Monday, February 10, 2003

I found this link on HowAppealing. It's an Op/ed about the need for more gun control. It criticizes the gun control lobby as not pushing for more strict measures, such as the ban of all handguns. It seems to be motivated by the authors' personal loss. (Her brother & his girlfriend were killed by the girlfriends' deranged mother using a Glock)

"Most rights are relative: to ensure one right, you almost always have to restrict another, and surely the dubious right to carry a handgun in one's purse must be trumped by the more basic rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which California's gun laws failed to guarantee my brother -- and his 9-year-old surviving son. These basic rights cannot be ensured as long as the person next door or at the next table or the next gas pump is free to carry a remarkably powerful weapon. I defy the NRA to tell my family, or the families of the 2-year-old boy or the 7-year-old boy or any of that week's victims, that the handgun ownership they have so successfully protected with such arguments is really worth this mountainous daily toll."

Well, first of all, 60,000 are killed every year in car crashes, accidents, etc. Now driving is considered by most a privilege (even though it should be considered a right). Yet I hear no cries for the banishment of cars, as driving them is merely a privilege & they kill at least twice as many people as firearms do.

Secondly, it is in no way necessary to restrict a right so that another may flourish. Does choosing your own religion suffer when your neighbor can speak his mind? Or does your protection against unreasonable searches diminish because your cousin can start his own newspaper? Rights can exist without trampling on the rights of another. Actual rights that is. One must learn that there is no "right to be not offended", a "right to be free from fear", or a "right to free public education & healthcare". If you don't want to be offended by what someone’s' saying, ask them to leave your home, or you can leave theirs, or leave the public space you're both in. If you don't ever want to be scared, you're just out of luck unless you're suicidal. Death is the only thing I think that can eliminate fear, unless you're not on good terms with God, but that's another topic. If you want education & healthcare, seek it out yourself w/o expecting a governmental handout to get it. Besides, socialized education & medicine is usually substandard in quality.

Lastly the Right of Self Defense is one of the most basic rights there is. Owning & carrying weapons is essential to the fulfillment of this right, unless you're 6'4'', 220lbs. & bulletproof. If it were the cause of 30,000 deaths a year, I'd still say it was worth it. But in actuality the cause of these murders is not the availability of weapons. It is the socio/economic factors & the willfully made bad choices by individuals that lead to their misuse. Banning guns won't change things much, there were killers before guns were available, I'd bet if all guns were magically removed there'd still be killers.

Guns laws aren't the solution. In fact they may be part of the problem. In a place where everyone is capable of defending his/herself & their loved ones, I'd bet confrontational crime wouldn't be as prevalent as in places where it's illegal to own weapons of defense, let alone use them.
Emotion is a powerful thing. It can make a person blame an inanimate object for a very real tragedy that they've experienced. & it can make them believe that by ridding society of the inanimate objects they can rid society of the problem. I'm afraid it doesn't work like that & all California's gun laws will do is make it easier for the criminals - the ones who own guns & use them for illicit purposes despite any laws to the contrary. & more laws will worsen the situation.

"So why do we continue to arm anyone without a criminal record who can pass a safety test and wants a gun?"

To answer the question, because they don't have a criminal record. It's a very archaic concept called “innocent until proven guilty" & guilt must be proven before a right, or in some cases even a privilege may be denied. More importantly however, it's their Right to own a weapon. If it makes you uncomfortable that they might do something evil with it, then by all means, avoid them if you wish. When you start infringing upon their right to own a weapon because they might abuse that right, then hang up your typewriter because you one day might commit libel against someone. Most arguments against the second amendment can be switched around with very little effort to be used against the first, or fourth, or any of the remainder.

But you see where this leads don't you? California has the most restrictive gun laws in the Union so far. Crime hasn't gone down. & California is likely to pass even more restrictive laws. (This is one reason why I haven't considered moving out there since '95 when a friend made me an offer. It's also a reason why I haven't visited there.)
The more gun laws they pass, the more they need to pass because the previous ones just aren't as effective as they'd liked. In the end, every person in favor of gun control will realize that they won't be satisfied until all guns are banned. Don't let anyone fool you - whether they realize it or not they won't rest until no one has guns but the military & police. & the criminals.

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