Op-ed writers aren’t usually experts in all the topics they write about. They’re people who are tapped to write about what they think, but they’re usually not experts in all the many topics. They tend to filter an issue through prior understanding to reach new opinions on new issues.
With guns, remarkably few who write op-eds are experts on firearms, gun politics, the Second Amendment, or much else relating to it. That’s fine, in and of itself, but such writers need to at least make sure they get the basics right.
This one makes a bizarre assertion that really has to raise an eyebrow or two.
In other developed countries, gun ownership is considered a privilege and not a right enshrined in their founding documents. Would that it were that way here! But we’re in thrall to those who revere and even fetishize guns. Hence their litany: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people! The only defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun! It’s a mental health problem, not a gun problem.”
Those are all half-truths. The fact remains that people kill people with guns because that’s the easiest and cheapest way for ordinary people to do it. And contrary to what some choose to believe, enacting tighter gun-control measures would not be a slippery slope. There is no conspiracy afoot to disarm law-abiding Americans. But far be it from those beholden to and/or afraid of the NRA to counter such paranoia, much less to advocate for the reasonable gun-control measures most Americans support.
Now, if he’d just said the easiest, I’d probably have let it go. I’d have instead focused on his claim that gun control isn’t really a slippery slope toward more regulation, despite the fact that I have never seen an anti-gunner stop being anti-gun because “we’ve done enough.”
But he didn’t.
He made an assertion that guns aren’t just the easiest way but the cheapest way to kill someone, and it betrays a fundamentally bad understanding of the issue of homicides in this country.
Yes, guns are used to kill more people than any other weapon. However, they’re far from the only weapon and they’re most definitely not the cheapest.
An inexpensive handgun is going to cost you, at a minimum, a little over $170 the last time I checked. That’s for a Hi-Point, which is one of the cheaper brands out there. Now, that doesn’t seem like a lot, and for a gun, it’s not.
But I can buy a knife at Amazon for less than $20. Much less, if I’m not picky about it.
I can buy knives in the grocery store, for crying out loud. These are much, much cheaper and are used in more than enough homicides each and every year that they should be taken seriously. Especially since we know our knife murder rate is higher than Europe’s, even with guns supposedly so easily available.
If the author can’t manage to get such a simple, basic fact correct, why should we listen to literally anything else he has to say?
Especially since, in that same paragraph, he manages to pretend that a legitimate and documented issue–the slippery slope–isn’t happening.
Both of these illustrate just how little the author knows about the issue, and it’s less than most anti-Second Amendment types.