Gun owners as rabid dogs

What if someone were to express their concerns about allowing blacks their freedom after some crime committed by a gang of young black men in this fashion?

In the debate over gun control, a key issue is being ignored. Instead of emphasizing personal liberties, we should be talking about protecting public health and safety.

In many other arenas we limit individual freedom to protect the lives of others. When someone has a highly communicable disease, she or he is quarantined. Even dogs with rabies are isolated to prevent transmission. You wouldn’t want a person infected with Ebola virus walking the streets and kissing your children. We also limit the use, and particularly the sale, of dangerous and addicting drugs.

It is the potential victims whose lives we should focus on protecting. Putting modest limits on types of weapons and who can own them is a small price to pay for enhanced safety and security.

Comparing gun owners to rabid dogs should not be any more acceptable than comparing Jews, blacks, or homosexuals to them. Yet somehow it is acceptable in this country.

Those who have not experienced life in the absence of personal liberties should not advocate the rejection of those liberties without first consulting those who have.

I’m reminded of what William Pitt the younger said, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”


5 thoughts on “Gun owners as rabid dogs

  1. “In the debate over gun control, a key issue is being ignored. Instead of emphasizing personal liberties, we should be talking about protecting public health and safety.”

    Oh okay, we’re back to this: a century of disarmament did not enhance the healthy and safety of the population of the U.S. This country experienced the sharpest incline in risk of violent crime victim-hood during the most active years of disarmament policy.

  2. “What if someone were to express their concerns about allowing blacks their freedom … in this fashion?”

    Already been done, Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857):

    (Citizenship) would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.

    As you point out, this is nothing new, just a variant on the same bigotry.

  3. I lost my father about two and a half weeks ago, and I’ve been through a lot of grief since then. He fell down the stairs and hit his head, and then died from hemorrhaging of the brain. He had a stroke four years earlier, which probably contributed to his loss of balance, and he had blood thinners, which made it difficult to control the bleeding.

    It is natural to rhetorically say “we should ban stairs!”, to mock gun-control activists. Obviously, we shouldn’t, because stairs give us far more convenience than the danger presents.

    But, in my grief, I found myself asking “What was my family thinking? Why were they allowing my Dad to carry his laundry up the stairs?!? With his stroke, it’s practically inevitable that he’d fall down like he did!!!” It can reasonably be argued that, because of his stroke, he shouldn’t have been allowed to take risks like going up and down stairs, or exploring the Salt Lake valley via walking, bus, light rail, and train.

    Then again, after his stroke, my Dad lost the ability to work–to design, build, and repair electronics circuits, in particular–but even to write computer programs, or to tinker in general. In many ways, simple things like doing his own laundry, or wandering the Valley, were the last few dignities that my Dad still had. And I’m inclined to think that, had we taken even those away, he may have simply just lost the will to live…and whether or not he would have lived longer, it would have been even worse for him.

    It seems that too many people are eager to take away our freedoms, so that we could all be “safe”…but these people never seem to consider what the removal of these freedoms will do to our dignity, or our will to live–or even whether or not they actually make us safer.

    And I, for one, am tired of sacrificing liberty for the illusion of security.

  4. I, for one, am tired of being compared to a rabid dog. But hey, keep pushing; I might not be rabid but that doesn’t mean I won’t bite.

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