November 12, 2015
Gotta give the National Rifle Association credit: they’ll try to explain away any mass U.S. shooting. “Guns don’t kill people…”, “A good guy with a gun…”, “Video games are the problem…”—these lines have been trotted out time and again in the wake of armed carnage.
Now there’s a new argument trending with gun fetishists: that mass shootings only occur in gun-free zones. While it has a nice ring to it, it’s also pure nonsense. However, the sheer ridiculousness of it does open the door to rebut some of the other silly excuses the NRA has dreamed up over the years to absolve themself of any responsibility in the national pathology they propagate. To this end, here is a counter to many of the falsehoods, excuses and downright insanity cooked up by the NRA and its unwavering adherents everywhere.
The myth of gun free zones
The myth about armed assailants targeting “gun free zones” is just that—a myth. It’s another in a long line of spurious justifications the NRA uses to promote the idea that guns should be even more ubiquitous in American society. Oregon repealed their ban on weapons on college campuses years ago, and at least one student on campus was armed at the time of the incident. The Aurora shooter wrote in his own journal that he chose the movie theater for its proximity and no other reasons.
As a counter-example, 23 people were killed in an incident in Killeen, Texas (some of the most lax gun laws in the country) in 1991. Then came the 2009 shooting in the same exact area—at a military base, no less. This is to say nothing of the Washington Navy Yard shooting and the shooting at the U.S. Navy Reserve in Chattanooga. These weren’t communities of peaceful Quakers churning butter, but facilities where actual soldiers trained to use weapons and who had access to those weapons resided.
The “evil regimes took the guns!” argument
If, with a straight face, you’re willing to reduce Communist China, Nazi Germany, and the Khmer Rouge to merely “they took the guns,” then you have the same knowledge of world history as a sea scallop. I once saw an online comment on a newspaper article about Pyongyang that read: “Imagine what those citizens would do if they were all armed!” I was awestruck.
That person’s abject cluelessness concerning the fundamentals of the human condition was breathtaking to behold. The answer to his question: if everyone in North Korea was armed, they would likely keep their arms right at their side preparing for the non-existent threat propagated by the country’s radicals to ensure total obedience to an ideology. To the gun fetishists, I ask you: sound familiar?
The “but knives kill people and cars kill people and lamps kill people too!” argument
I’m not aware of any mass lampings that are plaguing American society at the moment. As for cars, if you want to talk about regulating firearms the same way we do motor vehicles (force gun owners to pass tests, get licensed, mandate insurance, hold gun manufacturers liable for human deaths, etc.) then I’m all for it (thanks for making this so easy). Also, cars aren’t designed to take life; that is, however, the sole job of a gun. As for knives, there was a mass stabbing in an elementary school in China around the same time as the tragic events of Sandy Hook, and guess what? All 22 victims survived.
The “guns are just a tool” argument
Yeah, I’m gonna go till my garden with my Sig Sauer .380.
The “my Constitution gives me the right to blah blah blah!!!” argument
I’ve read the U.S. Constitution cover to cover. What stands out regarding the Second Amendment is the text as a whole, with the dominant first clause, “A well regulated militia,” being of particular interest. And there hasn’t been a need for a civilian militia since just after the Revolutionary War, when we didn’t have a standing army and we feared that the Redcoats might come back for another go-around.
And for those who adhere to the canard that every citizen is a militia member, I expect you’ll be singing a different tune when Barack Obama calls you up in the middle of the night and orders you to organize under his command before shipping you off to ensure Federal clerks everywhere process marriage certificates for gay couples. That’s the President’s right, you know, according to Section One, Article Eight of the U.S. Constitution.
The “but the Second Amendment gives me the right to overthrow a tyrannical government!” argument
Just stop it. The framers didn’t draft a document that encourages your bizarre fantasy that you’re Che Guevara. And even if that was the case, and even if gun fetishists had the cajones to organize en masse, my guess is that it would be the saddest group of heavily armed fringe fanatics since those folks we saw in Nevada shooting up a WalMart, or those buffoons out in the dessert mindlessly blabbering support for Cliven Bundy, all the while threatening to use their wives as human shields in the event dem Feds come attackin! These people are so debased that I wouldn’t pick a single one of them on my team in a small-side paintball tournament, let alone hand them an officer’s commission in the Army of the New Revolution.
And what would their ideal government look like, anyway? To the converted I’m sure it would be a paradise the same way Guyana in the 1970s looked like a paradise to nearly 1,000 members of Jim Jones’ “People’s Temple.” But to the vast majority of Americans who aren’t members of the NRA, it would be a dystopia, a hellscape where every citizen is mandated to own a gun and possess it on their person at all times, where armed children and teachers walk onto school grounds littered with the spent casings of the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, where elementary school janitors mop up blood spatter amid the spaghetti sauce, where shootouts occur every weekend at frat parties because some drunk guy with a GLOCK said some nonsense about a guy’s girlfriend but that guy had a TEC-9 and his girlfriend manned the M2 .50 cal mounted on the roof of her Prius and the next thing you know everybody’s dead.
What’s my utopia? One where the political arm of the National Rifle Association ceases to exist. Let them revert back to their roots as a simple outdoorsman’s organization telling hunters where they can bag that prized Elk. Let them cease to be the all-consuming black hole of gun death they are today. I like that Utopia better.
Do you have the right to own a gun? Sure. And every parent has the right not to lose their child to gunfire for no other reason than they attended school that day. That’s why, thankfully, my government, the one that is of the people, by the people and for the people, has the right to regulate your gun ownership into next week. I can already hear the temper tantrums starting. To me and millions of other Americans sick of being shouted down by adult children, that’s the sound of freedom ringing across this great land of ours.
Words by: Chris Wallace