Skip to comments.How Guns Are Like Nukes (The Last Sentence Says It All)
Posted on 02/05/2013 5:56:38 AM PST by Kaslin
I stand out among my conservative friends in disliking guns. I favor reasonable restrictions on the Second Amendment, such as bans on fully automatic weapons, background checks for purchases and forbidding the sale of guns to those with histories of mental illness or criminality.
Yet I cannot agree with liberals that more gun control will lead to fewer gun crimes.
President Obama's choice for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, actually illuminated one of the weaknesses of the gun control case. Hagel had been closely associated with Global Zero (though he's since repudiated it), a movement dedicated to "the elimination of all nuclear weapons." Hagel isn't alone in endorsing this cause. President Obama supports the concept, as well.
Liberals like Hagel and Obama think nuclear weapons are a problem in themselves. Call it the instrumental view. It's the weapon, rather than the person wielding it, that presents the danger. But American possession of nuclear weapons didn't threaten world peace. On the contrary, our nuclear arsenal arguably kept the peace for the whole second half of the 20th century. On the other hand, a nuclear weapon in Iran's hands would be a profound threat to the world.
By the same instrumental logic, many ask how we can tacitly tolerate Israel's possession of nuclear weapons while declaring that Iran must not be permitted to obtain them. The answer is the same. No matter how awful the weapon, the relevant question is about the weapon's owner. Israel is a peace-seeking democracy whose nuclear weapons are clearly intended purely for defense. Iran is ruled by a terrorist gang that managed to gain control of a country.
To propose, as Hagel did, that the existing nuclear powers completely divest themselves of nuclear weapons wouldn't make the world safer. It would make it profoundly less safe because the U.S. would be powerless to prevent smaller powers that acquired nuclear weapons after we had destroyed our own from bullying the world -- or worse.
Wouldn't it be a better world if nuclear bombs had never been invented? That's hard to say. History isn't over. The U.S. military projected casualties from an invasion of the Japanese mainland between 500,000 and 1 million American dead and between 5 and 10 million Japanese dead. Dropping two atomic bombs, as terrible as that was, cost about 200,000 lives.
Similar arguments animate the gun control debate. The ready availability of guns, we're told, is responsible for America's extremely high rates of gun crime and for the horrific mass shootings we've experienced in recent years. Possibly, but there are other nations with high rates of gun ownership, such as Switzerland and Israel, that have low rates of gun crime. In our own recent history, we know that many high schools hosted rifle teams and many had ranges in their buildings. Yet school shootings were exceedingly rare and mass shootings unheard of.
We are told that studies have shown that gun ownership does not make home owners safer, but that, on the contrary, having a gun in the home makes it much more likely that the homeowner will be shot by a family member. This claim rests chiefly on a study by Arthur Kellerman that compared 420 homicide victims with others living in the same neighborhood. As Prof. Gary Kleck observed, the subjects of the study lived in a crime-ridden neighborhood, and Kellerman did not control for membership in gangs or participation in the drug trade. Additionally, only 4.7 percent of the homicide victims were killed by spouses, lovers, other relatives or roommates using the gun that was kept at home. The overwhelming majority of the deaths were the result of guns brought into the home from elsewhere.
It's doubtless true that more guns in homes are correlated with more gun accidents, gun suicides and gun homicides. It's hard to find gun deaths in homes without guns. But there are no swimming pool deaths in homes without pools either. There is also no doubt that Americans defend themselves and others with guns quite frequently. Data are difficult to come by for complex reasons including reporting errors, varying state laws and even lying by gun owners. But when the CATO Institute studied news reports of defensive gun uses over an eight-year period ending in 2011, they found more than 5,000 documented instances of gun owners preventing mayhem (murder, rape, robbery and assault) with guns. Interestingly, they found only 11 cases in which the criminal was able to disarm the gun owner, but 227 cases in which the criminal was disarmed.
We can no more make guns disappear than we can uninvent nuclear weapons. The key in both cases is whose finger is on the trigger.
I once saw Jerry Falwell debate some British anti nuke activist, at some English University, I think it was Oxford, in the 1980’s during the cold war. He concluded with the following:
Ther is an empire that has thousands of nuclear weapons, and yet, nobody stays awake night worrying about that empire starting a nuclear war.” at that point the crowd was yelling and protesting that Falwell must be crazy.
He continued, “I didn’t say which empire. I meant the British Empire.”
I favor reasonable restrictions on the Second Amendment, such as bans on fully automatic weapons, background checks for purchases and forbidding the sale of guns to those with histories of mental illness
So Mona, what government bureaucrat will decide "reasonable?" And do you trust government bureaucrats to monitor "backgrounds" properly? As we know, there are never any mistakes made by government bureaucrats. Oh, you don't suppose there will be delays in "authorizations" for conservatives while their "backgrounds" are "checked" do you? And will everyone who ever took ritalin be forbidden under your "mental illness" rule?
Mona wake up. You're better than this.
