People who advocate gun control, especially peacenik types in New Zealand forget a few things when they advocate gun control:
For the sake of argument, let’s accept the supposition that outlawing firearms would save lives.¬† Does it logically follow from this that guns should be restricted or banned?
Well, it would certainly save lives and countless injuries if people didn’t engage in mountain-climbing, hang-gliding, motorcycle-racing, trampolining, big-wave surfing, cave-diving, heli-skiing, and a host of other dangerous activities.¬† And, like guns, knives and baseball bats are common murder weapons.¬† Does it logically follow that these items and activities should be banned?
The point is that we never treat saving lives as the only imperative when devising policy.¬† If we did, we’d perhaps consider reducing speed limits on highways to 5 mph, since this might save most of the 43,000 lives lost on the road each year.¬† Speaking of which, since 40 percent of those deaths are alcohol-related, we can consider resurrecting Prohibition, too.
Now, since gun-control advocates think they have morality on their side, they may want to ponder a question: is it moral to sacrifice 43,000 lives just so we can be free to zip around at 55 or 65 mph?¬† The answer here is that the safety imperative is¬†balanced¬†against an economic one, in that too much productivity would be lost with a five-mph speed limit.
One of the arguments that people use is that no one needs a gun in this day and age…despite the fact that it may actually be a fun pursuit…like abseiling, rock climbing or base jumping:
But sometimes far more trivial things trump the safety imperative.¬† No one needs to drink alcohol, go rock-climbing, or play baseball when doing so necessitates the availability of a dangerous weapon.¬† So, imagine that, we’re actually placing fun and enjoyment ahead of saving lives.¬† In fact, some among us will even tolerate death on a massive scale if we think the reason is good enough.¬† An example is when the anti-gun left is willing to accept 1.2 million killings a year through abortion.
So if we’ll accept death through fun, should we question death through the gun?¬† As with dangerous¬†recreation, the enjoyment justification exists with firearms, too, in the form of target and sport shooting.¬† As with driving, an economic justification exists in that revenue is collected from hunters and because some poorer rural Americans help feed themselves through hunting.¬† But there is something here that is a true imperative, one that’s greater than most any other:
Guns are great equalisers. If you don’t beleive me then go hunting in Kaingaroa Forest. Hunters are nothing but polite to each other…the reason is we all¬†have¬†guns and know how to use them…no one gets uppity in the forest.
The apocryphal saying, “God made some men big and others small, but Samuel Colt made them equal,” gets at the point here.¬† Whether it’s a smaller person or a smaller group, firearms tend to even the odds.¬† They help create parity, and that’s not what criminals want — they want easy prey.¬† Thus, like a predator in the wilds that generally won’t attack a¬†creature¬†more than half its size, even if a criminal is armed himself, he’ll be reluctant to tackle a target that can target him back.
Even more significantly, as Prohibition, prostitution, and drugs have proven, illegal isn’t synonymous with unavailable. ¬†So, again, let’s assume that a gun criminalization that left firearms in the hands of a few criminals did save lives overall.¬† What should we conclude if those armed miscreants could nonetheless ply their dark trade with little resistance?¬† What should we feel if good people were declawed and rendered powerless to thwart their evil?