Monday, January 28, 2013

An Open Challenge to Gun Enthusiasts

Yes, there are many, many examples of responsible gun ownership. Nobody is questioning that, and I count many good friends as examples.

The problem is that our society does not just accept guns, it is obsessed with guns, it looks at guns with hungry eyes and it latches tenaciously to sense is security felt by unbridled ownership. It wants guns in more variety, with more capabilities and in larger quantities than any sane citizen could ever use.

And this has effects.

These excesses find use in Mexico. These excesses find use in gang warfare, school shootings, domestic disputes, armed robberies and at least on a more personally felt level, these excesses reflect a value system of fear, mistrust and isolation that I detest.

Give me one example of a high capacity magazine being both necessary and properly used in self defense. I want you to give me an example of one person unloading more than ten rounds against aggressors, and doing so in a situation that legally warrants it and was necessitated by circumstance (freaking out and shooting rounds indiscriminately does not count).

Give me one example of government over-reach being suppressed primarily by personal firearms. I'll even let you look around the world and as far back as the early 20th century for examples - I think you'll find that armed internal conflicts tend to sway with the military's whims or with external support.

For each instance of high capacity magazine use, I will give you ten instances of mass shootings made possible in part by their existence.

For each instance of successful armed civic insubordination, I will give you a hundred examples of change being accomplished with nothing more than a pen, a voice or a peaceful action.

The problem here is that though gun owners are frequently responsible on an individual basis, their overall view on the relative utility of these tools in our society is completely out of line with the reality of a modern world, and there are consequences to that. This is what gun control should be about: diluting these fantasies.