Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Fisking the gun argument

A friend who keeps a gun at home "for safety" posted a link to Sam Harris' blog about why he likes his guns and thinks it's silly to give them up. It is, in short, asinine. I'll summarize the first bit for you:
  1. People worry that having guns in the home increases their risk for gun violence, instead of decreasing it. Although that’s actually true, I don’t care, because I’m special.
  2. If someone wants, for some inexplicable reason, to break into my home specifically to hurt me, the police can’t help in time, so I have to be my own police.
  3. Although it’s perfectly reasonable to keep a gun right next to the people you care most about, carrying a gun around in public is crazy because it will escalate problems just like a knife. In fact, knives and guns are pretty much equivalent in terms of the damage they can cause, except where they aren’t.
  4. Gun violence is going down, but everyone’s got guns, so it’s getting safer and safer to have or be near a gun. Especially in the countryside. And the safest guns of all are assault rifles because they’re involved in such a small percentage of the thousands of gun deaths we see each year. Really what’s dangerous is urban (black) people. They’re really scary, man.
  5. And who cares about deadly weapons that are designed only to kill people when so many people die from other accidents? We all get more upset when children are being shot, but that’s so unusual, which is why we’re more upset, but damn, it’s really upsetting, isn’t it. What was I saying?
 One of his main points seems to be that crazy and evil people will always be able to find a gun, so why bother trying to limit them? It's just too hard. It's sort of like trying to explain politics to women, which is why only men are allowed to vote, right Sam?


Blogger The back of the hill said...

I'll admit that I have a gun somewhere in the house, though for the life of me I cannot remember where. Probably underneath some super-old cans of pipe tobacco. I know it's unloaded, and the last time I had any bullets was nearly thirty years ago.

That said, far too many people have guns. There has to be a limit put on those things. Make it harder to get a gun, and that will make it even harder yet for the loonies and psychos to lay their hands on a weapon.

The answer to gun violence is NOT having everyone walking around armed. Far too many normal people are outright idiots, and everytime you read about someone accidentally shooting a family member, the first thing that comes into your mind should never be "dang, if only little Johnny had a pistol, he could have shot back".

More limits on guns. Far more regulation regarding automatics. Required check on criminal records for purchases of clips and large amounts of ammo. Required gun safety courses for purchasers of rifles, and serious jail terms for illegal sales of Saturday Night Specials. More paperwork and required record keeping (including registering the ballistics of each weapon sold) for gun merchants and those who repair or restore guns.

1/11/2013 4:37 PM  

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