The attempted (and partially successful) assassination in Arizona has once again brought the gun control debate to a boil. Both sides have trotted out their usual arguments for and against gun possession and, of course, both sides refuse to admit that their opponents have anything intelligent to say on the subject.
The bleeding hearts on the left want to make sure that no one kills Bambi, conveniently ignoring the fact that when Bambi mates, he produces a bunch of little Bambis whose subsequent population explosion wreaks havoc on farmers’ produce and speeding vehicles alike. Meanwhile, the gun-toting NRA folk are dead-set against giving up their right to assault rifles, extended magazines and dum-dum bullets.
Luckily, RSBS is here to explain things a little better and offer some rational solutions.
First of all, guns do kill. I just want to put that out there. In fact, this is why guns were invented. You can argue until you’re blue in the face that someone has to pull the trigger but the fact is that a gun’s sole purpose is meting out death. Anyone who says differently is willfully ignorant at best. It’s like saying that batting in baseball is defensive because really what you’re trying to do is prevent the ball from making it into the catcher’s mitt. No, you’re trying to put the ball in play by hitting it. When you buy a gun, although you may not have the intention of killing anything, its only power, even as a deterrent, is in the fact that you can kill if you want.
Second, some people should not be allowed to own guns. History of mental problems? You shouldn’t have a gun. Even the army won’t accept you? Probably shouldn’t have a gun. What is so hard about this concept? We don’t allow people with Alzheimer’s to drive cars. Why can that same person purchase a weapon? I’m just saying that maybe we should use a little common sense here and regulate firearms at least as carefully as we regulate motor vehicles.
Third, guns are fun. Have you ever shot a gun? It’s awesome, once you get past that first moment of insane fear. I grew up around guns and I grew up respecting them and learning how to use and care for them properly. Responsible gun ownership, like responsible car ownership or responsible use of alcohol, shouldn’t be open to debate. But if both sides don’t get together and start coming up with some responsible compromises, we’re going to continue with this mishmash of worthless gun laws that irresponsibly sit on the books today.
I’m a realist. I don’t actually hold out any hope that this senseless act of violence will force people to come to their senses. In fact, I have a feeling that after the first few moments of kumbaya, we’re going to see even more of the fingerpointing and polarization that created the climate where this act was possible. But hey, it’s 2011. We may not have flying cars, time machines or even a freakin’ hoverboard but at least we can hope for rational regulation.