Thanksgiving was lovely; the food was great; the company was marvelous. What can I say? A good time was had by all.
But is it now time to get back to the real world? Must I? Aw gee, living in holiday mode is nice..just requires running the dishwasher more than normal.
Okay, back to the real world. Let’s talk about guns. I could post all the statistics about how much greater gun violence is in the US… okay, I will post them, if you insist.
Nope – changed my mind. If you look at statistics, they are all over the map, and most are misleading. But looking at CDC data, it’s clear that most deaths from guns in this country aren’t from mass shootings, they’re from suicide. OK, now we have that out of the way.
My family has always been involved with guns and shooting. It was my grandfather’s pet project to teach people how to safely use guns. The NRA of today would appall him. But here’s the thing – and what I want to really talk about – there are some guns that just don’t belong in the hands of regular citizens. They belong in the hands of soldiers fighting in wars. The AR-15 comes to mind, because it seems to be the weapon of choice for mass murderers. Should civilians have access to what knowledgeable people call “a perfect killing machine”? I think not.
James Fallows wrote a most interesting piece in The Atlantic about a decade ago about the AR-15. That’s where the perfect killing machine quote came from. It was the weapon used by special forces in the early days of the war in Viet Nam, and the soldiers loved it. Sadly, army bureaucracy did not. Mostly through custom rather than graft, they totally bolloxed up this weapon and it became that most-hated rifle, the M-16, which tended to jam in the heat of battle. Per the article, many soldiers died with a jammed M-16 in their hand. But AR-15’s are still around and here’s my point: I can buy one online for less than $700, ready to fire lethal bullets at a host of individuals, should I so desire. They can ship anywhere – except California. Hooray for California for at least attempting to put some sanity into this madness. So the army changed a perfect killing machine into one that malfunctioned and led to the death of many American GIs in Viet Nam. Isn’t it ironic? Mass murderers get the good stuff; guys sanctioned to kill get the garbage.
So what’s the answer? Stop online sales of perfect killing machines. Teach children gun safety. Develop and utilize better ways to keep people from killing themselves with guns. Then maybe the stats will look better, and the opponents of gun control can stop putting useless comparisons out to confuse people into inaction. That’s about it.