A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, January 17, 2011 :::
Guns don't kill people...


A Mind That Suits received an "Instant Classic" award from friend Jonathan for something in fact he has been saying for two years, just not publicly.  (Scroll down to previous posts.)

He is now inspired to bring out another private saying of many years,  to whit:

It may be true that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," but people with guns sure do kill a lot of people.

More, far more, than they would if they didn't have guns
Absolutely nothing says more about why Americans have a lower life expectancy than other advanced countries than the fact that Congress thought it worthwhile to create a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Exposives.  (To find out just how tied up ATF is in every debate about American freedom and the role of government, see the interesting historical overview at Wikipedia.)

As a sane debate over guns, lunacy, and crime has finally begun, there are also signs that a healthy general debate over guns in our society is about to recommence, and it's a long time coming.  There is something of a preemptive opening volley in the Wall Street Journal from--judgment based solely on what he wrote this morning-- an opponent of most gun control.  (Please note: metaphor used advisedly.  Apparently, one needs to clarify normal English usage for any argumentative readers with frightfully literal minds, who probably think that our second largest department store chain sells Weapons of Mass Destruction.)

As usual, A Mind that Suits has on this point very conservative reflexes, combined with a conservative belief that principle must be adjusted for reality. 

While he has an immense respect of the people who, over that last 223 years have crafted the Constitution as it currently binds our government, including the valiant soldiers who died in the Civil War, he also has a hard time imaging that the 2nd Amendment covers technology most Americans, let alone the Founders, could have conceived of until very, very recently.  It surely applies to advances in technology that the Founders knew, so its gurantee of a pre-existing right to keep and bear arms covers more than front-loading muskets.  It is hard to see that it covers automatics with large clips, and the ban on such weapons should not have been allowed to lapse.

That last Congressional inaction is but one more example that the Left's overwheening desire for total control almost guarantees that those who advocate virtually no control will win the day.  The public's desire for reasonable control gets commandeered to achieve total control, so there is a backlash.  And there is no hope at all that the Left has learned from previous mistakes.

The article cited above frankly tries to sidestep the rather clear lesson that if Jared Loughner had not had an automatic pistol, he would have shot only one or two people, and not more than a score.  If we can start with that problem, and stick to just that problem, we might make some progress.

UPDATE:  Prof. Kleck, author of the article cited below, is a well-known figure in research on gun use.  His research findings are rather interesting, at least as highlighted here.  He says objective data point in the direction of one conservative position--that guns play a much larger role in preventing crime than in committing it--and points in the direction of a different kind of conservative point--that capital punishment does nothing more than kill specific murderers.  A number of conservatives, including Kathryn Jean Lopez at the National Review and A Mind That Suits here at, well, A Mind That Suits, believe that means it is a bad idea.  For A Mind That Suits, that is at least because no one should be wrongfully killed, and juries do make mistakes.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 11:39 AM



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