Sunday, March 8, 2009

My View On Guns

In my mind, there are three arguments for responsible gun ownership that are firmly based on well grounded logic:

1. Human responsibility should be placed on the human responsible.
2. Do not assign moral values to an inanimate object.
3. Removal of one outlet of human nature will ensure a replacement of said outlet.

When speaking of responsibility, it is easy in today's American society to "consider the circumstances", and begin to "understand" a criminal's background, childhood, motivations, etc. As such, it has also been popular to hoist the anti-gun flag every time a high profile incident comes along that involves some human acting in an inhumane fashion and utilizing a gun to do so. I will not belabor the point by describing how many people have come to be successful in spite of their less than stellar backgrounds, childhoods, or motivations, I will simply say that if you act in a criminal fashion, expect to be treated as one.

Guns are inanimate objects. They do not feel, think, consider, plot, devise, move, load themselves, walk, stretch, yawn, play rugby (or wii), scratch themselves inappropriately, speak, yell, scream, or otherwise act independently of outside influence or manipulation. They are not autonomous entities of malignant hatred. An electroencephalograph (EEG) would demonstrate my point admirably by doing nothing, thus confirming the absolutely brain-dead existence of a collection of fitted metal, plastic, and/or wooden parts that have constituted every firearm since their inception. The idea that they infuse your being with a malevolent desire to do harm to others is fairly ludicrous when you consider the fact that they just plain can't do such a thing. It's scientifically impossible. Ask any scientist. Whatever you feel about doing to another human being was inherently there prior to the presence of the weapon in question. Now put down the gun and go see a shrink.

Take away guns from law-abiding citizens, and you will have defenseless law-abiding citizens. The criminals will not surrender their guns in the spirit of fair play. Furthermore, if you succeed in removing the vast majority of guns from the American public (law-abiding or otherwise...), you will witness a facet of human nature:

We don't need guns to kill each other.

After a widespread ban on guns in the UK, knife-related homicides have increased dramatically. Legislators are considering a ban on edged weapons now, and cricket bat manufacturers are salivating in anticipation...

Please realize that while you may criminalize wrongful acts of human nature, you cannot proactively legislate human nature itself. Even if someone threatens to take a life, you must still wait for that act to occur before you take action against it. The sad fact of life is that we all get the chance to do either the right thing or the wrong thing, and some of us don't do decisions real well.

Lumping everyone together and assuming that the removal of a gun from the equation is going to heal the aspects of our emotional and mental makeups that permit us to act in so evil a fashion towards others is intellectually sophomoric at best. I for one, am insulted every time a blanket law is passed that punishes everyone for the actions of a few individuals who represent the genetic equivalent of canine excrement.

But then some people highly cherish the tenet of evil thinking that fuels racism, sexism, and other assorted social maladies:

"The actions of the few dictate the treatment of the many."

H/T: BBC News