Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Quick Hit on Gun Control

For the record, I am in favor of unrestricted concealed carry and against the registration of firearms. However, I am not against government regulation on the design of firearms by manufacturers or the transfer of firearms from one private party to another.

Fareed Zakaria came out with an article on gun control, and being the masochist that I am, I skimmed briefly through the user-submitted comments and came across this gem, in which a pro-gun control unwittingly undermines the gun control cause:

"STOP using Switzerland in your pro gun arguments, you are making yourself look ignorant.

Guns in Switzerland are a very diffrent (sic) story. Private ownership and collecting is regulated with private ownership of military weapons being prohibited by law. The military weapons in our homes are not ours they are the militaries (sic) and there are rules, restrictions and penalties for using them without proper authority. Many Swiss chose to hand them in after their service as they do not want an assault rifle or hand gun in their home. These weapons are for military use not for private paranoid protection.

We are a very content society, we are not lonley (sic), disenfranchized (sic), and angry with the world. That is why we do not have as many gun crimes. It is not because of our arms."

The first bolded quote plays right into many pro 2nd Amendment arguments: If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns. People who are of a mind to commit gun homicide generally don't care that there are laws against gun homicide.

The second bolded quote is far more important, and again it plays right into many pro 2nd Amendment arguments: Guns don't kill people; people kill people. It's about culture and behavior, not availability of a tool. A tool without intent is nothing in and of itself, even if that tool's primary purpose is to kill somebody.

One last thing. I recognize the fact that, unlike cars, cigarettes, and alcohol, things that kill far more people per year than guns, have a utility other than the ability to kill or seriously wound a person. On the other hand, given the fact that a gun can so easily kill a person and that they are so remarkably easy to acquire, if guns were as dangerous as the gun control advocates would claim, why do cars, cigarettes, and alcohol kill far more people per year?

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