Guns Don’t Kill People – Reckless Gun Laws Do
Because I hold certain positions on subjects such as immigration and government entitlements for people who can’t afford health insurance, but can afford new cars and all kinds of gadgets, I am sometimes accused of being a conservative. I am not. I don’t think I am a liberal either. I think I’m a flaming independent, just like you. But since it is mandatory to put people in categories, I do hold some self-evident liberal positions.
One is that we need to save our environment, and when it comes to fights such as saving what is left of the Everglades and protecting our water supply, I am on the side of the people against the polluters. And from the first day I was given an opportunity to express opinions, I have been firmly on the side of the people versus the gun nuts. That puts me on the same team as virtually every law enforcement agency in the land, and cops, you may know, are generally not great liberals.
We think, obviously, of the weekend tragedy. A clearly troubled, if not downright crazy person, gets his hands on a gun, legally, and kills six people and wounds others. How could such a person ever buy what he bought? If Arizona had the right laws, having a person with a record of mental instability attempt to buy such a lethal weapon would have been a warning to get the man off the street. Predictably the Second Amendment advocates are saying that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. This is true. It is equally true that the gun nuts, and the absurd laws they pressure to have passed, or refuse to pass, put the guns in the hands of the deranged and the criminals.
By the way, I sort of like guns although I don’t own one. My wife, occasionally deranged herself, has more than once said I should be shot. So it’s not a great idea to make that act easy. Also, we have kids around the house a lot and you know often that causes trouble when they discover grandpop’s gun. Maybe if I lived alone I would own a piece. I have fired guns, from the M1 rifle, to the Colt .45 to a machine gun. I also fired a rocket launcher. That’s a hoot. In a duel, that is my weapon of choice. For longer distances, I prefer the 105 howitzer, and for larger targets the 155 is efficacious. But I don’t have any of these around the house.
But if it came to a vote on making these weapons ordinary household appliances, like flat screen TVs, many politicians would approve. Not because they think it is good law, but because if the gun lobby puts them in its crosshairs, they are dead. Politically, of course. How else could we permit the sale of assault rifles or approve, as Florida has done, a law permitting the use of a gun in self defense? The lawyers must love that one. A facile barrister can make any shooting self defense. Somebody comes to the door selling Girl Scout cookies. You feel threatened. Bang. Insanity.
Look at Tuscon. The young man accused of that awful deed was acting in self defense. He felt threatened. So what if he’s crazy? A good lawyer can argue that he thought he was threatened, so let him loose and give him another clip. Now we have our elected officials requiring enhanced security. It is almost predictable that we will see copycat crimes. Protecting them will cost money. It would not have to be spent if they voted with their minds, not their fears of the gun lobby.
Photo by Michal Zacharzewski.