Logic and Guns

Lack of logic can be discerned on both sides of the frothing controversy over gun ownership in America.

Certainly banning all guns would pose enormous practical problems. Forget the bumper sticker slogan about only outlaws having guns if guns are outlawed. There would simply be widespread noncompliance with such a law. Even with the country moving away from the right wing politics that have dominated since 1980, it would be difficult to see legal constraints taking place on anything other than the most powerful artillery. If such laws were to be imposed there are still colossal issues of enforcement. We can’t even control marijuana. Guns are small and easily concealed and they do not degrade over time. A gun 100 years old could still work.

We may be able to ban the most powerful, military-style weapons. But people who oppose guns might accomplish more by simply speaking up on some of the more blatantly illogical stands being pushed by the gun promoters.

Some people out there seem to believe that a gun is a kind of a magic wand that imparts total protection upon its owner. The reality is, if somebody has the drop on you, with a gun of their own, or one stolen from you, then it doesn’t matter if you have the arsenal of the Texas Rangers sitting there in your house. You have had it, unless you can move faster than a bullet. The criminals you are going to defend yourself against are not going to fight fair. They aren’t going to challenge you to a show-down. They are going to sneak up, or otherwise try to use deception or surprise to get the advantage of you.

Gun promoters will also claim with a straight face that it is just as effective for criminals to use bombs, knives or clubs as to use a gun. You hear them say this all the time, “You can get just as dead from a knife. Why don’t the liberals want to ban knives?”

There is no more efficient death dealer than a gun, which they know very well. Not every criminal is a Timothy McVeigh who wants to take down a building. A hold-up man doesn’t use a bomb. You can say we can get just as dead from a knife as a gun, and that may be true. (And statistically more homicides are committed with knives than guns.) But can anyone seriously claim to see no difference in facing an attacker with a knife and an attacker with a gun!? Maybe if you are a quadriplegic there’s no difference. Otherwise, you might flee or fight the knife wielder. And although it is not mentioned as often in debates, with enough beer and bad news there is also a greater risk of suicide with that convenient, handy handgun sitting right there in front of you.

The gun guys will say they are preserving American freedom against possible dictatorial moves by the government. Let’s break it to them gently. In a fire fight with the government, you and your potshot club are going to lose. You and your neighborhood gun club would be toast, no, toast crumbs, in a fire fight with government troops.

The communist dictators that were overthrown in 1989 did not go down because of citizens running around with Saturday Night Specials, or any guns. It was a combination of factors other than guns that shut down those dictatorships. One of the main factors was massive non-violent civil disobedience. When the vast majority of the people displayed that they had no confidence in the government that was it. Ironically enough, one of the main factors for galvanizing the internal resistance to East Bloc communism was rock ‘n roll music!

Guns are a scourge on civilization. They are a vice like drugs, but as with other vices the way to control them is not through another “war” of police power against the citizens. Education is the key. The gun-slingers will not speak of the downside of guns, while they promote a fantasy that a gun is an absolute protector. It isn’t. Training in martial arts is a much better form of self defense, and all women and children should take some of it.

All that the gun-slingers have succeeded in doing is flooding the country with guns to the point that any criminal can find one virtually any time he wants. The macho gun fantasy has turned America into a place of fear.

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