WHEN DEBATING GUN CONTROL
By: Selwyn Duke
In the wake of the Aurora
mass shooting, the usual pattern is playing out with respect to gun control. People such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Piers
Morgan and Bill Moyers are beating the drum to restrict firearm ownership, as others try
to beat them back. One side says wed be
safer if guns were rarer; the other says that more guns equal less crime. One side says guns kill people, the other that
people kill people. Facts and feelings are
bandied back and forth (although one side specializes in the facts and the other in the
feelings), but in all the commentary, some
of which is very good, one point is universally missed.
the sake of argument, lets accept the supposition that outlawing firearms would save
lives. Does it logically follow from this that
guns should be restricted or banned?
it would certainly save lives and countless injuries if people didnt engage in
mountain-climbing, hang-gliding, motorcycle-racing, trampolining, big-wave surfing,
cave-diving, heli-skiing and a host of other dangerous activities. And, like guns, knives and baseball bats are common
murder weapons. Does it logically follow that
these items and activities should be banned?
point is that we never treat saving lives as the only imperative when devising policy. If we did, wed perhaps consider reducing
speed limits on highways to 5 mph, since this might save most of the 43,000 lives lost on
the road each year. Speaking of which, since
40 percent of those deaths are alcohol related, we can consider resurrecting Prohibition,
since gun-control advocates think they have morality on their side, they may want to
ponder a question: is it moral to sacrifice 43,000 lives just so we can be free to zip
around at 55 or 65 mph? The answer here is
that the safety imperative is balanced against an economic one, in that too much
productivity would be lost with a five-mph speed limit.
sometimes far more trivial things trump the safety imperative. No one needs to drink alcohol, go rock-climbing, or
play baseball when doing so necessitates the availability of a dangerous weapon. So, imagine that, were actually placing fun
and enjoyment ahead of saving lives. In fact,
some among us will even tolerate death on a massive scale if we think the reason is good
enough. An example is when the anti-gun left
is willing to accept 1.2 million killings a year through abortion.
if well accept death through fun, should we question death through the gun? As with dangerous recreation, the enjoyment
justification exists with firearms, too, in the form of target and sport shooting. As with driving, an economic justification exists
in that revenue is collected from hunters and because some poorer rural Americans help
feed themselves through hunting. But there is
something here that is a true imperative, one thats greater than most any other:
The apocryphal saying,
God made some men big and others small, but Samuel Colt made them equal, gets
at the point here. Whether its a smaller
person or group, firearms tend to even the odds. They
help create parity, and thats not what criminals wantthey want easy prey. Thus, like a predator in the wilds that generally
wont attack a creature more than half its size, even if a criminal is armed himself,
hell be reluctant to tackle a target that can target him back.
more significantly, as Prohibition, prostitution and drugs have proven, illegal isnt
synonymous with unavailable. So, again,
lets assume a gun criminalization that left firearms in the hands of a few criminals
did save lives overall. What should we
conclude if those armed miscreants could nonetheless ply their dark trade with little
resistance? What should we feel if good people
were declawed and rendered powerless to thwart their evil?
A virtuous, justice-oriented
person should find this intolerable to the point of outrage.
should quote Emiliano Zapata and say, Its better to die on your feet than live
on your knees. Yet better still is to
live on your feet. And a gun in the hand makes
that more likely.
for debating the Second Amendment, theres nothing wrong with using facts to refute
the notion that more guns equal more deaths. But
this should be only part of the debate, not the debate itself. Otherwise we miss some great principles, one of
which is that life at all costs is too great a cost. Living
is about more than just life, and whether the matter is sports that can kill, drink that
can kill or guns that can kill, you cant really live if youre suffocated with
a Big Brother bubble-wrap mentality.
Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online
and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush
Limbaugh Show and has been a regular guest on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His
work has appeared in Pat Buchanan's magazine The American Conservative and he writes
regularly for The New American and Christian Music Perspective. He is a regular
contributor to Ether Zone.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Selwyn Duke can be reached at: SelwynDuke@optonline.net
the July 30, 2012 issue of
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