I read a lot of letters to the editor, though I don’t write about most of them.
After all, most are just a regurgitation of talking points better articulated in longer pieces, though usually just as stupid.
However, some touch on something that one just kind of has to address.
A friend sent me this one and I just sort of had to address it.
You see, I’m pretty sure the letter writer is trying to be sarcastic, but it kind of backfires.
To the editor: I’m trying to channel the National Rifle Assn.’s belief that gun violence can be addressed by arming more people. How would that apply to the killing of five people in Cleveland, Texas?
The shooter was already armed, so the only place to add guns was in the victims’ hands. Then, they could have engaged in an honest American gunfight, which they would have won because they are the “good guys with a gun.”
OK, so no one actually says any such thing, but I get where the argument comes from. Many of us do take it for granted that the good guys being armed somehow leads universally to positive outcomes.
That’s not necessarily true.
Yet the shooting in Cleveland might have gone differently had the victims been armed. As we see, them being disarmed sure as hell didn’t do them a lot of good.
So, five saved lives (the victims) at the expense of one killed (the bad guy), for a net gain of four.
Maybe the NRA has a point. The weak-minded and unpatriotic among us might think it would have been better if no one had had a gun (zero lives lost), but that would be perfection, and everyone knows the perfect is the enemy of the good.
And “good” means people occasionally dying, so long as we’re not the ones being killed.
Oh, zero lives lost would indeed be ideal.
But the accused killer in Cleveland, TX was lawfully barred from owning a firearm. As an illegal immigrant, he could not purchase a firearm legally, yet he still had one and used it to murder five people.
Zero lives lost was never an option because a criminal broke the law.
Yet I’ll die on the hill of one bad guy’s life being lost is more than fine with me if it preserves the lives of five other people. I’m totally OK with that math and will be every day of the week.
See, people who want to hurt others–especially over something so trivial as getting angry because you’re asked not to shoot at night while people are trying to sleep–aren’t good people and while I know I should hold all lives sacred, I cannot accept people like that as human. They’ve forfeited their humanity because they want to murder people.
The letter writer’s attempt at sarcasm is more accurate than they want to believe.
Sure, they thought they were shining a light on an argument no one would defend, but I have to give them credit for stumbling onto a certain degree of accuracy we usually don’t see from a gun control advocate.
I’m sure they didn’t mean to, though.