I haven’t done one of these in a long time. I haven’t thought about something this seriously in a long time. After it happened, I did a post about the fact that before people even knew all the facts, they were jumping on the two major bandwagons that exist in this country.
The first bandwagon is the liberal one. It says that this happened because there it is so easy to get guns. If we make it harder for people to get guns, then these sorts of crimes won’t happen. The second bandwagon is that if people had more guns, they could have stopped this. That people with guns could have made a difference.
I want to be far more thorough in this special comment than I was in the other post. Here’s the thing about the liberal argument – it’s lazy. It is a lazy argument to say that if we get rid of guns, violent crimes will go away. Because it deliberately ignores the investigation into why these things happen. So many people just say, “he’s crazy.” “The shooter was mentally ill.” That is also lazy. There seems to be a phobia among Americans when it comes to looking at things critically.
Violent crime doesn’t come from guns. It has never come from guns. Long before people had guns, people were killing people. Of course, I am not one of those people who makes the argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” That argument is as tired as it is weak. But long before guns, murder was still happening.
The reasons why are many. The first is because there is a part of human nature that is violent. We are not beholden to it, but it is there all the same. Before guns, we used swords. The sword has killed just as many people, if not more, than a gun. Before swords, primitive humans beat each other to death with clubs or primitive tools. The violence of the human animal goes back to before we were human. Violence is a part of nature. And much as we like to deny it, we are animals.
The next reason is because there are a LOT of social problems in this country. Before we look at regulating guns, here’s a thought – how about we end the drug war. It is a safe bet that most violent crime in this country comes from the unbelievably stupid war on drugs, which is hugely tied into the existence of gangs and organized crime. Where there is organized crime, there is violence. These two things have gone hand in hand since day one. If all drugs, not just marijuana, but everything was made legal, it could be controlled, taxed, and taken off the street. You can bet that if all of the drug market was legal, the illegal market would be crushed in a matter of weeks. In a matter of weeks, crime would drop because gangs would be put out of business.
If the liberals are going to argue for the making of having firearms illegal, then they have to be smarter about that. Now, some liberals take a position that owning a gun should be a lot like getting a car. I am not totally against that. It is a fact that the regulations already in place are often ignored. That is taking things from a measured perspective, but to say that we should outright ban them is foolish.
Another thing that must be taken into account is that how would getting rid of all guns be enforced? It would be enforced by cops. The police. Honestly, the cops are far more dangerous than the average criminal. The police have demonstrated, time and time again, how they will abuse authority and are accountable to nobody. So, we want an armed and more and more violent force who has shown that cracking down on the public is not outside the purview of what is acceptable to have jurisdiction over what we keep in our homes?
Not only would the cops, who have been proven not to be trustworthy, have authority over average people, but if you take away people’s right to have something, guess what you create – a black market. Another black market would be made, in addition to the one we have now. Ironically, the one we have now would feed into this new one. Neat little spiral of death, isn’t it?
Alright, so we’ve railed off on the liberals for a bit. Don’t want to see one-sided. The conservative position – that if all people had had guns, this wouldn’t have happened, is also flawed.
For one thing, it isn’t like people can’t get guns now. Guns have less requirements to purchase than pretty much any other dangerous item in this country. I am not for taking them away, but I have a great deal of respect for how dangerous these weapons are. People in this country only have to go through a background check, and then they can have a weapon.
Here’s another thing – most theaters don’t have laws that prohibit people from having a weapon. And plenty of people don’t listen to those laws anyway, just going where they go armed. So, with that being said, would more weapons have made a difference here? Well, if people could have guns, why didn’t they? Why didn’t they shoot back at him?
The reason is because guns are dangerous. They make loud noises. They are known to kill people. Most people don’t want to kill people. Conservatives who talk about getting more guns have, and I think you can bet, almost never fired a gun at a real person before. They have never had human life in their hands. Being so cavalier about killing people is part of the problem of our culture. We can talk about it easy as you like, but doing it? That’s harder.
Here’s the reality – there is a lot of social change that needs to happen before we can even talk about gun laws. And getting more guns to more people isn’t going to change things anyway. But the real tragedy is that not one person is trying to get into the underlying issue that got us here. Or rather, not one person who is in the mainstream media. That’s how America is now.
It’s sad, really, when thinking about something is just too hard.