Skip to comments.The Fallacy of Gun Laws
Posted on 04/25/2012 8:02:49 AM PDT by marktwain
Like clockwork it has happened. Anytime there is a shooting there is a call for stricter gun control laws. Whether in reaction to the recent shootings in Tulsa, the school shootings in Ohio and California, or the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, more laws on gun use and ownership are seen as the answer for preventing similar incidents from repeating. Its as though all we need to keep people from killing one another are laws that restrict access to guns or increase punishment for violent crimes. The laws are not the problem, the people who commit the crimes are.
Most people would refrain from shooting someone whether there was a law in place or not. It is the rare individual who would say, The only thing keeping me from opening fire on a classroom of innocent people is the law. No, most of us dont murder because we know murder is wrong, not because the law tells us it is, but because our moral compass does.
By combining data from the Census Bureau and the FBI we see that in states with the death penalty for murder the murder rate in 2010 was 25% higher than in non-death penalty states. According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, California, where a man just shot ten innocent people in a college classroom, ranks among the states with the strictest gun laws. Likewise, New York and New Jersey have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation yet have a higher murder rate than Ohio and Virginia where gun laws are among the weakest. The states with the lowest murder rates are Vermont and New Hampshire. These two states rank among those with the weakest gun laws.
Of course these statistics dont prove that laws are worthless. But what they do show is the limited capability of laws to determine outcomes in individual cases or to shape behavior in general. Laws are not to blame, the individuals who commit the crimes are. What we need to understand is what leads these people to commit such horrific acts of violence.
What we know of the shooters in Tucson, Chardon, and Virginia Tech is that the shooters felt isolated and estranged from the rest of society. They felt alone and desperate. It would not be a surprise if the shooters in Oakland and Tulsa had the same disposition. No law would have made these people feel connected, empowered, or improved their view of humanity.
Others who commit heinous crimes may have some other form of depravity that drives them to do what normal people would not. It is impossible to know all that motivates people but it is easy to understand that laws are not the only answer. Laws are insufficient correctives for the depraved soul or mind. Rather, laws punish misdeeds, remind us what society expects from us, and in some instances provide a deterrent for those less determined to harm others.
Laws are not useless, but to think of them as the only answer or the best answer is wrongheaded. To think that more laws and stricter laws are the right answer is a misguided assumption. A new emphasis should be placed on cultivating character not crafting laws. Such an endeavor does not follow a clear course of action nor does it satisfy our needs for clarity and immediacy but it does provide a more productive path forward.
A 2 million SF open air tent prison in West Texas for lifers and repeat offenders nation wide would ease jail crowding. Let the inmates raise chickens and hogs and farm for their food. They could even elect representative government inside.
Surround the place with large walls, moats, electrified fence and mounted mini gun turrets and leave all the guards on the outside.
Begin a policy of executing the worst offenders as jail population reaches capacity. Let it be known and publish a list of the worst offenders so that all in the prisons might know who has to be shot when the next offender is welcomed to the establishment. I bet prisoners reform in drastic fashion and are deterred from having to go back.
Yes, but the underlying cause of lack of character building is directly associated with myriad problems all descended from a single root cause: sex before and outside of marriage.
Vigorously advocated by many in society, sex before and outside of marriage is a cultural disaster.
To start with, it requires contraception (among the smarter), which used to be limited to condoms, but now includes chemical means to preclude pregnancy during the most fertile and best time window for having and raising children.
Second, even with condoms, multiple sexual partners encourages the spread of a host of STDs and overly complex body microorganism flora, as of yet not well understood, but is of known risk to people with ordinary levels of flora.
Third and the problems most to the point is unwanted pregnancy, resulting both in widespread use of abortion as contraception, with its inherent risk to the female reproductive system and mental health; and single parent families.
Children raised by a single parent are often raised in the absence of character building. As such, they are 60% more likely to be involved in criminal acts.
Importantly, each of these destructive and dangerous things need to be seen both from the point of view of the individual harm they inflict, as well as their cumulative effects, which may be so destructive as to result in the self destruction of a major population group.
It took me many years, but I finally accepted the wisdom within your post. Very well done. Improved technology did not obsolete the Ten Commandments.
so - you want to create another penal colony, like Australia or Georgia?
Good post. Thanks for posting the text here, as the original site is horrible to read with gray text.
With or without regard to laws, the areas of the nation that have the highest murder rates, also have the highest concentrations of people prone to commit murder. Relocate these folks to any other area, and the murder rate there will go up too.
I'm not familiar with the penal colonies in Austraia or Georgia. I will do some research. But, yes. I like the idea of permanently removing certain cretins from society and dissuading future criminals from becoming felons and repeat fellons.
It will never happen in the US, however.
I would say this goes even deeper, being interwoven into basic human biology and design.
In nature, males have the prerogative to mate with as many females as possible. Females in species that have breeding pairs have evolved to have a double prerogative to both get the best male DNA for their offspring, and the best provider male to help them raise their offspring. These are pretty much the ground rules for animals.
However, humans developed a strong improvement to this idea with socially enforced marriage, as it offers a “better deal” to males, females, and definitely their offspring.
To males it offers a better chance that their offspring will have their DNA. To females, assurance that their mate will limit his sexual activities and provision to her and her offspring, and to remain around to help raise their offspring. And the advantages to children of both better provision and character building as well as socialization.
(Importantly, the *lack* of character building and socialization may be seen as devolving to a more survival oriented path, of self interest over the interests of the group or family.)
However, because of the corruption of marriage by the use of the dowry and arranged marriage, for other than reproduction, its reputation was tarnished and many assumed that marriage was just a social contrivance, of little or no use or value.
And marriage is quite vulnerable to a lack of social enforcement, an unwillingness of outsiders to actively prevent interference in the marriage.
Biologically and psychologically, only part of society are acceptable as breeding pairs, and so other techniques have evolved to keep those who should not breed from interfering with those who should. This includes prostitution and likely other unusual social activities.
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