Ban All The Things!

I find it reprehensible when the first reaction to a tragedy is to politicize it (are you listening, Rahm Emmanuel?). So I was really trying to avoid writing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in any kind of political manner. However, the reactionary call for a “national conversation” on gun ownership/laws by gun control advocates has forced my hand, so to speak. Full disclosure: I’m not really a gun person. I don’t hunt, and I don’t own any for personal protection; I just never got into them (although I do enjoy target shooting, which I have done on several occasions). However, that does not mean that I do not believe in defending and securing the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. I firmly believe that Americans have the right to lawfully bear arms (not necessarily to bare arms, Ms. Obama).

Without signgetting into a detailed debate on gun laws, what I find especially despicable is that the leftists/gun control advocates want to use such tragedies to push their own political agenda. They’ll take the recent tragic shootings perpetrated by Adam Lanza, Jovan Belcher, James Holmes, Jacob Roberts, and Jared Laughner  and argue that if we only had stricter gun control laws these senseless acts could have been prevented. Of course, such a notion ignores the reality that if these people were hell-bent on mass murder, they would have found a way, even if guns were not available. Just ask the guy in China who used a knife to slash 23 people at a Chinese school, or the guy who committed a murder-suicide with a bow and arrow. If we take their arguments at face value, we might as well ban everything that someone could use to harm another. Once all the things are banned, we’ll be safe as can be in our little utopian bubbles.

Rather, I suspect something more nefarious. Namely, I think the gun control proponents actually care less about stopping this type of violence than they do for “disarming” the American citizenry, thereby ever-increasing the power of the state. To be sure, there are the few misguided souls who truly and sincerely believe that gun control will end violence, but they aren’t the influence-peddlers.

If these people were committed to ending this type of violence, they would be interested in moving past the tool used, to the actual causes, such as the breakdown of the family and traditional values. However, I’ll leave that debate for another day.

[UPDATE 12/15/12]

I just noticed this in my Twitter feed courtesy of Todd Kincannon; it was written by the mother of someone like Adam Lanza and the others mentioned above. It is truly a remarkable story and is a plea to have the real cause of such behavior recognized:

Thinking the Unthinkable

[UPDATE II 12/16/12]

Randall Collins offers a sociological analysis of the background and motivations of so-called mass rampage killers, and some insight involving gun laws. It is well worth a read:

[…]It is their rarity that attracts so much attention, and their out-of-the-blue, seemingly random relationship between killer and victims, that makes them so dramatically alarming.

This rarity means that very distinctive circumstances are needed to explain mass killings, and that widely available conditions cannot be very accurate predictors. There are approximately 190 million firearms in the civilian population in America, in a population of 310 million. The vast majority of these guns are not used to kill people. Even if we focus on the total number of yearly homicides by gun (about 12,000), the percentage of guns that kill someone is about 12,000 / 190,000,000, or 1 in 16,000. Another way to put it: of approximately 44 million gun owners in the US, 99.97% of them do not murder anyone. It is not surprising that their owners resist being accused of abetting murder.

[…] What can be said analytically is that banning guns is trying to manipulate a variable that is a very weak predictor of mass homicides. It resembles TSA procedures of searching everyone who enters an airport gate area; airplane terrorists are also extremely rare, and thus the vast majority of the persons who are searched are innocent.

(h/t to GayPatriot and Mary Climer for the title; I borrowed it from an ongoing meme in their Twitter feeds)

15 thoughts on “Ban All The Things!

  1. try telling this to the parents of a slaughtered child from Newtown, slaughtered, with at least 3 bullets each in their bodies, I hope you choke on your words. The actual causes are people like you who can so causually compare target shooting with mass murder. If there is a breakdown in traditional values it is in your inept and insolent accusations. Do the math stupid. Countries with strict gun control laws have fewer per capita murders, last year for example: 35 in Britain, 24 in Sweden, 35,000 in the United States. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t give the right for all out warfare on city streets, or in your local grade school, if you interpret it in that way, then it is time to re’write the constitution. Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves. Freedoms are earned, not inherited, miss-use them and you loose them, with freedoms come responsiblities, and if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t be against gun control. Wouldn’t it be a relief not to have to defend the evil and dysfunctional everytime a tradgety happens? What have you against common sense? Laws can’t stop the mad men from evil deeds, but we don’t need to make it easier for them. The moral breakdown that I see is the lack of concern for our social well being, we live in a society, whether you like it or not, and we are responsible for our social wellfare. The days of the frontiersman are over, welcome to 2012. No longer is there a grizzly or Redcoat behind every tree, over 50% of us live in cities, and we are not under attack by native Americans nor is our domain in jeopardy of beiing annexed by a far off king. All these things were true when the 2nd Amendment was written, we should take into consideration our history when interpretating our constitutional rights. No where is it implied that we have the right to use weapons as a recreational passtime. I respect your right to “bear” arms, but I expect your responsibility in so doing. To demeaner the loss of life of innocent children in defense of your fear of weapon infringement is sickening, as a human being your priorities suck.

