I’m sure President Obama felt really good today when he presented his gun control proposals for Congress to consider, saying, “If there is even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try it.” He certainly sounds like a caring and concerned person.
But this it is a wholly unserious and extraordinarily stupid rationale for any new gun control legislation.
Every death of a child is horrible, whether it is from a mass shooting, a car accident, or a drowning. Using the President’s logic, we should place restrictions on the ability of children to travel and we should ban swimming pools, since these measures would surely save at least one child’s life. However, the public would rightly ridicule the president for proposing such sweeping measures.. Efforts to curb gun deaths that focus on limiting magazine capacity to ten rounds or banning weapons that contain certain cosmetic features (so-called “assault weapons”) are equally absurd.
Vice President Biden said we need more gun control laws because “the world has changed” after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
No, it hasn’t.
Since the beginning of time, violence has been a part of the human condition. Most of the time, it takes violence to stop violence. This is precisely why we arm police officers with semiautomatic handguns and AR-15s, and why police are not subject to magazine capacity limits.
The problem with the Obama Administration’s legislative proposals is that they ignore both logic and reality. We cannot eliminate crime by passing more legislation. Nor will legislation banning guns that contain certain cosmetic features (AR-15s and other so called “assault weapons”), or restricting magazine capacity to 10, stop a person intent on killing others.
The only way to truly curb gun violence is to make it costly for the bad guy to perpetrate gun violence in the first place. Bans on inanimate objects do not work, and after all, only the law-abiding obey laws. This can only be done by ensuring that when the good guys are confronted with violence, the good guys have the means to fight back.