Monday, January 14, 2013

My Take on Gun Control

The AK-47 was first adopted in 1949 by the Sov...
I just left a rather long comment on this story about gun control, so I thought I would copy and paste it to my blog. The text is below.

"What I’ve only realized lately is the extent to which the sacralization
of guns by the gun lobby has made it nearly impossible to have a sober,
data-based public conversation about gun policy—blocking even the
collection of data on gun violence, as Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy
Center explained here last month."

And I would say that the antics on the liberal side are just as detrimental to "sober, data-based conversation" as anything the conservatives can muster. Look, when you have a man like Piers Morgan on national television hollering like a snarky little chimp and shouting over his pro-gun guests, it reflects poorly on him. When you have this same type of condescension of nearly every article I've read and nearly every news report on it from the mainstream media (c.f. the Huffington Post), it reflects poorly on the movement.

I also agree that the shootings in Newtown, Aurora, etc. were tragic. I feel sincerely bad for the people who lost relatives and friends in those shootings. I hope that I never have a similar experience. At the same time, the rational creature inside of me is resistant to passing sweeping, knee-jerk legislation in response to those incidents. I want to discuss ideas that actually MEAN something, not just throw around buzz words and ideas that will have no effect on the problem.

Specifically, I would be refreshed if even one person in favor of gun control would admit to the fact that the laws being discussed in congress currently would NOT have prevented either the Aurora or Newtown shootings and are VERY UNLIKELY to decrease future gun violence. The guns for Aurora were all obtained legally by someone with no history of mental illness. The guns for Newtown were obtained through murder. In both cases, none of the gun law currently on the books or being discussed would have had any effect on the ability of the evil lunatics that perpetrated these shootings to obtain the weapons used.

In fact, it is highly unlikely that any measures short of a total confiscation and ban of firearms would have prevent such incidents from happening in the future, and even that is far from certain. For one thing, there are 300 million guns currently in this country. Considering how successful the government has been at stopping things like drugs and illegal immigrants from entering the country, my faith in their ability to track and confiscate weapons is non-existent. Secondly, this is assuming that the general public, congress, and the courts would even allow such a move. Like it or not, the second amendment is a prominent part of the constitution, and citizens overwhelmingly reject the idea of a total confiscation of guns, including hunting rifles and pistols.

Also, I would be impressed if the left would admit that a gun being a so called "assault weapon" really has no effect on its deadliness. As a point of reference, can anyone reading this article point out (without using Wikipedia) what the main differences between an M-16, AR-15, and a .223 hunting rifle are? Can you tell me the differences between an AR-15 and an AK-47? If you can't, you're not alone. I couldn't tell you all of the differences between these types of rifles off the top of my head either, and I grew up as a hunter. From what I understand from people more knowledgeable in the subject than me, the differences are almost entirely cosmetic. In other words, the only difference between an AR-15 and .223 hunting rifle is in the design of the stock and barrel -- things that make no difference in the lethality of the gun.

I think that your point about having a sober debate about the issue is well-taken. I think that's what most gun owners want as well. Most of the gun owners I've talked to about the subject are just as scared by the "looney left" as the left claims to be by gun owners. They are afraid that their rights will be chipped away at just because of the actions of a few sick individuals.
I am not sure what can be done to make the U.S. safer. I would be open to some reasonable ideas, but only if the people making the arguments can stick to facts and not keep appealing to emotions. Perhaps more extensive background checks are the answer. Perhaps better mental health interventions are the answer. Perhaps school guards are the answer. Perhaps not. Perhaps none of these things will make much of a difference in preventing the next mass shooting. In a free society, I am not sure that the government can guard against every possible bad thing that can happen to good people. However, if there was a reasonable measure that could be implemented without infringing excessively on constitutionally protected freedoms and had a good chance of curbing violent crime, I would be open to such a measure.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Related Posts with Thumbnails
comments powered by Disqus