January 26, 2013
Protected by a hundred supersonic fighter jets, ten thousand armored vehicles with machine-gun turrets, and twenty million fully functional military tanks (many of them equipped with really cool-looking flamethrowers and some awesome newfangled sonic crowd-control technology), Senator Dianne Feinstein boldly rode her bulletproof limo into Washington DC yesterday and called for a new ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Her plan would basically revive 1994’s “assault weapons ban,” which was so effective that it almost kinda (not really) prevented the Columbine Massacre five years later.
Barack Obama approves of this plan, and on January 16 he posed for pictures with children to prove it. (Incidentally, he also signed 23 executive orders that apparently had something to do with guns…or whatever.) The White House even sponsored videos where children talk about guns and how bad they are.
Feinstein’s assault-weapons ban and Obama’s photo op with prepubescent gun-grabbers came on the fiery heels of a month-long national “discussion” about guns sparked by mid-December’s Newtown Massacre.
After that tragic school shooting, it was time for, like, a national conversation about guns or something. Enough is enough, right? It was time to DO something. You have to draw the line somewhere. And what about the kids? After all, if we can save just one kid—even a really bratty and insufferable one—isn’t it all worth it? We need gun control now to save the kids, or at least the ones we didn’t abort.
And so began a predictably ridiculous month-long national dialogue about guns, all of it contentious and most of it retarded.
Michael Moore pulled a juicy Buffalo hot wing out of his mouth to announce that it’s only white people who want guns, and only to kill nonwhites, yet a cursory review of recent spree killings would indicate that some of the more high-profile mass shootings were more likely motivated by a hatred for schoolchildren, Batman fans, infidels, and, well, white people.
And while it’s true that guns don’t kill people (people kill people), people with guns kill people better than people using only their bare hands. It’s also true that it’s hard for guns to kill people without, you know, people using the guns. Just like a joint can’t smoke itself, it’s not like a gun is going to just spontaneously start killing people. So, yes, without a doubt, you need people to kill people with guns—and it just so happens that people in government use guns to kill the most people by far. Surely that’s something to keep in mind when talking about gun control.
If it’s true that guns are only for killing, then why does the US military need so many guns? And if the government’s role is to protect the kids, why the hell has its drones killed 176 kids in Pakistan?
It’s nearly impossible to sift through the blizzard of facts and statistics that both sides (AKA, the NRA and the Pentagon) cherry-pick to throw at the casual gun-control researcher. We do know that most American gun deaths are suicides. We know that a high quotient of gun homicides are gang-related. We know that rural areas have more guns yet less gun crime, while urban areas with strict gun-control laws tend to have relatively high rates of gun violence. We also know that over the past twenty years, gun violence has gone down while gun ownership has gone up.
But as with everything, it depends on which statistics you choose to believe. Some researchers say that owning a gun only makes it far more likely for you to accidentally blow off half your face than to stop an armed burglar. But other researchers say that an armed burglar is far less likely to burgle you if he knows you’re packin’.
As the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre (could a man’s name sound gayer?) explained, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” But what if there’s, like, another bad guy with a gun, say, standing in a grassy knoll? Do you need two additional good guys with guns standing behind him to keep him in check? Ethical issues involving deadly force can get complicated quickly.
When our Founding Fathers crafted the Second Amendment, they did not have AR-15s in mind. But neither were they thinking of iPads while drafting the First Amendment.