Op-ed illustrates how ignorance drives gun control

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

I read a lot of op-eds I disagree with in the course of my day. It’s part of how I know I’m not in an echo chamber.

Many of them focus on gun control but seem to revolve around similar themes, mostly out of both arrogance and ignorance. They don’t know what they’re talking about, but they’ll say it as if there’s no way in the world they could be wrong.

It’s actually kind of hilarious.

This op-ed is a prime example.

A brain teaser book I pull out at small gatherings has a question that asks, “If you could invent something that would be good for humanity overall, but also kill hundreds of thousands of people over time, would you?”

Inevitably, my guests turn to talk of cars and motorcycles but no one ever mentions guns which, unlike cars, were made for the explicit purpose of killing.

I’m quite sure your guests don’t mention guns, but that doesn’t mean guns would never come up in such a conversation. One person’s guest list is hardly indicative of the totality of mankind. Especially since folks like them rarely invite people over who share a different view of something like gun control.

Frankly, I doubt the author has actually asked that question and gotten any kind of response.

Yet his overall point is that guns are explicitly made for killing, which is that whole ignorance thing talking again.

See, guns are made for a variety of purposes. Yes, some are made for “killing,” though that is an overly broad term. A hunting weapon, for example, is made to kill…kill animals cleanly and humanely.

Other guns are made for self-defense. While some would say that’s the same as saying they’re made for killing, that’s not quite accurate. Protecting human life doesn’t always mean taking life. Most self-defense situations don’t even involve firing the weapon. Gun manufacturers know this.

As such, those guns aren’t made for killing, but for protecting life. Unfortunately, they have to be capable of taking life to do so, but that’s hardly the same thing as saying that’s their sole purpose.

Then we have things like target pistols and target rifles. We have guns built for competitions like IPSC and IDPA and other forms of competition. Those are made to shoot paper or steel targets, not humans, so how are they made explicitly to kill?

Then we have his comments on mental health and guns:

Yet in recent years it happened again and again and again when a close friend and two acquaintances died by suicide. I feel like a mound of bread dough getting punched over and over, deflated. I know I am not alone.

The problem with guns is not that you can own one, it’s that they are easier to get than mental health care.

First, understand that this is an “apples to oranges” comparison.

Guns are goods. Goods are often easier to obtain than services like mental health care. After all, guns are easier to get than a plumber or an electrician. Wait until the dead of summer and need an air conditioner repairman and see how difficult that is.

“But he’s talking about suicides, for crying out loud!”

Yes, I’m aware, and my point stands. Goods are often easier to get than services. Do you know what’s even easier to get than guns? Razor blades, rope, and a trip up an elevator to the top of a tall building. All of those can be used for suicide, too.

And honestly, with the supply chain issues and the massive demand for guns, I’m not actually sure it’s easier to get a gun than an appointment with a therapist.

Look, if you want to increase access to mental healthcare, by all means, do so. While I don’t want tax dollars to pay for it, I personally think it would do a lot of good for the country as a whole. More good than gun control.

But mental healthcare’s availability has no bearing on the right to keep and bear arms. The fact that the author is unable to comprehend that fact says plenty about him.

Then again, if you are going to pontificate about the purposes of a firearm without actually knowing anything about guns, you probably already told on yourself aplenty. Including why we shouldn’t listen to you on topics like gun control.