By Alexander Strada
Western Sun executive editor
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
We’ve all heard it, from every random Joe who thinks he’s really stumbled on something clever. We’ve all seen it, on bumper stickers, Facebook posts and YouTube comments.
It’s an “argument,” a word which should be read as if accompanied by very sarcastic air quotes, that pops up a lot whenever someone foolishly mentions gun control within earshot of a pickup truck or someone who likes them, and is almost always followed by a little, self-satisfied sort of smile.
The logic here is completely screwed, but that’s not what’s important. Doesn’t it just sound clever?
Never mind that nobody is arguing that point. Gun control activists don’t run around decrying the dangers of flocks of mindless, self-propelled handguns that roam the streets, filling our citizens with bullets.
Maybe if they did, this argument would make sense. “Yes, very good!” I could say to those who used it, praising their astute skepticism with a pat on the head, “You’re right, guns AREN’T alive and filled with cold, metal hate. Boy, nothing gets past you!”
The idea of gun control isn’t to put an end to murderous, self-animated weapons. The point of gun control is to keep them out of the hands of certain people. You know, “people,” those guys you said do the killing?
This might sound painfully obvious, but isn’t so for everyone.
To put it another way, picture yourself in a crowded movie theatre. A maniac in full body armor and a pair of Groucho glasses marches in, ready to do some damage. Would you rather he be strapped to the teeth with semi-automatic firearms, or his not-at-all-creepy collection of knives?
Therein lies the spirit of gun control.
Make no mistake, it’s an incredibly complex issue. A very difficult balance must be struck between the right of responsible adults that mind their own business to own what they please, and the right of responsible adults that mind their own business to not get shot in the face.
It’s an issue that must be solved with careful, reasoned debate, and this sort of argument has no place anywhere near the word “reason.”