What About the Guns?

In my last post, I commented on the president’s recent use of children as cynical props in the effort to restrict gun ownership.  From this, some have made the assumption that I am an opponent of gun control.  The presumption seems to be that anyone who favors a political cause these days must be willing to applaud any tactic that is used to further that cause.  The resultant attitude is that “Hey, we are busy saving the world here, so we can use any tactics that will help”.

This is the problem with what Eric Voegelin calls “gnostic political movements.”   When you and your partisans know how to save the world, it is easy to persuade yourself that you have both the right and duty to do so “by any means necessary” (as the radical violence-justification slogan has always had it).

Well, I don’t agree.  When a political movement cheerfully embraces such cynical manipulation, I cry foul.

As for Gun Control as an issue, I am fairly agnostic.  If I knew how to get guns out of the hands of crooks and crazies, I’d want to do it.  But I don’t, and neither do the Gun Control advocates.

The Second Amendment?  I don’t think it is much of an issue until we can agree what that “militia” clause means.

Hunting is a legitimate sport, and also the way many of my friends in Montana and New Hampshire feed their families.  Rifles and shotguns, including limited-magazine semi-automatics, are perfectly legit.

Target shooting?  An OK sport, I guess, although I always thought they used .22 caliber bolt action rifles.

Assault rifles?  You got me.  I am not sure what that category includes.  If it is automatic weapons (like machine guns or sub-machine guns), then it ought to be banned.  (I thought it already was.)

Large capacity magazines?  Who the hell needs them?  Soldiers and cops.

Background checks?  A good idea, I guess.  Apparently a lot of applications get turned down, so they must work at least somewhat on crooks.  But not on crazies, I suspect.

Hand Guns are another matter, and here we come to the real nub of the issue.  The handgun is the best weapon for most crime – and also for personal self-defense.

If crooks did not have such easy supplies of guns, there would be a lot less crime and a lot less fear.  But that is not the real world.  In our world, cops and courts are overwhelmed and underpowered.  The result is that many citizens fear for their lives and property all over America.

And there is a natural law that stands far above the Second Amendment: it is the individual’s right of self-defense.   It must be recognized and protected.

And many who are concerned about their self-defense suspect that Gun Control Advocates are inclined to treat all guns the same, and to regard legitimate gun possession and use as a privilege.

They fear that the most vocal such advocates don’t understand self-defense concerns because they reside in upper-class gated communities with private guards.

And lastly, there is the question of the effectiveness of gun bans.  Do they work?  When you look at Chicago gun-crime rates and gun-crime laws, you have to wonder.

So there is plenty of room for debate on these questions.  But the best way to avoid debate and still advance your cause is the time-tested one we are seeing in Washington.

Just have a cute 5-year old lisping sweetly into the camera:

“Pleathe, Mithter Prethident, make my thchool thafe!”

I say it is child abuse and I am sick of it.

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