Here’s a pretty sane opinion piece on gun control; something to like and dislike for both sides

From Hot Air’s Guy Benson. Excerpt:

Unlike many conservatives, I don’t reflexively bristle at the term “common-sense gun control.”  The mere notion of placing some limits on the types of guns average people can purchase does not offend.  Calls for legislative action to keep certain weapons out of the hands of mentally unstable people strike me as reasonable.  I also recognize that myriad regulations along these lines already exist, and I’m skeptical that proposing more grief-fueled laws is a meaningful solution.  And even if one could accurately project that passing Gun Law X would save Y number of lives, where do Constitutional rights come into play, and who gets to weigh those factors?  If curtailing the First Amendment could also be scientifically proven to save some quantifiable number of lives, would we tolerate additional government limits on those core, specifically-enumerated freedoms?  These are extraordinarily difficult questions.  In fact, even the mental healthdiscussions that crop up after these tragedies can lead down some worrisome paths regarding civil liberties and the public good.  I’m heartbroken over Newtown, I’ve been grappling with these quandaries for days, and I admittedly have no clean answers.  But as one of those citizens who does not hold especially dogmatic views on guns, I’m repulsed by Lemon’s emotionally-charged diatribe, which explicitly rejects empirical evidence.  It’s dishonest and exploitive.  It is troubling that many of the voices clamoring loudest for a “national conversation” about gun policy already seem to have their minds made up about what sorts of guns should be available, and to whom.  If that’s how one feels, one should at least be intellectually honest and make open calls for sweeping bans and “confiscation.”   Let’s see how that “conversation” goes.

RELATED: Here’s an equally thoughtful essay by Dave Kopel in today’s Wall Street Journal. If you’re interested in the topic of guns, madmen and massacres, these two articles are well worth reading. If you want soul-wrenching video of little children being buried, our major media’s got that covered.


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8 responses to “Here’s a pretty sane opinion piece on gun control; something to like and dislike for both sides

  1. Inagua

    Gun control beyond the existing ban on machine guns cannot possibly do much good because there are so many guns extant and confiscation is a political and practical impossibility. But if idiot politicians want to feel good about themselves by banning “assault weapons” again or limiting magazine capacity, I suppose it won’t do much harm.

    Thanks to Fly Angler for some interesting and informative posts.

    • Joan

      “Not do much” is not a good enough reason to not do anything about the gun situation.

      • Yes it is. Panicked enactment of useless laws are harmful precisely because they do nothing while creating the impression that a problem is being addressed, a solution has been found. I refer you to the residential recycling program, CFL lightbulbs and ethanol as just three examples of the phenomenon.

        • Anon

          Look at attached stats for UK following stricter laws following dunblane. At its highest it is .09 per 100,000 pop. Now down to .03. The US is at 3 per 100,000, one of the highest in the world. How can you say not doing anything is ok?

          • Gun crime went up after the 1997 Dunblane shootings spurred the British ban on weapons. Discussed yesterday, with a link given then. Legalize drugs and remove the profit from the drug trade if you really care about reducing the murder rate in the Unites States – frankly, I don’t care how many gang-bangers off each other, so a high incidence of deaths by firearms doesn’t disturb me in the least – it’s the bad killing the bad, and I just don’t care.

  2. AJ

    Here’s one town’s solution. They declare martial law for no particular reason, but believe it will deter crime:

    “”The fear is what’s given us the reason to do this,” insisted Todd Stovall, the head functionary of the paramilitary occupation force afflicting Paragould, Arkansas, as he announced that the city would be placed under martial law for the supposed purpose of deterring crime. “Once I have stats and people are saying they’re scared, we can do this. It allows us to do what we’re fixing to do.”

    What Stovall and his fellow tax-feeders are “fixing to do” is to leave the city’s streets clotted with SWAT operators toting AR-15s and official permission to harass anybody who comes within eyeshot.

    The marauders “are going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” grunted Stovall at a town hall meeting held last Thursday at the West View Baptist Church. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

    “We’re going to do it to everybody,” Stovall explained, anticipating objections. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

    The same is true of citizens, of course — but like most members of his paramilitary tribe, Stovall divides the world between enlightened agents of State “authority” such as himself and the Mundane population, which is to be intimidated into submission….”

    Excerpt from:

    Whoa! This is the stuff that wacko movies are made of. Hopefully there will be some creepy crawlies and someone’s head will melt and explode (best viewed in slow motion).

  3. Publius

    Mr. Fountain,

    Clearly this is a tragedy and a very emotional issue for all regardless of ideology. A perfect storm for certain, given the location, age and number of victims and the season of the year. Unfortunately nothing very good tends to happen when emotions rule the day and reason gets forgotten. Kopel’s op-ed in the WSJ sums it quite well.

    All men are created equal under the law, but we are not all equal. In our efforts, sometimes misguided, we often overlook the issues that impact individuals who are not “just like us”. There is a fear of admitting this because of appearances, as in let’s not offend and past history on this issue was a nightmare for those involved. Sometimes the pendelum can swing too far in the other direction given our deeply held beliefs of our many freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, but that does not excuse us from ignoring reasonable approaches to address these issues.

    One can only imagine the struggles of parents to deal with this issue with a child, but not addressing the issue and living day to day in the hopes that nothing bad happens will ultimately result in some version of Sandy Hook happening again in the future and no amount of additional gun legislation will solve this issue. Yes, there is a stigma to having a child that has issues beyond the usual, but by not overcoming the stigma, in this case resulted in the deaths of 26 people. Is that acceptable? I think not.

    We ignore these issues at our own peril. Reactive emotion driven legislation nevers solves anything, it only makes some of us “feel good”. We create a false sense of security that is bound to be shattered at some point in the future and the lessons of this tragedy like others before it will be ignored.