My parents hover in the content of this post--Mom provided the impetus...Dad the manner of treatment.
Mom: Arizona is trying to really relax all gun laws and even knife laws--read this!
Dad: Your posts are too long.
Shorter Me: um...guns suck.
Medium Me: Seriously, Second Amendment? Standing Militia with guns you have to load with gun powder poured into a barrel and then insert ball then aim (a very heavy weapon) and then misfire EQUATED with concealed carry of such light deadly rapidly firing weapons that a child could easily murder you if he just learned how to squeeze.
Longer Me (sorry, Dad): This American Life had a guns show they ran some time ago but then re-ran it recently about guns; one segment presented a Texas State Legislator whose parents were gunned down by a lunatic on a killing spree. I abhor this event and understand the pain and terror of this event. However, the conclusions arrived at and the way they are justified are illogical and hurtful.
Basically, the argument gun advocates make in this kind of situation is that our gun laws are restrictive of the GOOD guys (the ones who kill for the right reasons)--if the law had let me, a law-abiding citizen, carry my weapon, loaded, into this public place I would have a chance of saving myself and others. This is very simply a deterrent argument. I want my fear of your killing me balanced by your fear of my killing you.
1. Deterrence--not viable...killing is a state of mind and the willingness to kill will not be hindered by a fear of being killed (one might surmise that psychologically it might have the opposite effect). Also, one assumes that this thought ever enters anyone's head in these situations.
2. State of Mind--those that are capable of killing at random or in a specific way are not going to be deterred by laws. And unless you are this kind of person then you are not going to have the upper-hand against these people. It's why those of us against gun ownership generally FEAR gun owners of all stripes--they CAN and DO kill. And yet, though I fear your mentality I do not rush out to buy a gun to protect myself from you...I try to foster some kind of "cooler heads" dialogue.
3. First Strike--unlike Mutually Assured Destruction, and if the history of Dueling is any indication--two guns aimed at the same time and discharged at two people seems to normally leave only one dead or maimed. If I think you have a gun and I have a gun I may be more inclined to make a First Strike to ensure my survival.
4. As one of the segments of TAL noted--a gun is often and readily wielded thoughtlessly--this thoughtlessness is IRREPARABLE. If I want to beat you up--I need to look you in the face; I need to weigh my options (can you beat me up?); I need to FEEL the violence. If I want to stick you with a knife--easier than a fist fight perhaps, but more VIOLENT and thus a harder commitment...this is SERIOUS Damage and you will see it--it is still an INTIMATE violence. A gun; I just need to pull the trigger first, turn and run. This lacks REALITY until after the fact.
5. What are your chances of being the victim of the unstable person shooting you in a mass event of killing? I'd venture to say All-State might like to sell you a policy on that. Oh, wait they do--it's a "terror" policy. They will gladly take your money as this is nearly a "non-event".
6. What are your chances, if EVERYONE is armed, that you will be a victim of gun violence? Who will do the math? I'm sure this is more frightening than a terror event.
7. This is dove-tailing nicely in our current kill culture with the fear that the terrorist is living right next door to us--born and bred right here--they might be your neighbor--ARM YOURSELVES! And then what, kill your neighbor because of your media-induced paranoia? This is becoming a mass-insanity-hysteria event.
8. Glorifying VIOLENCE. Thank you Star Wars...Thank you Saving Private Ryan. Thank you video game violence. Our porn "sneaks" in over the Internet but our killing is doctrinaire. Are these the same impulses?
9. Hell, our military industrial complex doesn't really want to use guns--they want to use high tech killing machines and drop bombs. In fact, we now murder via video game console. Remove the stain of personal responsibility. Remove the thought. MURDER thoughtlessly. Simple.
A population of killers. Nice legacy for your children.