Of all the many, many jaw-dropping contributions to the latest train-wreck of a comments thread on gun rights, one by the poster Sandro Rettinger takes the biscuit. It's of course standard fare for the Kevin Baker Fan Club to inform us letter mortals that we simply don't understand that guns are no more dangerous than other "tools for killing" such as lampshades, wedding cakes, event planners, thimbles, etc. (which begs the obvious question of why wedding cakes aren't more than sufficient for 'self-defence' purposes, but I digress). What makes Sandro different is that he styles himself a "combat expert" and deems that anyone who does not share his expertise is not even entitled to express a view on the relative deadliness of guns when compared to other items.
You might remember Prince Philip's spectacularly ill-judged contribution to the post-Dunblane debate on gun control, when he suggested on radio that if the massacre had been carried out with cricket bats, it would have been irrational to ban cricket bats. A member of staff at Dunblane Primary School (and a prominent supporter of the campaign to ban handguns) reacted with fury, pointing out that if Thomas Hamilton had only been armed with a cricket bat, it's quite likely she and other staff could have overpowered him before he'd even got close to killing as many as 16 people. So I put it to Sandro Rettinger that he was even denying the right of this woman, a witness to the tragedy, to hold a view on the topic. Extraordinarily, he didn't demur -
"If she's got all of your experience with the subject, then you're absolutely right I'd say she isn't qualified to hold an opinion on the matter, any more than I'm qualified to have an opinion on how best to design a supersonic airplane.
If recognizing limitations isn't humble enough for your tastes, well, that's just too bad...
And also, no, "having been nearby when something horrible happened" doesn't count as "combat experience". You seem to be under the mistaken impression that everyone's viewpoint has equal validity, irrespective of actual knowledge. Since you've provided no evidence that at the time of the attack, said staff member had any more idea of how to deal with being attacked by a baseball bat than by someone with a handgun, I can't say as I'm especially willing to consider her commentary on the subject as anything more than wishful thinking on her part.
If she wanted to be a truly effective defence for her charges, she'd be demanding to be armed herself, now."
Words fail me. Evidently it's high time we considered dismantling democracy and replacing it with a benign (ahem) dictatorship of the 'combat experts'.