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What Everyone Forgets When Debating Gun Control

Posted by on Jul. 26, 2012 at 9:46 PM
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4 moms liked this


In the wake of the Aurora mass shooting, the usual pattern is playing out with respect to gun control. People such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Piers Morgan, and Bill Moyers are beating the drum to restrict firearm ownership, as others try to beat them back. One side says we'd be safer if guns were rarer; the other says that more guns equal less crime. One side says guns kill people, the other that people kill people. Facts and feelings are bandied back and forth (although one side specializes in the facts and the other in the feelings), but in all the commentary, some of which is very good, one point is universally missed.

For the sake of argument, let's accept the supposition that outlawing firearms would save lives. Does it logically follow from this that guns should be restricted or banned?

Well, it would certainly save lives and countless injuries if people didn't engage in mountain-climbing, hang-gliding, motorcycle-racing, trampolining, big-wave surfing, cave-diving, heli-skiing, and a host of other dangerous activities. And, like guns, knives and baseball bats are common murder weapons. Does it logically follow that these items and activities should be banned?

The point is that we never treat saving lives as the only imperative when devising policy. If we did, we'd perhaps consider reducing speed limits on highways to 5 mph, since this might save most of the 43,000 lives lost on the road each year. Speaking of which, since 40 percent of those deaths are alcohol-related, we can consider resurrecting Prohibition, too.

Now, since gun-control advocates think they have morality on their side, they may want to ponder a question: is it moral to sacrifice 43,000 lives just so we can be free to zip around at 55 or 65 mph? The answer here is that the safety imperative is balanced against an economic one, in that too much productivity would be lost with a five-mph speed limit.

But sometimes far more trivial things trump the safety imperative. No one needs to drink alcohol, go rock-climbing, or play baseball when doing so necessitates the availability of a dangerous weapon. So, imagine that, we're actually placing fun and enjoyment ahead of saving lives. In fact, some among us will even tolerate death on a massive scale if we think the reason is good enough. An example is when the anti-gun left is willing to accept 1.2 million killings a year through abortion.

So if we'll accept death through fun, should we question death through the gun? As with dangerous recreation, the enjoyment justification exists with firearms, too, in the form of target and sport shooting. As with driving, an economic justification exists in that revenue is collected from hunters and because some poorer rural Americans help feed themselves through hunting. But there is something here that is a true imperative, one that's greater than most any other:

Thwarting evil.

The apocryphal saying, "God made some men big and others small, but Samuel Colt made them equal," gets at the point here. Whether it's a smaller person or a smaller group, firearms tend to even the odds. They help create parity, and that's not what criminals want -- they want easy prey. Thus, like a predator in the wilds that generally won't attack a creature more than half its size, even if a criminal is armed himself, he'll be reluctant to tackle a target that can target him back.

Even more significantly, as Prohibition, prostitution, and drugs have proven, illegal isn't synonymous with unavailable. So, again, let's assume that a gun criminalization that left firearms in the hands of a few criminals did save lives overall. What should we conclude if those armed miscreants could nonetheless ply their dark trade with little resistance? What should we feel if good people were declawed and rendered powerless to thwart their evil?

A virtuous, justice-oriented person should find this intolerable to the point of outrage.

He should quote Emiliano Zapata and say, "It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees." Yet better still is to live on your feet. And a gun in the hand makes that more likely.

As for debating the Second Amendment, there's nothing wrong with using facts to refute the notion that more guns equal more deaths. But this should be only part of the debate, not the debate itself. Otherwise, we miss some great principles, one of which is that life at all costs is too great a cost. Living is about more than just life, and whether the matter is sports that can kill, drink that can kill, or guns that can kill, you can't really live if you're suffocated with a Big-Brother bubble-wrap mentality.

(American Thinker)

by on Jul. 26, 2012 at 9:46 PM
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by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Every single time there is an incident like this in our country, people want to discuss gun control.

That doesn't mean further gun control might have averted this horrible tragedy (and in this instance, maybe not) but it's still a worth while discussion to have, always.  I think it's an ongoing discussion that shouldn't be avoided, as much as I really do think about the victims and survivors of this horrible event.

by Gold Member on Jul. 26, 2012 at 11:32 PM
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I don't think most people want to ban all guns when they speak of gun control. That is a red herring. What they want is a discussion about a variety of options, including bans on certain assualt type weapons. There are valid points to be made by all sides. It usually is not a black or white issue. 

by on Jul. 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM
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Pistols are one thing, automatic assault weapons in civilian hands is another, especially ones with mental issues.
what are we Somalia?
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by Member on Jul. 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM
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For advocates of gun control, its not about the guns, it's about control. Pretty funny when you consider those are also the same folks who perceive themselves as tolerant and bend over backwards in other contexts in the name of diversity.


by on Jul. 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM
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Thanks for the post : )

by Member on Jul. 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM
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My best friend lost both of her sons to gun violence. Back in 2002 her youngest son was killed at the age of 3, a bullet went through her window and hit the baby sleeping in his bed, they lived on a first floor apartment here in the city. Her oldest was killed last year. Wrong place, wrong time. Innocent. 15 years old. Something must be done. I'm a strong supporter of our 2nd ammendment, but, after watching my best friend in the world go through this twice, I strongly feel that we have to change some things.

by Socialist Hippie on Jul. 27, 2012 at 3:35 PM
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I do not want gun control. I want control over the people who are issued guns.

Mentally ill people should not have ability to possess arsenals of weapons-

by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I am appalled by this post! To discuss the idea of guns evening the odds is disrespectful and ridiculous; the dead and wounded certainly were not helped by the odds that our insane gun laws provided and I can't understand how they might have ever done so. Would more guns being fired in that movie theater have helped anyone, would it have stopped the shooter who was clothed in body armour? I honestly don't know how that would have helped but I do know that regardless of your position on gun control the discussion and debate is appropriate given the realities of how much carnage we suffer as a result of the misuse of guns.

As to the argument that there are many activities and products that can have a deadly effect that may be so but guns have a singular position as a product whose main purpose is to do that harm whether in a way that you find appropriate or not and so may need special consideration. And yes before anyone jumps all over me I know that guns may fulfill uses that are legal but with the single exception of target and range shooting even the legal uses depend on the deadly nature of guns such as personal protection and hunting.

by on Jul. 27, 2012 at 9:53 PM
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I don't agree with this article. Yes baseball bats and knives can be weapons, but can someone mow down a crowd of people with them? Do they fly through windows and walls and hurt or kill people who are completely innocent? No.

As for risky sports, if you choose to go hang gliding, you do so knowing you might hurt yourself. Getting shot by a mentally ill person isn't the same at all. Not following the authors logic.

I'm for better checks before allowing guns and ammo to be purchased, And no assault weapons. Not for complete bans though.

by on Jul. 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM
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 youre welcome

Quoting PeeperSqueak:

Thanks for the post : )


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