fear of guns in Scott’s hands? I’m sure, after so many years together, there would be a certain familiarity with seeing guns in his hands. She would trust Scott. (And that, unfortunately, was her fatal error.)

    A woman who didn’t trust Scott as much and wasn’t used to having a bunch of guns in the house might have felt more anxiety over the guns and might have been more atuned to the dangers lurking.

    Also, I have a friend who is married to an LEO for 30 years. He’s always kept his weapon at work. Was this an option?

  11. It’s a well constructed post, I’ll grant you that.

    But, I’d like to put it another way.

    Is it fair for you to point to a legitimate DGU, in which a woman successfully fends off a rapist with her gun, as an example of why it’s good to own a gun for protection?

    Why then is it wrong for me to point to a case in which it didn’t help that she owned a gun?

    Don’t those two examples go right to the heart of the debate? You say having a gun does more good than harm and I say it doesn’t. Neither one by itself proves anything, but they are relevant.

  12. windex1:

    I don’t think familiarity with guns makes you less fearful of someone who has a gun that you’re worried about becoming violent, and based on what people who know her are saying, she was worried about that possibility.

  13. Keeping your firearm at work probably isn’t an option for most cops. Most departments, I believe, require their officers to carry off duty for their own safety. I have no idea of PA parole officers are supposed to do this or not if they are authorized to carry firearms.

  14. I really don’t think guns are a way to defend against family violence, nor are they causes of said. When two people live together, one of them can always find an opportunity to kill the other, unless they are paraplegic or the like. An abusive husband can wait for his wife to go to bed or be distracted by housework, an abusive wife can do the same equally well. Even if a person is heavily armed, they cannot always expect to be attacked.

  15. As a matter of fact, I would wish to restate something else: most of the people we ordinarily seek to defend against – robbers, burglars, rapists – are not usually seeking to kill us right off – which is why it is possible for us to draw a gun or whatnot. A murderer who sneaks up on you, draws a gun, and shoots at you without warning would be far more difficult to defend against. Even spree shooters are easier to defend against because it’s not likely they’ll be well trained and go right for you.

  16. Sebastian, you pretty much nailed it on the head… anti-rights organizations and individuals are incessantly advocating force, whereas all we want is the ability to choose. They want to aid and abet criminals by disarming everyone by law and legislation, and we simply want those who are willing to be able to arm and protec themselves.

    But, then again, modern “liberals” have never really been big on the whole “choice” thing (with the exception of abortions).

    Why then is it wrong for me to point to a case in which it didn’t help that she owned a gun?

    Easy – because the fact that Meleanie owned a firearm had absolutely no impact on this situation. The firearm in question did not cause more harm than good, simply because it never entered the field of play. Additionally, even the legislation you so vehemently support would not have disarmed the shooter in this situation, given the fact that he is a LEO, which further invalidates your point.

    A firearm not being useful in a specific situation is not, in any way, a counterpoint to a firearm being useful in a specific situation, any more than the millions of times I have worne a seatbelt without needing it are “proof” that I do not need a seatbelt. People can and are caught unprepared on a regular basis, and no one can be in condition red 100% of the time… Meleanie was caught off-guard by her husband, and the fact that she owns a firearm has no impact on the situation.

    But you knew that already, and are not interested in providing “point-counter-point”, but rather aiming for the emotional impact of the words… which is why you wil always be the pro-rights weblogs’ private little woman with the earrings.

  17. “If Paul Helmke were gunned down in a robbery in the District, would pro-gun people be assholes for pointing out that’s what happens when you don’t carry a firearm?”

    Yes, but I don’t doubt that such sentiment would be expressed widely.

  18. ‘Why then is it wrong for me to point to a case in which it didn’t help that she owned a gun?”

    You want to know the difference MikeB? While we revel in citizens defending themselves against criminals, you and your ilk are reveling in the fact that an innocent woman was murdered.

    But I’m telling this to one who has admitted he cannot recognize the truth and thinks the FBI,Reuters, BATFE, etc. are all bought and paid for by the NRA.

  19. I think MicroBalrog has it right. He is decribing an ambush.You have a decent chance to defend against a robbery, but little chance againt an ambush when the goal is to murder. Linoge confirms it, and adds that Melanie’s gun wasn’t in the equation. Her “Only One” husband shot her with HIS gun before she had a chance.

    And judging by the comments at the Lebanon Daily News, I’d say that some anti-gunners are really violent (and disgusting!) people. There was a whole lotta Dansing Macabre over there, some of it really foul stuff.

  20. It’s great seeing anti-gun posters out again. I haven’t seen them in years!

    I thought everyone had gotten a CCW and didn’t care anymore but I guess I was wrong! :)

  21. A domestic murder of a wife by her husband and his suicide has nothing to do with gun rights. He would have been allowed to own a gun due to his job so it does not promote or hurt gun rights.

    This is a a tragedy no matter how one feels about guns. Murder can be done with many tools included with the hands.

    Nothing excuses his murder of his wife. His suicide can not atone for the deed.

    This is not a case of a gun coming to the aid in self defense.

    Those of us in gun rights do not make the mistake of blaming the tool but the man who did the deed.

    Mike B do you see any of us blaming the gun? No, we blame the murderer. It is impossible to defend perfectly against a trusted family member.

    I no more would use Helmke mugging in DC as a promotion of guns that I would use this tragedy.
    We want crime to decrease. Just that gun control effects the law abiding since criminals don’t obey laws.

    This case is neither, It is a tragedy of a husband killing his wife.

  22. the real problem is that if you read through the pafoa links on this, many people on there have co-workers that are saying that it was Meleanie’s fault that this happened. That she brought this on herself. The anti’s have also come very close to this line.

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