Re: Guns [was Re: property Rights]

Steve Tucker (
Thu, 27 May 1999 21:45:22 -0500

"Joe E. Dees" wrote:

> It cannot be argusd that removing guns selectively from those with
> the propensity to lawlessly and/or irresponsibly use them
> (convicted violent criminals, children, the mentally deficient or
> deranged, spouse and/or child abusers) would provide the
> maximum in societal protection. However, the pro-gunners are
> addicted to punishment and immune to prevention. They would
> rather have Harris and Klebold shoot up a school full of kids, and
> then punish them, than to adopt reasonable and rational measures
> designed to prevent the guns from getting into their hands.

I assume you meant "can be argued". The problem I see is, who gets to draw up the list? (Hint: think "politicians".) We have your list above. If we add other peoples' categories, we would surely have to add members of the KKK, pro-lifers (no conflict there eh? :-), skinheads, etc. Probably anyone with a drug history, then anyone with a criminal record. Surely anyone who's advocated anarchy or lbertarianism. In fact, just to be safe, probably anyone who doesn't "need" one for their "official government duties", which brings us back to the present: the banners' stated goal of taking everyone's guns away.

Another thing: presumably convicted violent criminals are listed because you do not believe they are rehabilitated. The question here is the same as with Megan's law: if these people are still dangerous, why on earth are they being placed back into society? The question in my mind is not whether they should have guns, but how have we determined that they are (1) dangerous and (2) should be set free? Considering that lethal weapons are not hard to find (cars, bricks, knives, bats, crossbows, hammers, etc. etc.) I do not feel especially comforted even if they are prevented from obtaining guns (which they are not, regardless of the law).

I apply precisely the same logic to wife/child abusers and the mentally ill.

Children are an interesting topic. Like adults, some are eminently trusthworthy (I know several personally) and some are not (I know several personally). The gov't's own studies show that the rate of shootings (deliberate and accidental) committed with guns is far lower among children who have been trained in proper usage of firearms than it is among those who have not. I would tend towards a position of holding the parents responsible for their child committing a shooting; it might tend to increase the parents' motivation to properly train and educate their kids. Accrediting agencies offering courses may be another route to such education. (Also keep in mind that I am referring to actual children; I will not commit the gov't's distortion of including teenage gang-bangers as children for the purpose of skewing gun crime statistics.)

I mention all this mainly in an attempt to illustrate that "reasonable and rational" will be interepreted differently by different people, and no doubt get lost entirely (as is traditional) in the political process.

If guns are generally available to law-abiding citizens, those who initiate violence against them, with or without guns, will find their numbers dwindling over time. A little process called natural selection. Society will become safer as result. I think that result, a safer society, is what most "gun nuts" are, and should be, focused on. Your tactic of ascribing evil motives to others does nothing to advance your argument rhetorically, and much to diminish it.

Just as an exercise, the next time someone responds to a proposal by saying "I don't think it will work," try considering that perhaps they _actually don't think it will work_, rather than assuming they're looking for excuses to use their guns.