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Sunday, July 22, 2012

...cold, dead fingers...

I am writing this in the aftermath of the horrible, senseless shooting at the Aurora, Colorado premier of the new Batman movie. As the news media does, it has covered every aspect of this tragedy. One of the things that always pops up after a shooting like this is the calls for gun control and gun laws.

I am always amazed that there are actually sane and rational people out there that think more gun laws and/or bans will solve things like this. We cannot "put the genie back in the bottle", as it were. Unless there was a way to eliminate all the guns on the planet (and wouldn't the armies of the world look cute with their shiny spears) and the knowledge on how to build them, gun violence will never go away*. I think even the most adamant gun control nut would agree that is not possible. For those of you still with doubts, here are some examples - after billions of dollars and millions of arrests, is marijuana still available? How about cocaine, heroin, etc? Has prostitution been done away with? How about something simple like speeding? Know anyone that goes over the speed limit? How did Prohibition work out in eliminating alcohol consumption?

Now, I am not equating speeding with gun violence. I am just pointing out that no matter what the laws say, people will break them. And, they are more likely to be broken by people with little regard to legality or even societal norms. The old adage about banning guns and only lawbreakers will have guns is unfortunately true. It is also surprising to me that there are people, even in government, that think banning individual ownership of guns is a great idea. Yet these same people, in some instances, think elimination of the illegal aliens in the country is a bad idea. Only one of these things is guaranteed as a right in the Constitution. The other is specifically spelled out as a responsibility of the federal government to handle in that same document. Guess which is which!?! The founders felt strongly enough about securing our national borders as a responsibility of the federal government that is is mentioned (among a short list) of requirements of the government in the Constitution. The right to "keep and bear arms" was felt to be important enough that is is also specifically spelled out as a right of individuals in the Bill of Rights.

There are no laws or protections available against insanity. If a sufficiently motivated individual is crazy enough to want to do harm to a person or a group of people, and does not care for his or her own well-being; there is very little to be done to stop it. Luckily, events such as this are relatively rare. Even when motivated by religion or beliefs, such as jihadists or anti-government types, we are lucky that these events are still rare here in our country. I hope they stay this way. I am just commenting that more or stricter gun laws will not stop them. In fact, there are studies that show when concealed carry laws go into effect in an area, gun violence goes down. Conversely, there are studies that show when strict gun laws go into effect, crimes committed with guns go up. Now, that is not the subject of this post - but I urge you to do some research on your own if so motivated.

*As a student of psychology and sociology, I truly feel if we could ever somehow get rid of guns, we would have crazy people attacking with slingshots and/or spears. In lieu of spears, we would use clubs and/or sticks. Unfortunately, man is a violent creature.