Innately Harmful

“Banning guns is the only sensible solution to the problem of gun deaths and injuries in the United States. The idea that we can’t ban them because someone will still attempt to own one, is fallacious and empty headed. If you feel that way, then all laws are useless because they get broken everyday. Why bother to have laws banning murder when people will still murder each other? You can easily see that you lack any ability to think critically. Logic escapes anyone who doesn’t understand that fewer guns means fewer gun deaths.” – Bill W on youtube

 
Generally speaking, we pass laws against things/actions that are harmful, especially to others. Murder hurts people. Theft hurts people. Heck, even running through a Stop sign is dangerous (although it doesn’t always hurt someone). Even many so-called “victimless” crimes are still harmful. Cocaine harms the user and has no possible harmless use. Cocaine also contributes to other crimes as addicts engage in profitable criminal activity to finance their addiction.

Guns, however, are not innately harmful. There are many legitimate uses and users of firearms. It’s been a while since I looked up the exact numbers, but there were about 7,000 homicides with firearms in 2013. Also, one firearm builder (Ruger) sold over 1 million firearms in 2013. There are easily more than 200 million guns total in the US, but no one is really sure. (The BATFE estimated 223 million in 1995, and many more have been sold since then). So in a country that owns well-over 200,000,000 guns, I think 7,000 murders a year is a very low percentage. That’s about 0.035% – no, not 1/3 of 1%, it’s more like 1/30 of 1%. For the sake of our rough-math, we’ll say that it’s about 1 out of 2,800 guns. Regardless of the roughness of my numbers, I feel quite confident in saying that 99% of guns are not used for homicides, that homicide is the exception, not the rule. Even if we expand the list of gun “victims” to include suicides (any seriously suicidal person will not be deterred by “gun control”), the number is still well below 1% of misuse.

Simply put, there is nothing harmful, bad, or evil about merely owning a gun. There is no reason to restrict simple ownership of guns by lawful citizens. The only bad things about guns (murder, assault, brandishing) are already illegal, and those crimes should be prosecuted when they happen. It does not make sense to restrict gun ownership on the pretense of reducing violent actions. While it will restrict that very small group somewhat (again, far less than 1% of guns), it will also restrict the huge majority of legitimate users.

Restrictions on gun ownership make as much sense as outlawing alcohol to prevent drunk driving, outlawing kitchen knives to prevent stabbings, or outlawing rat poison to protect unfaithful husbands. We don’t restrict these things because we recognize that the “solution” does more harm to legitimate users than criminal users.

So when someone uses that tired, worn-out old catchphase that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, remember that what they really mean is that guns are not inherently bad, and that all of bad things that people do with guns are not caused by guns. As they say about dogs, “Blame  the owner, not the breed.”

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About jurmond

'Jurmond' was the name of my first character in a homebrew D&D campaign. He was a gunslinger and tinker, creating and carrying strange weapons that belched fire and smoke. That was well over a decade ago but I still think of him whenever fiction and firearms collide, so it seems the perfect pen name for this project.
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