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If opponents of common sense gun control insist that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” I wonder how we can maintain our belief that Iran and North Korea shouldn’t possess nuclear weapons. If there is nothing wrong with owning a weapon because the weapon itself is neutral, then why can’t everyone own any weapon they want?

nuclear bomb explosion

Don’t I remember going to war with Iraq solely for the erroneous suspicion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and we thought that was a bad idea? Aren’t some politicians posturing even now to invade Iran if any more evidence surfaces about their nuclear program?

It’s clear that we want to control who owns nuclear weapons because the weapon itself is dangerous. The same is true of guns, which have killed far more people than nuclear weapons ever have. Letting anyone own almost any gun they want, as the present law with all the gun show loopholes allows, is the same as letting any rogue nation own any nuclear or chemical weapon they want. Sooner or later, many, many innocent people are going to be brutally killed.

And gun owners, please take a deep breath and calm down. No one is calling for a complete ban on all guns. Opponents of “gun control” always throw that up as an actual danger. But there is a constitutional amendment prohibiting this as an option, so a total ban is simply not going to happen. What “gun control” means is that we start serious discussions about regulations. Just as an unregulated Wall Street brought disaster in 1929 and again in 2008, unregulated gun sales will lead inevitably to disaster after disaster after disaster.

We regulate who can drive a car, don’t we? It’s called getting a Driver’s License. You have to answer lots of questions and take an actual driving test before you can get behind the wheel on your own. Why? Because even an object as neutral as a vehicle becomes a deadly weapon in the wrong hands. So why can’t we have background checks and exams and required classes for gun owners? Surely, guns are at least as dangerous as cars when used by the wrong people. And the second amendment never said anything about denying this type of regulation.

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If the voters want to keep the same deadly status quo, then so be it, but please stop saying guns don’t kill people. All weapons kill people. If we have to ban heroin because of its danger, if even pot is banned in 48 states because of the hazard it presents to society, then surely guns warrant our attention as well.

And it isn’t just the mass shootings of children or theater-goers we should want to avoid. I personally don’t want to be shot even if I’m the sole victim of the shooter. According to Mercer University School of Medicine, there were over 30,000 gun-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2010 and an astonishing 200,000 non-fatal gun-related injuries. Being shot at a political rally isn’t the only thing we have to worry about.

Johnny Townsend

We’re riveted to our televisions when we see a schoolroom full of children shot to death. We cry and bemoan the sad state of the world. But then we go about our business and don’t do anything to prevent the next horrific tragedy.

And that makes us accomplices to murder.

Johnny Townsend

Wednesday, 19 December 2012