Re: With all Due Respect ...
posted at 12/15/2012 5:04 PM EST
WHat are the real issues here? It is not only about a crazed shooter but about the fact that this has become a common thing. It is not only about the 2nd amendment because there are other rights we have as well and sometimes two rights can conflict. It is not about liberal or conservative - that is just plain brain dead thinking. THere are legitimate issues to be addressed - to be discussed and argued and resolved. Amicably. By adults as adults.
One thing I would ask of anyone... of everyone... is that they listen to each other with some degree of intelligence and respect and that they consider this question first "WHAT IS THE COMMON VALUE UNDERLYING THE OTHER GUYS PERSPECTIVE"? Generally the reality is that the best arguements on all sides have a basis with some meaningful validity. The trick is in justly weighing the values or principles that might be in conflict.
Here are some thoughts:
1. You cant stop people who want to kill from killing others
This is not a truly meaningful point to consider. NO ONE is pretending that all this will simply stop. But we do try to reduce the possibilties. Look at all the effort we put into trying to protect against terrorists when we travel. Look at the already existing concept that there should be background checks before a person can buy a gun. - Although an amazing 29% of gun owners dont even want to have a check for potential terrorists before they can buy a gun.
The point I am making is that we do not expect that by passing any law we have stopped all illegal behavior. And no one thinks any law will stop all violent behavior. But the point is we do, as a nation, already believe that we can take actions to reduce crime, reduce violent acts, reduce the potential scope of violent behavior.
2. Guns dont kill people, people do:
The point being made is actually beside the important point the statement means to answer. The question is just how deadly a weapon should anyone be allowed to own and carry arround? An automatic weapon that can take out 20, 30, 40 people in a minute? A bomb? How big a bomb? Biological weapons? A semi? A hand gun? A knife? I am not going to answer the question for all of us here - that is for all of us to decide... but the issue is not all or nothing.
The question we need to answer as a country is what is the limit on deadliness of weapon that individuals should be allowed to own, to carry, etc. and why do we put that particular limit?
3. If others at a shooting were armed it is either less likely that the shooting would have even happened or fewer innocent people would have been killed or injured:
The point being made assumes a number of things that are just not likely to be true. First of all, that others carrying weapons is not necessarily a deterent especially to someone who is going postal (maybe we should change the term to going American). Second, well trained police and soldiers are not characters in a movie and their rate of hitting their target is not like it is in the movies. So what of the general population? And what of the fact that in a life and death scenario non-professionals (even if trained) are even less likely to be accurate? That innocent people - including targeting the wrong person - become more and more a real likelihood. There is also the greater possibility of cross fires making the scene more deadly to innocent people.
4. Vigilante keepers of the peace:
We have a police force for a reason. ANd we pay them and train them for a reason. Most reasonable people do not want non professionals to be the guardians of their safety. And I sure do not want people who may have had a drink, or are prone to road rage, or who might ahve just had a fight with their wife, or are angry because of some issue going on in their lives to be ready and willing and able to draw at the first possibility of an opportunity to show the world how much of a man, or hero, or just a good shot they (think) they are.
And on top of that it is all too frequent that people mistake what is happening. Heck, there was just another shooting by a man of an (innocent) African American teenager. And once again it was the man with the gun who was taking the law into his hands and committing murder. So is it going to be OK for someone to draw a gun and shoot and kill a person and then we find out that they went too far because they made a mistake?
5. If you are what is commonly refered to as "Pro Life" should you be summarily executed if you draw and shoot an innocent person? Or at least put in jail for life because you are clearly too dangerous to be let on the streets where you might mistakenly kill another innocent person. And if someone hears shots and comes running with their gun and sees a person with a gun and they shoot... shooting an earlier would be vigilante.
6. The difficult questions often need to be asked when two or more rights are in conflict. There is a right to free speach but there are legitimate legal limits on that right. In this case there is also a right for all of us and our families to be able to walk the streets and go to work and school, etc without fear of every other person because everyone has a gun. Generally speaking vigilantes do not make us safer. Shoots outs in a school do not make our children safer. You rright to carry a deadly weapon should have some sort of limits so that you do not infringe on the right of others to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
7. There is a difference between having a weapon in your home to protect you in your home verse carrying a weapon whereever you go.
8. There is a difference between owning a weapon that you have as a means of being part of a well regulated militia and carrying that weapon around in public as a means of being a self deputized police officer.
9. I hear a lot of name calling. I hear a lot of dismissive comments. I hear remarks that address the wrong question . I hear a lot of anger. What seems to be abscent are calm, thoughtful discussions. If those who can't even be civil and thoughtful in a discussion what will that imply about their ability to act in a public and likely confused situation?
10. Is anyone suggesting that the kids in the elementary school be armed???? No? Because they are not mature enough to be able to? And so too for some older folks.