Don’t need a license

December 14, 2008

Gun control, gun control, gun control.

It is an issue that just won’t go away.  I usually find myself of the mindset that says, sure, we should make people prove both their ability to use a gun without “accidents” before we let them buy one.  However George Jonas makes an interesting point about gun control and the Indian terror attacks.  Essentially, he says that the law abiding citizens in India, with the strictest gun control on earth, were victims largely because the gun wielding terrorists didn’t follow the law and the gun wielding policemen did not do anything until it was too late.  By keeping guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens the Indian government gave the terrorists a leg up.  Jonas says,

“Guns don’t kill, people do.” The gun lobby’s old slogan is true enough, but it’s also true that guns make people more efficient killers. That’s why gun control would be such a splendid idea if someone could find a way to make criminals and lunatics obey it. Since only law-abiding citizens obey it, it’s not such a hot idea. It’s more like trying to control stray dogs by neutering veterinarians.

He goes on to say,

There are Second Amendment absolutists in America, and libertarians elsewhere, who regard a person’s birthright to own/carry a firearm beyond the state’s power to regulate. I’m not one of them. I think it’s reasonable for communities to set thresholds of age, proficiency, legal status, etc., for the possession of lethal weapons, just as they set standards for the operation of motor vehicles, airplanes and ham radios. But it seems to me that, within common sense perimeters, you’d want to enhance, not diminish, the defensive capacity of the good guys, and increase rather than decrease the number of auxiliary crime-fighters who are available to be deputized when the bad guys start climbing over the fence.


Update: License is one of those words that always gets me.  Post retitled accordingly.


One comment

  1. Yeah, but here’s the problem. The Americans have a wonderful belief that any free citizen is smart enough, capable enough, and has the god-given right to do anything they want. My favorite manifestation of this belief comes every election, where all the American public seems to care about is whether they could picture themselves having a beer with their presidential nominees. (This last election being a noticeable exception.) Now, if I drank beer, I am pretty sure that you are a guy I would have a beer with Liam. But no offense, I don’t particularly like the thought of you in charge of the greatest power on earth. (I am sure the feeling is mutual) I cannot think of a single person I know personally who I feel would be qualified for that job. The same principle applies to gun laws. We would all like to believe that we are excellent shots and iron- nerved warriors, capable of making accurate split-second decisions on the correct adversary/course of action/which-one-of-the-rabid-cheerleaders-must-die. But let’s face it. We are not. That is why it takes two years and several months of on the job training to be a police officer. That is why you spend an average of 500 hours going through arms-combat training during basic and soldier qualification training in the armed forces, as well as countless theoretical cases before you are considered capable of handling a gun unsupervised. While Jonas has a point on gun control, he completely fails to convince me that the bloodshed would’ve been less in Mumbai, or Columbine, or anywhere else for that matter, if the victims and citizenry in general had possessed fire arms. They might have defended themselves, correct. they also might have shot eachother in their panic, killing more innocents as well as the guilty. If guns made people safe, the US would not have a violent crime problem. It does, out its ying yang.
    Peace Love and Maple Syrup.

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