"Arms are for hugging." -The Dandy Warhols
More and more our country has found it hard to contain its overtly aggressive attitude towards other cultures (including its own), towards other countries (France, Mexico), towards gays (ChicagoNow's own Publius Forum blog chastised Archie comics for adding a homosexual character, saying children should have a "safe" place to go) and people of color (the reaction over Obama's birth certificate is ridiculous, when everyone just assumed W. was from Texas (he's not)).
Still, it surprised me when absolutely nobody short of SNL's Seth Meyers has come to the defense of strengthening gun laws in reaction to the recent shooting in Arizona. Instead, America's response was uniformly violent: arm yourself -- the crazies are on the loose.
I know my philosophical stance as an anti-gun purist will now and forever be an impossible ideology, but I find far too many holes and assumptions on the other side.
In any shooting situation, people assume that the more armed people there are in attendance, the faster the situation will come to a halt. This is wildly irrational. You are, first off, assuming that people can AIM a gun and won't shoot each other (also that they'll be able to tell exactly who the shooter is while simultaneously taking cover). You are also assuming people are trained and prepared to react cooly in a situation where their lives are on the line (training that is usually specific to having certain types of jobs where this is just assumed).
You say less death? I say more.
You say guns don't kill people, lunatics kill people. I say that if that lunatic had only been armed with a knife, he'd have killed only 1-2 instead of many.
Also - if you're saying that the same lunatic could have used a switchblade, treebranch or any other style of weapon, you're actually arguing against your own case. Because if you can defend yourself with just about anything, then why do you so desperately need a gun?
Seth Meyers pointed out that the creators of the 2nd amendmant pretty much only had muskets that took roughly 47 minutes to load, a heavy coat was the equivalent of a bullet proof vest and the difference between firing a bullet and throwing one was negligable (also that if you time-warped one to the future and tried talking to him about the second amendment, he'd be more fascinated by the giant steel tubes hurtling through the sky, and probably a little freaked out).
People say that guns put us above the animals.
There was something there first -- our brains. If we were smart enough to come up with guns, we are smart enough to come up with something else (tranq darts, laughing gas bombs, freeze rays?).
We built brilliant civilizations and cast animals off into the forest before the existance of guns. We can certainly keep them there.
People say guns put us at risk of alien invasion.
You are assuming that aliens are as violent and aggressive as you are.
And, again, we were at risk for this during the entire rise of human civilization (and what'd the aliens do? Possibly build us some pyramids?).
People say that NO guns put us at risk of being taken advantage of by those WITH guns.
That is why I am a purist. No guns for anybody, anywhere, at any time, forever.
With all the mental instability out there, with alcohol being legal and all, I don't want to arm every single person in the country with the ability to kill multiple people before they can think about what they are doing. We may as well give every person in Wisconsin and Illinois an atom bomb and send them off to the Bears/ Packers game.
If there is an intruder in my home, I will defend myself with a fire extinguisher, a rake, a knife or a mag light. You laugh -- but I've read more stories about wives killing their own husbands who got up to go to the bathroom than I have about civilians successfully taking out intruders. WAY more. (And you'd think it'd be all over the news, if it happened.)
You say we can't do it. But compare it to voting...