Monday, December 3, 2012

Putting the Genie Back

There was an opinion column written by Mr. Jason Whitlock, here, talking about the murder-suicide this past weekend of Ms. Kasandra Perkins and Mr. Jovan Belcher.  In the column Mr. Whitlock uses this tragic event to condemn the growing gun violence, the second amendment, and our national tolerance, noting:
Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.”
Let’s be honest, weapons kill people.  Guns, bows and arrows, knives, brass knuckles, throwing stars, tanks, aircraft, and trebuchets have all been used to kill.  There are solid laws on the books to outlaw the use of most of these weapons in the commission of a felony, yet they continue to be used.  Even things that are not intended to be weapons, for example cars, wine bottles, and bathroom fixtures, have been used in the commission of a murder.  When properly used all these items are tools that provide a useful service to society.  When placed in the hands of a criminal, or a troubled mind, they become destructive implements of death or injury.
The interesting thing about the current outcry over the need to eliminate the right own a gun, as expressed in our second amendment, fails completely to address how -- if guns are made illegal, they would be removed from existence, and if they are not removed from existence how this prohibition could actually be enforced to eliminate their use.  As I look to history, every time the government has attempted prohibition it has failed, or took a war to resolve.  First it was slavery in the frontier states, then the 18th Amendment, and most recently our war on drugs.  Can anyone show me how either of the last two efforts has resulted in a successful elimination of that product deemed detrimental to society?
Wouldn’t all the time and effort taken on condemning these tools be better spent on education of our society on the proper use and care of them, and on improvements to our ability to diagnose and treat the self-destructive behavior that leads to their abuse?  Wouldn’t gun education and actual training in firearms safety help impart a more valid respect and understanding than just telling our kids guns kill and leaving it to the movies to show them how guns are used?
Like most opponents of the 2nd Amendment it is easy to condemn, but I’ve yet to hear a practical solution to putting the Genie back in the bottle, because if you think revoking the 2nd Amendment will do it, I think you are deluding yourself.

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