The whole gun control debate, particularly following the Marysville High School shooting that took place in my area, has compelled me to say something unpleasant, but necessary.
Out of all the political discussions we have in America, this is without question among the most dishonest. The two sides speak completely separate languages.
I could write an entire book on this, which some have, but I’ll summarize it as follows: You cannot physically prevent people from killing each other by passing laws.
Let me put this in an uncomfortable scenario; let’s say someone decides to blow up their local shopping center. They make the bombs using kitchen supplies, put it in a sports bag, take it to the shopping center, set it to go off in five minutes, put it underneath a bench, and walk away.
There is absolutely nothing – nothing – to prevent this from happening.
It is the same with shootings. Nobody is willing to write about it, and I even have a hard time bringing this up in conversations with people who share my political beliefs more or less.
Why people don’t kill: Morality and Self-Preservation
Imagine how many opportunities you have each day to kill. There are many. When you stand on the sidewalk waiting for the bus, sitting in your car waiting for someone to cross the crosswalk. Moving around the hardware store surrounded by deadly objects.
Practically speaking, what prevents you from doing it?
Nothing. There are really only two things that stop a person.
Morality; they simply believe it’s wrong. They have no desire to kill because they have a conscience. That takes care of the majority of people.
For the rest, the other reason is self-preservation; i.e., getting caught and being punished. This is where laws actually can prevent killing, when there’s a harsh penalty as a consequence. Most people prefer not to spend a few decades in prison. Even if people have the desire, it’s not worth the price they might pay. Thus, the ideal opportunity never prevents itself.
School shootings, and other similar incidents, are what happen when someone lacks the morality and the self-preservation. They want to kill people and then kill themselves. All the SWAT teams and armored cars and surveillance and gun free zone signs in the world cannot prevent someone like that.
Guns have nothing to do with it. Timothy McVeigh killed hundreds with fertilizer. Gary Ridgeway strangled his victims with suspenders. The 9/11 terrorists used plastic knives and airplanes.
Which brings me to the next hatefact.
Tools are Not to Blame for What a Person Does with Them
Guns are tools. That is it. They do nothing on their own. They can be used for good or evil. The same guns that people use to defend their homes are used to shoot people during drive-bys. The morality of their use is based on what is done with them by the person using them. If a tool is used for evil, then it is because the person who used them is evil. When a person kills another person with a car, it is called vehicular homicide, but nobody discusses the type of car or how if we regulated cars differently the death might have been prevented. We know and understand that the car is not to blame for what the driver does.
The fact that we obsess over the tool employed and downplay the evil of the person who did it, or view them as a victim of circumstance, represents the moral decay in our society. When news got out about the Newton shooting and how a man had murdered kindergartners, there was more outrage at the fact that he had guns than the fact that he was willing to kill innocent children at point-blank range.
This would have been like American soldiers finding the Holocaust victims in concentration camps and concluding that it was due to “gas chamber violence,” as if the means and not the end were the problem.
The entire focus is on guns and violence involving guns, and this brings me to the critical and most likely unpleasant aspect of this debate.
Gun control proponents are utterly disingenuous about their real objective, which is to disarm the American public. Get them drunk or force them to take a truth serum or speak to them in private, and they will admit that they believe no one except police and the military should have guns. It is their raison d’être.
This is why all the laws they pass or promote discourage law abiding citizen from owning guns and create inane liabilities for those who do. It is why they constantly claim that the less guns citizens own the safer we are, rather than educating people about how to safely handle a firearm. It is why they admire countries in which citizens are not allowed to own firearms – and ignore countries like Switzerland that have a high private gun ownership and no crime, or cities with strict gun control laws like Chicago and D.C. that also have high crime rates.
It is why they employ Orwellian terms like “gun violence” as if violence involving a gun is worse than other types of violence, which also says nothing about the morality of the act. A young woman shooting her would-be rapist and a man shooting his ex-girlfriend because she broke up with him are both examples of gun violence, which is why they don’t talk about unjustified gun violence.
It is my sincere belief that gun control proponents and those who view law-abiding gun owners with hostility do so because they would like to use the government in ways which they know would result in a civil war if they attempted to do so – and they would lose. They know as long as the American people have guns they cannot carry out this agenda. They also know that if they were honest about their intentions they would never get anywhere, so they must lie about their goals.
Also, by owning guns, people are tacitly declaring self-reliance in terms of their own defense. For people who want citizens to be reliant entirely on government for everything, from their healthcare to their bodily safety, this is a direct challenge to this philosophy.
What gun control advocates don’t realize, or perhaps do but will never admit, is the irony that they themselves are often the reason people own guns. They own guns because they are terrified of what gun control proponents would do to them if they ever successfully disarmed them.
These people are ignorant of history. Our War for Independence started when the British redcoats attempted to seize arms and munitions the Minutemen had stored in Lexington and Concord. The war started over an attempt to disarm the citizens. Sadly, they are too foolish to realize when they might cross that line. If they do, they may get the civil war they hope so dearly to avoid.