  2. I can’t believe someone could be so unbelievably wrong about facts and consequences. Let’s start with the shooter…he tried to buy a gun but was refused…the law worked; he obtained guns by stealing them from his mother (the way most criminals obtain them). And what do you want to tell the parents? We’re sorry about what happened, so we’ll infringe upon the constitutional rights of your fellow citizens…maybe another psychopath will then steal a gun and there will be less chance that the next tragedy will be prevented (there’s a reason James Holmes didn’t go to the biggest or closest theater, but the one that banned guns; there’s a reason that evil people target the no gun zones of our schools).

    On your point about murder rates, I invite you to educate yourself with these per capita statistics:

    You’ll see that the U.S. rate of 4.5/100,00 is among the lowest internationally (compare with North Korea, which prevents citizens from owning guns, at 15.2/100,000, or South Africa, with some of the strictest gun laws in the world at 31.8/100,000). There’s also a reason why cities like Philadelphia and Chicago, with very strict gun laws, have the highest murder rates within this country.

    If you’re interested in actually researching the topic, you may want to read “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws” by John Lott for a good analysis. I have a feeling you won’t, but thanks for your comment anyhow.

    • Oh and I neglected to reply to your point about the Constitution. If we are to interpret the historical times in which it was written for applying rights today, remember, the 1st Amendment was written at the same time – there was no Internet, Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, television, etc. Would you argue that the 1st Amendment does not apply to these forms of communication because the founding fathers could not have envisioned them?

      Freedom means that the rights of the law abiding citizen are not to be restricted by those who would break that law.

      • Since you believe law abiding citizens have the right to whatever weapon they chose, does that mean they could have a nuclear weapon?

      • The 1st Amendment is being re-interpreted as we speak, what we write is being logged and analysed. If I were you, I’d be more concerned about freedom of speech than being armed, or do you believe because you are armed, you can defend your freedom of speech?

    • Your feelings are wrong, I would be most interested in reading anything that would help me understand your view point. However, comparing the United States with countries like North Korea and South Africa, give me a break. Try comparing apples with apples.

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  4. Well said, CTX, across the board.

    The Progressive outrage expressed by Martin encapsulates much of what I’ve seen in the past 72 hours: “why do you Right-wing wackos hate kids? Why are so paranoid? Why do you Gun Nuts want everyone to die?”

    I could write this drivel in advance.

    It never occurs to them that ANY tool may be used for good OR bad. Such usage doesn’t make the tool bad, any more than burning myself with a match makes FIRE evil.

    Such common sense used to be, well, …common. Not any more, obviously.

    Martin’s spectacularly bad spelling & grammar notwithstanding (another fine product of a Public School education, apparently), his entire argument can be summed up in this sentence:
    QUOTE: “Wouldn’t it be a relief not to have to defend the evil and dysfunctional everytime a tradgety (sic) happens?”

    The answer is, of course, that far from defending “the evil or dysfunctional”, we are logically pointing out that those acts were conducted by a MAN, not a tool.
    Inanimate objects cannot by definition be evil – something else that Martin’s education failed to teach him.

    When we stop ascribing fault to the TOOL, and instead put the blame squarely on the INDIVIDUAL, we can begin to get to the actual problem, rather than just a convenient symptom.

    • Sorry my English doesn’t meet your standards, Don’t blame your public schools for my poor English, I was educated in Sweden, in Swedish. How many languages can you communicate in?

  5. Nidely covered. I sort of tried refraining from politics but the left politicized the heck out of it right from the begining. Making that impossible. And then last night when I saw the memorial, which itself was good, being completely and totally usurped by Obama who politicized even the memorial service and added his partisan stamp.

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