Columnists for many newspapers aren’t experts in much of anything besides, maybe, using the English language, but especially not guns. What happens, though, is columnists have opinions and they share those opinions. Some people agree, others don’t, but few columnists should ever be taken as experts on the subject they’re talking about.
Yet it’s always amusing when one decides to get to a lecturing tone because they simply think they know more than everyone else.
Take this columnist from the Arizona Capitol Times, as an example.
There is a good deal of faulty thinking about gun control that confuses people and prevents society from reaching consensus on how to handle the problem. Here are just a few examples pulled from recent reports.
A common statement in the gun control arena is, “It is people who pull the trigger, not guns that pull the trigger.” Yes, we all understand that, but what is not mentioned here is that guns play a pretty big secondary role in the actual violence. People couldn’t pull the big trigger if they didn’t have the big gun.
That may be true, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t kill just as many people with some other weapon, and that’s the problem. By focusing on the tool rather than the tool using it, your best-case scenario will just lead to them committing the same crimes with different weapons. Do you really think it’s somehow morally better if the murder victim is somehow stabbed to death rather than shot?
Further, there’s the simple fact that focusing on people also means focusing on those who are prohibited from lawfully owning a firearm. Those are the people typically responsible for gun violence in the first place.
One oft-heard idea is that we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, not law-abiding citizens. Great idea, except very often a citizen surprises everyone and goes from nice guy to active shooter seemingly overnight and with no criminal record.
Actually, no, that doesn’t happen. Not generally, anyway. Almost every mass shooter has a history of violence in their background, typically one that wasn’t addressed, and thus they’re able to lawfully purchase a firearm. Remember that lacking a criminal record doesn’t mean you’re a nice guy. Sometimes, it just means you haven’t been prosecuted for any of the crap you’ve done before.
What you almost never see is someone described as a swell guy suddenly flipping out and killing a bunch of folks.
This is the epitome of faulty thinking.
One individual interviewed on the news said, “I want a bigger gun than my enemy.” This makes tons of sense if we are in a society with no law, no police, no education system, no national guard, etc. But we have hard working professionals who can help us deal with our personal enemies, so we don’t have to do it all by ourselves. Besides, I thought we are all in this thing together in one big tribe, not lots of little ones opposed to each other.
Oh, why don’t you sing Kumbayah while you’re at it?
First, if someone actually phrased it that way, it’s important to understand what they mean by the enemy. Most who would phrase it that way are talking about people who would wish them harm for whatever reason, obviously. Yet these “working professionals” have no duty to protect us as individuals. This has been determined by the courts over and over again. Not understanding this is yet another example of faulty thinking on the subject.
Very popular today is the notion that the real problem is lack of adequate mental health services, so we ought to be putting our emphasis there. Nothing wrong with that, except it will take a whole lot of time to make changes in the system, and in the meantime assault weapons will continue to destroy people in big bunches, with mass events coming to your hometown soon.
More faulty thinking.
First, most mass shooters use handguns, so focusing on so-called assault weapons won’t really accomplish all that much. Let’s keep in mind that the worst school shooting on American soil was Virginia Tech, where the killer used to handguns to amass the highest body count on an American school campus.
Fewer people are killed with “assault weapons” each year than are killed with blunt instruments.
In other words, focusing on these particular weapons, guns which are also used for self-defense and for sporting purposes, it’s just plain faulty thinking.
Honestly, I could go on with this nonsense, but it’s clear that this writer’s idea of faulty thinking is really anything that doesn’t produce gun control right here and now. There’s no thinking involved in something like that. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction and parroting a set of talking points from some of the dumbest people in the world.