IOW, Mona favors elimination of Second Amendment rights via incrementalism, the favored tactic when the direct approach doesn’t work.
Basically, you shouldn't and can't trust anyone that doesn't trust you with the lethal means to defend yourself.
> .. having a gun in the home makes it much more likely that the homeowner will be shot by a family member .. <
That lie keeps being repeated over and over despite the facts, and is treated as a fact by the left/gun-grabbers.
There is a study on violence that was recently released that has not gotten much attention despite the recent gun ban debates.
I don’t own a gun...yet, but I may some day...don’t know. However, I am against the gov’t saying I can’t have one. It seems to me that any gun ban, be it on automatic rifles or clip size, is going to have the same result that Prohibition had...the bad guys still had all they wanted. Pile on top of that a new cadre of Federal employees to enforce the law and you get Big Brother times two. Gun control is just a bad idea on a Constitutional level, let alone the argument that it would actually work.
A gun is for protection. The Constitution says nothing about hunting; hunting is an ancillary use for a gun.
The Constitution is supposed to guarantee the right to possess and use and arms needed to confront a militia or military force being used to support a tyrannical government. It is not limited to small arms, but guarantees arms equivalent or better than those expected to be used by the tyranical force imposing its will.
Anyone who tells you that the police will protect you is an idiot who probably does not own a gun or a fire extinguisher. I own a fire extinguisher, because if I have a fire in my home, it will take too long for government or volunteer fire fighters to get there to prevent a major damage. Owning a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire is identical to owning a gun to confront an intruder. You can’t wait for a cop anymore than you can wait for a fireman.
This is something that we must address head on.
She doesn’t favor incremental elimination of the 2nd amendment, she favors outright immediate elimination but knows that that approach won’t work. And if their end goal were exposed and known by all, the incremental approach wouldn’t work either.
And here we are, arguing about what we’ll allow them to ban in THIS increment.
I say NO! Nothing! You’re restricting NOTHING! In fact, we’re going to fight to roll back some restrictions you’ve already put in place.
I have always loved the work of Mona Charen. However, I wish she’d chosen to sit this one out!
If so, then we might as well shrug our shoulders if something like Aurora, the Newtown shooting, etc happens again. Perhaps you think the victims shouldn't have been there.
I just got a revolver a few months ago. I’m hoping I never need it, but, I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
Until recently, I didn’t think I would need it, although I thought that someday the fabric of society would disintigrate to the point that I might need one. That’s happening now. Violent crime seems to be on the rise in my community, and getting ever closer to our seemingly safe suburban neighborhood. The police are not stopping it, and probably cannot, at least with the current crop of politicians giving them their marching orders.
I took the NRA training, and practice at the range from time to time. I clean it and maintain it, and keep it locked up, but handy.
I’ve had my office garage broken into three times, and I’ve had to escape from would be muggers in downtown. I’m not eager to shoot anyone, but I’m even less eager to be a victim.
We are fortunate that our Constitution affirms our right to bear arms, but less fortunate that some do not trust us with liberty, and quite unfortunate that some of those are in positions to take those liberties away.
Show me someone who does not trust us with the right to bear arms, and I will show you someone who does not trust us with any of our Constitutional liberties.
I favor reasonable restrictions on the Second Amendment
Regardless of what the nutcase was carrying or intending.
What scares me most about this are irresponsible gun owners who leave their loaded guns laying around where toddlers can get a hold of it and kill themselves or or their siblings or little friends.
How would she react to this position: "I stand out among my conservative friends in disliking freedom of the press. I favor reasonable restrictions on the First Amendment, such as bans on reckless articles such as this one, background checks for journalists and forbidding the sale of computer printers and blog sites to those with histories of mental illness or criminality"?
While books, movies, and blogs don't kill people, and the extremists on the left would argue that makes guns different, we are 100% certain that the reckless and irresponsible reporting of mass shootings motivates copycat criminals. The case for restricting and licensing freedom of speech and of the press is just as strong as the case for restricting and licensing firearms. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens pose no threat to other law-abiding citizens. Sensible people, those without a phobia, feel MUCH safer at a gun show, NRA convention, or conservative political rally than at a location where people are known to be disarmed.
Guns are tools, and they are often very good tools (in the sense of making the world better and not just in the sense of functioning well). As for infringements on the constitutional protections of our fundamental human rights, those are always harmful. Weakening our legal protections today makes it easier for a petty tyrant to go even further tomorrow. No, thank you. I'll continue to support the honest position that "shall not be infringed" means exactly what it says and should be followed as written.
All three of her restrictions are already law, and have been for decades.
It should scare you more that even more people don’t properly secure their scissors and kitchen knives, swimming pools, and stairways in the home. All of which kill as many, if not more, than carelessly store firearms...
What is it with the lib-tard/gun grabber talking points? Did someone hijack your account?
More kids die from eating their parents medication than from guns.
More kids die in car accidents because of poorly installed car seats.
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