We all knew it was coming and fast: the inevitable arguments for and against gun control following the shooting spree at a Colorado movie theater.
Those for gun control insist — wrongly — that if gun laws were tougher, the alleged shooter wouldn’t have been able to get one. Those against make the largely-absurd notion that if more people in the theater had been armed, the resulting shootout would have saved lives.
The man identified as the gunman had only a speeding ticket on his record. He was an honor student who’d been accepted into a pre-med program. By no account so far did he act like a maniac; he seems to have been the typical nice, quiet guy. By what criteria in some reformed gun law would he have been denied a gun? By all accounts I’ve seen so far, I can think of no “red flags” that would have prevented him from being able to purchase a gun.
Unless, of course, the laws were revised to make sure that no one can buy a gun for any reason, which have about the same odds of happening as every American citizen being struck by lightning at the same millisecond.
But the lack of logic doesn’t stop there. Not when we have opponents of anything even resembling gun control walking around suggesting that the way to have prevented so much of a bloodbath would have been to have had people in the audience armed.
This argument is laughable and it makes me chuckle every time I hear it. You don’t reduce gun violence with more guns, any more than you reduce car accidents by cramming more cars on the highway.
More and more communities have fast food restaurants, and more and more Americans are getting fat. More and more households have computers and email, and more and more Americans are getting ripped off by scams or malware. More and more neighborhoods have churches, and yet we are fragmenting over miniscule issues to the point that fewer people actually even want to step into the door of a church these days.
Our society is one that proves, again and again, that even when you have more of good things, the majority are more and more likely to do the worst with them. That’s the issue that we have to keep in mind.
While it’s likely true that no realistic, passable gun law would have prevented the gunman from opening fire, it’s also true that having more guns being fired would have put more people in potential danger: that’s a mathematical certainty, folks. One doesn’t need to be an engineer to understand that two gunmen can potentially hit the wrong person more effectively than one can.
I don’t know exactly what the right answer is.
I do know that there are many gun owners who are responsible and trustworthy and would never do the wrong thing with their weapons. No one should want to take their guns away.
I do happen to believe that no one needs something like an assault rifle. The gunman in this case allegedly had one of those. There are limits, I think, that should be within reason.
When I go to the pharmacy to pick up a box of Sudafed for my sinuses, I now have to show an ID and sign a form. This isn’t against me, but rather a policy designed to allow law enforcement to see who’s buying the medication and how much of it they’re buying, in the hopes of preventing the formation of meth labs. For me, it’s a pain in the butt: I wouldn’t know how to make meth if some drug-crazed screwball was holding an illegal gun at my head. But I accept the fact that in the efforts of making the community safer and trying to prevent such operations from beginning, I may need to be temporarily inconvenienced.
I see that as neither the end of the world nor the end of my freedom as an American.
I wish we could stop trying to turn every single argument in this country into an “either/or” proposition. Common sense and reasonable solutions almost always reside somewhere in the middle.