Bleeding America – why the pro-gun arguments are bleeding nonsense.
Another mass shooting! Like you, I went through all the stages of bereavement – from horror, pain and sadness right through to anger. Then the search for someone to blame.
And another bruising Twitter battle with gun-supporting Americans, some of whom are really Not Nice people. (one of whom, by the way, retweets all the “liberal” tweets he doesn’t like, so that his followers – all techie right-wingers, can proceed to troll or send viruses to victims. So if I get trolled or viruses I will know the source.)
Here I sum up their arguments, and why they are wrong. Frankly, having seen and heard (in the media) all the pro arguments, there are NONE that stand up to logical scrutiny. I will not cover all the arguments – so please, any I’ve forgotten, let me know.
- “If guns were banned criminals would always be able to get one”. True. In the UK, many criminals are able to get guns. But the difference is, they can be arrested for merely possessing the weapon! This means that if the police have reason to suspect someone is a criminal, they can search the person and arrest him/her if carrying. Also, they can stop and search. The result is that gun crime in the UK is a tiny percentage of the US! Also, that word “always”. No, the law makes it difficult. So a person will find it hard to get a gun on a whim.
- “Gun owners would fight to keep their weapons”. Some would! But a very powerful publicity campaign and a commitment from the authorities would ensure most weapons are handed in. The key example is Australia. Their amnesty and confiscation programme has saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.
- “I need a gun to protect myself and my family” see 1 above. If your gun is taken away and criminals can’t carry, everyone is safer. Also, this will take a huge burden off law enforcement eventually, save money and resources which can be used to protect the citizen.
- “I am a responsible person who never harmed anybody. Why should I give up my gun?” Everybody is not as responsible as you. People get drunk. Or drugged. People get mad with someone else, maybe a cheating partner or lying friend. Young punks go out for fun and rob gas stations. And sadly, some people have severe mental illnesses like psychopathy. So give up your gun so that we can make it difficult or impossible for those less responsible than you are to kill on a whim, or in fury, or drunk.
- “If they can’t get a gun they will get another weapon. Or a bomb.” Sure. But you can’t kill nearly as many with a knife, say. In the UK we have had some horrific knife attacks. But the numbers killed or injured were tiny compared with the potential for mass murder of a gun, especially a semi-automatic weapon. As to bombs, sure. Very scary. But it takes some research and skill to create a viable bomb, and there is many a slip between buying the components needed and setting off a bomb in public. Bombers frequently blow themselves up, or are detected before they can cause mayhem, or they create bombs which don’t work. I don’t propose detailing all the recent examples. If you are aware of the news you know what they are.
- “It’s my right according to the Second Amendment of the Constitution.” The Second, written in 1791, says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. Written in 1791! When the USA was under threat from the British, when there were dangers all around. Hence, “The Militia.” Well, in the Bible (Leviticus I believe) we are told to stone adulterers, amongst others. This instruction was AMENDED by the fellow Jesus, who said, let those without sin cast the first stone. He amended the Old Testament. So the Amendment now needs to be amended. “Amend” means “make minor changes to (a text, piece of legislation, etc.) in order to make it fairer or more accurate, or to reflect changing circumstances.” So amend this Amendment!
- “If you ban guns you need to ban alcohol or cars, because they kill people too” Answer this then: Are either of those specifically manufactured in order to kill or injure? If your answer is no, the whole argument collapses up its own bottom.
- “But I LIKE guns…” Actually I understand that. I have a couple of antique black powder weapons myself. It’s about 200 years since they were fired in anger and I’m sure if anyone was stupid enough to stuff gunpowder down those muzzles, the person concerned would have devised a damn messy suicide. Guns have an attraction which is seminal, deep, disturbing. It’s definitely more of a boy thing, it’s a penis substitute or extension. So my message to people who find guns “fascinating” is buy some really old ones. They carry their murderous history in their dead wood and metal. But thank heavens their murdering days are over.
- “Sport” – Hunting. Killing for meat. Well, this horrifies me as a recent convert to vegetarianism. No modern human in an industrial society with high GDP needs to hunt. Is it thrilling? Possibly. But it’s only FAIR if the beast hunted is also armed with a weapon, has the intention to kill humans for meat and has all the technological resources a human hunter would have. Target shooting? Well, that encourages gun-loving. But maybe in very controlled conditions, with the guns only provided for that specific sport, and kept locked up by the club in a tremendously secure place like an arsenal. I have my doubts about that.
- “Jobs and revenue depend on the arms industry.” True. And horrifying. The huge revenue from arms sales in America and Britain is a massive blot on our civilisation. As a result of this business of death, the pro-arms lobby, especially the NRA in the USA have huge resources. Their brainwashing tactics, bribery of government, senators, congressmen and entire political parties (GOP in particular) will not be forgiven by the families and friends of the victims of untrammelled guns. The NRA are accomplices in the crime of murder. Every killing with a legal gun can partly be blamed on them. There should be a massive Class Action against this evil group of cynical, money-motivated accessories to murder.
- And finally, “It’s not guns that kill people. It’s people that kill people”. No, idiot. It’s people WITH GUNS that kill people. More quickly, more easily and in quantity.
Is that everything? I doubt it. My conclusion: THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION ON EARTH WHICH MAKES IT OK TO MURDER. And there is NO JUSTIFICATION ON EARTH TO MAKE IT EASY.