Monday, April 23, 2007

Gun control, peace and safety

Obviously there are two sides to this argument. So many things happening in the world that add information to the discussion. More to know than I can process effectively. The news tends to magnify the proportions. Extreme violence is remarkably rare, so when it happens it is all the more shocking.

Today I look at the reports of seemingly routine violence in places like Iraq. Yesterday's news showed the human remains of blood and gore splashed all over the place. It would seem that the average Iraqi citizen has dozens of automatic weapons and a supply of ammo that would stagger Arnold Schwarzenegger - before his heart attack. Apparently there are enough explosives in country to launch a shuttle mission.

I review the news about a berserk college student in Virginia murdering dozens of helpless people whose only imaginable offense against him was that they happened to be there. This is not Iraq. Why did this person have available resources to wield such destructive power? What could have prevented such a senseless outrageous act of wanton killing? Do we need to have battle armor ready in case of such incidents to protect ourselves?

An editorial in today's SLTrib says
Laws don't deter people with criminal intent; otherwise our prisons would be empty. A criminal is one who violates the law. How does the gun-control lobby propose to make lawbreakers into law-abiders? If lawbreakers are not deterred from criminal pursuits by laws currently in place, why should more laws deter them?
I well understand those who look for means to stop such awful things. But it does not appear that the answer lies in keeping everyone from having guns. The ones who do the damage here were able to obtain the weapons and ammo in spite of the laws. Thus the laws apparently just make it impossible for the innocent to defend themselves. Instead of being subject to return fire, attackers know they may slaughter at will for an interminable period, while we summon out the select few who supposedly defend us from this kind of predation.

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