Yes, We Can Do More Against Gun Violence


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The Republican arguments against gun control are pretty stupid, but they basically boil down to them saying no gun control idea will work. They make the case that gun control policy X would not have stopped mass-shooting Y. They make the case that there will always be bad people who do bad things. They make the argument that suits their need- to disprove that gun control policy X would work at all.

Amanda Marcotte of Rolling Stone writes a great piece taking on four of the right-wing arguments to do nothing about gun violence. I’m going to highlight one argument of her’s each day. Today, it’s that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

1. “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
This is a fantastic argument for those who can’t tell the difference between one death and a dozen. Absolutely, a murderer can often kill one person or two with a knife before being stopped. But to really rack up those mind-blowing death counts – to make sure that many lives are destroyed and families ruined in the space of five or 10 minutes – you need a gun. If all you care about is apportioning blame and declaring that someone does or does not have murderous intent, then by all means, claim a knife and a gun are equivalent weapons. For those of us who are more worried about preventing unnecessary deaths than merely acknowledging the hate that resides in some people’s hearts, however, the sheer amount of damage a gun can do is reason to limit who can get their hands on one.

This argument is generally used against any piece of legislation seeking to stop red-blooded Americans from buying lots of guns that can shoot lots of bullets without the inconvenience of re-loading. Anything that places any kind of limits on the ability of the gun to shoot a lot is bad to these folks. It’s crazy though, because guns are industrial killing machines. Yes, most gun owners don’t use them to kill people, but let’s not lie about what they are. Guns make it easiest and fastest to kill something- be it a military enemy, an animal, or a person. It’s the economical way to kill for an individual.

On the day of the Newtown Massacre in 2012, a crazy man got into a Chinese school with a knife. No one died. There was no “good guy with a gun,” or anything like that. He was stopped. This is because a gun is not the equivalent of a gun. Because this crazy man could not get his hand on a gun, no one was killed. That’s because the gun does kill people- when in the hands of a crazy person. Common sense gun legislation would help make that less likely. Yes, part of it is a mental health component. A larger part is background checks on all gun sales and waiting periods.

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