I’ve been debate the pro-rights side on guns for so long that I sometimes forget that it is easy to leave newcomers behind. Tonight was a case in point.
I left the following comment, via Facebook, on a “Think Progress” article entitled “An Aurora Shooting Survivor Makes A Powerful Gun Control Ad:
We had the debate. Your side lied, cheated, and took unfair advantage at every opportunity. But still your side lost. Big time.
You side lost the safety argument and your side lost the legal argument (see the U.S. Supreme Court decisions D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago). You have no arguments left. The conversation was over years ago and all you are doing now is whining about the outcome. Go tell your problems to a therapist because the adults in this conversation aren’t interested in your delusions of relevancy.
Yes. It is recycled from a blog post I made a while back.
A former manager of mine at Microsoft (a really nice guy BTW) responded with:
Joe, If I were to support the idea of a civilian carrying a gun, you’d be one of the few people I would trust with one. Because I think you know what you’re doing. However, I don’t get why the law allows any average Joe (pun intended) who has no f*ing clue — or worse, has dangerous intent — to easily carry one as well. It makes no sense to me.
Okay. Time to get back to the basics. Shyam is a naturalized citizen from Sri Lanka. He doesn’t have the full history of gun control, gun ownership rates, and crime statistics in this country at the tip of his tongue. And probably 99+% of the native citizens don’t either. My original comment presumes too much. So I followed up with the following:
First off, you missed an important concept. The law doesn’t “allow”. The law has relatively few restrictions. Freedom is the default position rather than “allowed” or “granted”.
Getting past that point there are two reasons there are relatively few restrictions: 1) There is no data to indicate it makes the violent crime rate worse; 2) It is a specific enumerated right just as is the right to free speech or freedom of religion even if the speaker/writer has no clue what they are talking about. A case can be made that certain books (Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as well as certain religious texts come to mind) are responsible for more deaths than private ownership of firearms. Yet we “allow” free speech.
Another way to think of this is that violence against an innocent person is already illegal. Making the possession of a tool that enables such violence illegal is not going to increase the barrier against the more fundamental crime. And furthermore even a complete ban on firearms cannot be expected to be any more effective than a complete ban on certain recreational drugs are now. Which is to say, “Completely ineffective”. But what such restrictions do accomplish is create a black market for such items and nearly completely eliminate any good that can be accomplished by the use of such items. Hence law abiding people who need to defend themselves are prevented from defending themselves with the best tools available while those with criminal intent get full advantage of such tools against disarmed victims.
There. I hope that helps.
Update: Shyam replied a few minutes later:
You had me, up to the point about self defense. I once had a manager at MS who carried around a Rambo knife, for self defense. He even once took it on the plane, on a work trip to Arizona (usability study of some educational software we were building) and San Francisco. Long story short, someone in baggage handling stole his knife .. and he was very uncomfortable being out in the open, walking around sfo that night… we should get lunch sometime. No guns or Rambo knives 🙂
I work downtown near Westlake Park. If we are close enough to walk name the time and the place for lunch.
Interesting about self defense being the place that I “lost him”.