Stop Pretending That Guns Are Not The Problem

Yes, Virginia, you can blame the guns. Sort of...

While the Jovan Belcher tragedy may have helped Jason Whitlock and Bob Costas formulate their personal opinions on gun control, it is doubtful the events in Kansas City will have any lasting or meaningful impact on the public debate.

The furor will ebb and flow periodically, with each high tide of outrage lower than the one preceding it, until all vestiges of it are swallowed by Honey Boo Boo or Dancing With The Stars.

But while the topic is still in the front pages, perhaps some context would be helpful. I don’t agree with Mr. Whitlock’s proposition that if Jovan Belcher had no access to firearms that both he and the mother of his child would still be alive, there simply isn’t enough information about Belcher’s motivation or intent.

But what I can say is that if there were no guns in our society the homicide and suicide rates would plummet dramatically. Maybe a hypothetical scenario best illustrates this point.

Suppose I were to give you a device you can wear on your belt. Just a box with a little red button, and if that button is pushed a person of your choosing dies immediately. No discussion, confrontation or mess. The person would simply disappear. Let’s also suppose that I want to give every single person in America the right to purchase this device, would there be
resistance to this idea?

I would most certainly think so. It would be far too easy to kill a person, and many people could not possibly be expected to use the device in a rational or judicious manner. It’s a frightening scenario yet when that red button morphs into the trigger housing group of a pistol strangely
the conversation changes.

Would Americans be less responsible with my little red button than they would be with firearms, simply because the right to own firearms is constitutionally guaranteed? Doubtful. Yet that seems to be what many like to pretend.

The fact is that the pervasive presence of firearms in society has caused the death of countless Americans. Notice that I have made no statement whatsoever about the ethical implications of this. My red button could just as easily be used for self-defense or law enforcement purposes just like any firearm, but we need to stop pretending that “people, not guns, kill people.”

That’s technically true, of course, but it is a red herring with zero relevance. The very nature of a gun is what’s important. They are designed to kill as fast and as easily as possible.

As far as I can tell no child has ever died in the crossfire of a drive-by stabbing, primarily because there is no crossfire. Getting beaten with fists or stabbed with a knife is generally a survivable situation, while getting shot generally is not.

Nothing that I have written here advocates the repeal of the 2nd Amendment nor does it advocate any particular policy change, but if we are to make any serious headway in our culture of violence we need to stop pretending that firearms don’t contribute to the problem.

It doesn’t matter how much money the NRA pours into its efforts to highjack America’s founding fathers into advocating a position that many of them would have found abhorrent.

The 2nd Amendment is a function of a weak central government which lacks the ability to finance a standing army, which was exactly the federal government’s position in the 18th century.

Please stop dusting off the fossilized remains of a frontier culture, which no longer exists, in order to make a political point. All discussions should remain on the table if we actually want to solve a problem.       

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TONY MEDEIROS March 28, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Joe and Steve, Stop the fighting. Bottom line. Americans are granted the right to possess and carry firearms by the 2nd amendment if you are not a felon, criminal, or have any domestic violence charges against you. I am all for an extensive background check to make sure the individual is sound and can legally purchase a firearm. But once I pass all of this, I should be able to carry and use a firearm to protect me and my family from criminals and our government.
Merlinthesocialjusticewizard March 28, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Steve does not want you to talk about facts and truths. Instead, yes, wait for it, yes, here it comes......the race card. After being proven wrong time and time again on this site, he once again resorts to using the race card. But one question he will not be answering anytime soon is this: If asking for voter id discriminates against those that are poor or minorities, is it not racist and bigoted to ask us to show or id in purchasing a firearm in the background check process? As far as Christian, you guys should have sniffed this out miles and miles away. His next article will talk about the "economic inequalities" of inner cities as being the reason for violence, and not the cultural flaws that make it acceptable for violence to flourish in the first place. Soon after that post, we will start hearing about how if only they took 10 percent or more out of bank accounts past the FDIC insurance limit and transferred the funds to "urban" banks, the violence would all melt away like the wicked witch of the west.
Merlinthesocialjusticewizard March 28, 2013 at 04:24 PM
If I may, I would also like to bring up the fact that Christian goes into that same tired mold of trying to equivocate the 2nd amendment and modern society and make statements about the 2nd amendment being only viable to a frontier country. Does that, in effect, mean Christian that the 1st amendment does not apply to the internet, smart phones, cell phones, tv, and dvds and netflix, or even cable because the 1st amendment does not specify them?
Steve March 28, 2013 at 04:46 PM
"After being proven wrong time and time again on this site,...." You've never proven me wrong even one time, Escargot. Tony, Louisiana just passed legislation which gives Felons the right to carry firearms in public. The 2nd Amendment doesn't exclude Felons and doesn't even mention "law abiding".
TONY MEDEIROS March 28, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Steve, you are right, the 2nd amendment does not exclude Felons or mentally disturbed. Once you are convicted of a felony you lose certain rights by the definition of a felon. We have a real problem with Common Sense in this country. Common sense would tell you not to allow weapons to get into the hands of the mentally ill, criminals, those convicted of a felony. Our state and federal governments are about as messed up as they can get.


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