Lately, I’ve been getting very weary of the rampant over-simplifications plaguing the national debate on gun control. For instance, the left’s assertion that “guns kill people”. To my way of thinking, this is over-simplifying an otherwise complex issue. Guns kill people like pencils fail tests…and, since guns kill people, they need to be banned. (I should give you, my fine young readers, some modicum of “fair warning” at this point. This article is about to go into “SOAPBOX” mode, and might even flirt with the “TLDR” envelope!)
Let’s say that I snap an icicle off of the eave of my house, and stab someone to death. Or, you drive your car over a patch of black ice on the highway, and slide off of a cliff. Oh crap, ice kills people! Let’s ban ice. Anyone who makes, manufactures, imports or sells ice will now be guilty of a felony. (I’d love to know which judge will issue the arrest warrant for GOD…)
I grab a rock, and bludgeon someone to death. Oh crap, rocks kill people! We’d better ban all rocks. (What about the one we LIVE on? You know, the big BLUE one, which falls toward the sun, but has enough angular momentum to maintain an orbit?) Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, hurricanes, floods…Oh crap! Nature kills people! A ban on NATURE?
I grab a Louisville Slugger, and clock someone across the temple, resulting in their death. Oh crap, baseball bats kill people! Ban all baseball bats! (There goes the national pastime!)
I take a No. 2 pencil out of my desktop caddy, and run it right through someone’s temple, into their brainpan. Oh crap, pencils kill people! Ban all writing utensils! (Millions of grade school kids will LOVE this one!) No more kids doing classwork with pencils and pens, they all have to use computers now. But wait! I grab a computer tower off of the desk, and slam it right into someone’s cranium, knocking them dead. Oh crap! Computers kill people! Ban all computers! (There goes my access to YouTwitFace!)
I strangle someone to death with my bare hands. Oh crap! Hands kill people! Let’s cut off everyone’s hands! (Great, now no work gets done.) Then, I kick someone to death with my booted feet, now that my hands are gone. Oh crap! Feet kill people! Cut off all feet! (Great, now no one goes anywhere, and even less work gets done than before.)
Does everyone see where this is going? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Even my nine-year-old daughter gets this concept. (I know she does, I asked her.) Since it’s people who are killing people, do we ban people? No, because even the idea goes so far past ridiculous, that it’s ridiculous! Still, since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, as after every national news-making school shooting, (Columbine, West Paducah, etcetera,) the liberal politicians go into “ban mode”.
The problem that I have with every mention of a ban on this weapon or that, is that the vast majority of people committing gun-related crime in this nation are criminals. Do the powers-that-be honestly think that criminals care one iota about gun control laws? They don’t even care about the people that they’re killing with those guns, so go ahead, ban every single weapon on the market. Criminals will still get the guns and commit the crimes, while honest, law-abiding citizens become defenseless.
Now. That being said, (and this is the point where I turn my pen, being mightier than the sword or the gun, toward the neo-conservatives on the right!) I’m also pretty disdainful of people who spout this rhetoric of needing things like AR-15s to…how do they put it? “Defend ourselves against the government”? I think it’s high time for a reality check here. Could someone please tell me what chance that little AR-15-armed Joe Citizen has against things like Reaper UAVs and FA-22 Raptors? You see, the U.S. armed forces enjoy and exercise a nice advantage in any battle, a thing called “air superiority”. Point made, my fine young readers?
Aside from that, could someone please tell me for what reason could an honest, everyday law-abiding citizen actually need something like an AR-15 or an AK-47? These types of weapons are geared for one thing, and one thing only; making war. Take it from me, a six-year Army veteran. The only real advantages to these guns are offensive in nature; full-auto and three-round-burst modes sacrifice accuracy for quantity, and are for the purpose of laying down covering fire. In addition, having a higher muzzle velocity and / or a greater maximum effective range is not a home defense consideration, either. No, I suspect that Joe Neocon’s true motivations for hugging on to that assault weapon (we’re about to get into the use of that term as well!) are based in his wants, as opposed to his needs…
“Assault Weapons”. This seems like a fairly nebulous term, bandied about by the politicians and the media to describe a wide array of gun types, depending on who is trying to apply the term. When the average person contemplates the term, things like AR-15s come to mind. When politicians apply the term, they tend to use a different standard, which includes almost every semi-automatic (which describes just about every pistol and rifle being manufactured these days!) weapon on the market. This is where I have an issue with government. If people like U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein have their way, the citizenry would indeed be disarmed, while those who care nothing about gun control laws…the criminals, remain armed, and still quite dangerous.
Here at 947 words, I should attempt to get around to the true subject of the debate, right? It’s the real “elephant in the room” that no one seems to want to address; the human element. You see, making the assertion that “guns kill people” and not that people kill people, is like blaming the pencil for failing the test, or blaming the light saber for the killing of the younglings in the third installment of the “Star Wars” saga. No, just like anything else, it takes a person to wield that weapon, and the motivation of that person to take that life. That’s what we as a society should be addressing, not engaging in this misguided attempt to contravene the second amendment of our constitution.
If only our government paid attention to history, they would recall the lessons learned during Prohibition. The government tried banning the device, without addressing the real issue…the human issue. Their approach worked so well in fact, that we now have two amendments to our constitution dealing with alcohol, the second one repealing the first one.
That’s the point here. The issue of gun control is not a simple issue, and does not have any simple remedy, because the true nature of the issue is just simply…not that simple. It is a complex issue, because we humans are a complex bunch. Maybe instead of attempting to disarm the citizenry, our government should be looking at the ways in which it deals with things like law enforcement, justice, the prison system, mental and physical health and other human aspects of the debate.
To be continued!