07 June, 2006

Guns Kill People, Gays Don't.

That's the comment left by a commenter below. It's also the gist of the discussion springing from that short post over at NiT. Ah, the stuff you miss when you take your company about town for some tourin'.

I laughed out loud when I read the NiT discussion, because here we had a bunch of "I'm all for the rights of people! Go people! Yay for people!" folks. Underneath all the comments about the rightness of gay marriage and the wrongness of wrongheaded constitutional jabberwockery you could see the flags waving and hear the subtle strains of people hitting that high note in 'above the fruit-ed plaaaaaain'. Yet my ONE paragraph about gun owners enjoying the same freedom from government restriction had people falling all over themselves to justify their firearms taboos.

The thrust of the argument against guns seems to hinge on the one point that guns are blood-soaked rampaging murderers while gays are nice, simple, uncomplicated entities who exist only for the betterment of all mankind. I hate this simplistic view of guns, and I hate this simplistic view of homosexuals. Repeat after me: "Guns do not kill by themselves and Gay People are not just interesting pets." The operative word is not "gay", it's "people". People are wonderfully complex and unique. Many folks seem to have the same view of gay people that they once had of the nice, sweet, darkies on the plantation. Isn't it cute how they sing? Isn't it cute how they dance? I wish I had my own gay person! Ugh. Face it. People are just people. Quit worrying about the adjectives and start focusing on the noun.

People, that most troubling of nouns, kill. They kill plants, trees, bugs, animals and other people. They have a variety of ways to do this. Allow me to list a few nouns employed by People in their quest for killing other people.

Guns--villified for their point & click ease. Yet valuable as a tool for protecting against danger. Also valuable for having fun target shooting and providing food for the family.

Knives--Can't outlaw these, because there'd be no bacon, no sushi and no other goodies. But people are killed by knives all the time.

Baseball Bats--personally I hate the sport, and would love to see these ready-made brainbusters made illegal. Clearly I am in the minority.

Toilets--If we outlaw these handy ways to drown someone then we go back to raw sewage floating down the streets as though this were the Elizabethan era. Gross.

Bathtubs--see "toilets" above.

Cars--Yeah. These kill people, too. Perhaps we should put something in the constitution about you not being allowed to have a car. That'd go over well. Although the more granola set would probably like to use this point as a way to outlaw the dreaded SUV. After spending the day around Green Hills yesterday, I might join in for the heck of it. Women of Green Hills: Your SUV is not to be used to cut a swathe through the traffic while you drink your Starbucks and talk on your cell phone.

Ballpoint pens--You can use these and any other writing instrument (except crayons) to stab someone in the carotid artery. Bloody, messy death. Yet where would churches, real estate agents and insurance brokers be without some way to make sure you carried their addresses and phone numbers in the bottom of your purse next to the gum and pennies?

Duct Tape--cover the nose, cover the mouth and people die. Yet this handy tool is so useful for so many things...kind of like a a a a ....gun.

So yes, guns kill people. So do these other things. So why do we hate the guns, folks? Why?


At 12:04 PM, June 07, 2006, Anonymous Sarcastro said...

I didn't know you could get AIDS from a gun. They must shoot little HIV bullets or something.

At 12:08 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Lee said...

You forgot piano wire, anvils, letter openers, wood chippers, battery acid, screwdrivers, lead pipes, candlesticks, wrenches, rope, cinder blocks, steamrollers, garden shears, shovels, rat poison, ice picks, tire irons, pillows, toasters (to be used with the above mentioned bath tubs), hammers, sledgehammers, jackhammers, and wine presses, to list a few.

At 2:08 PM, June 07, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

I think you're stretching into absurdity with toliets, bathtubs, and even duct tape (and a variety of the items lee mentions). Guns are intended to do damage. That's their entire point. You can argue that some people only use them to damage target dummies, or home intruders (unfortunately sometimes that's children who had to venture to the bathroom about the time dad woke up from a bad dream and heard "a noise"), or deer (but no I don't buy the argument that we hunt for food, I'd be willing to guarantee that I could count on one hand the number of meals I had that were hunted traditionally), but regardless of the usage, if you're using a gun you are using it to hurt or damage SOMETHING. That's why I think some of comparisons aren't really valid.

Regardless, I think it's worth noting that we don't ban cars and knives, etc. but we do regulate them. I can't drive my car unless I've shown that I have the knowlege to use it correctly, the physical ability (for instance a vision test), and a vehicle that is mechanically upkept to safety standards. I might be able to cut a steak in my home but if I'm wandering down the street waving a machette, I'll probably get arrested.

We don't ban anything that can kill people, but we do regulate it to minimise the risk. Even toilets are regulated by the way...

On an unrelated note, anybody know what's going on with Blogger's word verification? For the last week or so I've had to refresh the comment page of several blogger sites 5 or 6 times before the image of the letters I'm supposed to type in would appear.

At 9:26 AM, June 08, 2006, Blogger Exador said...

More people (lives) are protected with the lawful use of a gun against a criminal, than are lost by the illegal use of guns by criminals.

Everywhere that gun restrictions go up, crime goes way up.

It's a nice fantasy to just wish all the guns away, but there are more guns than people in this country. Since they aren't going anywhere, I'll keep mine.

A gun is just a tool for projecting a bullet. Anything beyond that is added by the user.

Gun owners reject regulation based on a flawless history of nanny-staters to creep the regulation into prohibition. (See tobacco)
Not to mention that what passes for regulation has not been shown to have a positive effect. One effect that was documented is this: where three-day waiting periods were enacted, there was a slight increase in the violence against women, who were delayed in getting a firearm for protection from an abuser.

At 12:29 PM, June 08, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

The plain truth is that guns are scary. I have spent my life afraid of guns because they can kill people. However, I spent an afternoon last winter out on a farm target shooting with some friends. I realized something. Guns can be scary, but they are also very necessary. I'm quite obviously against the FMA and I'm against gun bans. I spent a lot of time researching guns before I went shooting. Criminals are less likely to attack/burglarize/harm you if they think you might be armed. Criminals interviewed in prison said that they would NOT try anything against someone who they know to be armed.

This leads to the quandry now seen in the major "no guns" cities of America. Boston has a ban on guns and gun violence is increasing. Maybe if people were allowed to carry guns, criminals would stop trying to get at them.

At 12:56 AM, June 12, 2006, Blogger John Harvey said...

I've carried at least one gun, sometimes two, every day for the last 31 years. I've been shot at 7 times, 5 times by drug dealers, and never returned fire due to the target not being available or in an area where I might have hit someone other than the tickturd who was shooting at me.

It ain't the gun that worries me, it's the people holding them. We got it right in the case of DUIs, we don't scream about the cars, it's the drivers we send to jail.

At 7:20 AM, May 21, 2013, Blogger HcoRealEstate said...

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