“Vaccination cures gun epidemic” • Greg Morin
Those that are opposed to gun control frequently resort to the tactic of citing some statistic that demonstrates how some ordinary object (e.g. a hammer, a fist) is used far more frequently to kill someone than is a “rifle.” This approach is not particularly constructive to the debate. While it is true that hammers are used to kill more people than “rifles”, “guns” are used to kill far more than all other methods combined (http://goo.gl/ysRB8 ). Since the real debate is on gun control and not rifle control, it is a bit dangerous to argue such control is unnecessary owing to relatively low death totals. If your opponent switches from “rifle” control to “gun” control your argument will fail.
An adjunct to this argument is an appeal to common sense. Most intuitively accept the premise that it would be silly to ban things because they might be misused (which taken to its logical conclusion would involve banning everything). However, people generally go along with banning something if it has no apparent “legitimate” use (e.g. drugs, high capacity guns, cigarettes) but bristle at banning objects that are predominantly used for “legitimate” purposes, particularly if the loss of that legitimate use would present a substantial hardship. The main problem anti-gun control advocates have is that the legitimate use and illegitimate use of a gun have the same result: death. The difference between the legitimate and illegitimate use of a hammer is obvious, not such much with guns. How does one overcome this hurdle? Always forthrightly confront any questions of the “why do you need a gun that does X?” variety. If asked why does one need more than six rounds, explain real life is not like the movies and one bullet does not kill someone instantly (recently a mother in Loganville, Georgia shot an intruder six times and he still walked away! http://goo.gl/HlttZ ).
The current approach of gun control advocates is equally counterproductive toward their cause. They seek to regulate the weapon and not the individual. Even the Second Amendment says “a well regulated militia” not a “well regulated arsenal”. So while I am no fan of the state deciding who may or may not own a weapon (by what subjective metric will it make that determination?), this approach is at least plausibly Constitutional and resonates with the reasonable notion that we don’t want “crazy people” to have weapons. If the state determines I am safe and sane what difference does it make what type of weapons I own? Similarly, if you have a driver’s license you can drive a Mini or a Ford F350 Dually. Nobody asks “why do you need that F350?” – so why do they ask “why do you need that AR-15?”. But since this is so commonly asked, allow me to answer. Those best able to answer that would be the following: Jews in pre-war Germany, civilians in Stalinist Russia, civilians in the Cambodian killing fields, or civilians in Maoist China. Guns are not merely for self-defense; they are also for defense of the sovereign people against their own (illegitimate) government when such government would seek to violate their sovereign rights. All of the 20th century genocides occurred on populations that were entirely unarmed and unable to resist. I do not believe there is some “master plan” to commit such atrocities in the US. However, a disarmed population is as unprotected as an un-vaccinated child. The first exposure to a dangerous element will be impossible to resist. Democracy is no prophylactic against tyranny: Hitler was elected through a democratic process. Those that genuinely do wish to disarm everyone (probably) have their heart in the right place. Any one of us would, if we could, wave a magic wand and eliminate every weapon on the face of the planet. Sadly that is nothing but a utopian fantasy. Once man creates technology it can never be made “unknown”. The only way to resist the misuse of technology is to maintain a level playing field so that all can access it and thereby mankind keeps mankind in check.
Greg Morin is a member of the Libertarian party and CEO of Seachem Laboratories located in Madison. Constructive comments are welcomed to this paper or at gregmorin.com
Printed in the January 17, 2013 edition.