So the recent Virginia Tech shooting incident is causing many to once again re-evaluate gun laws in the United States. The liberal slant, of course, is that the shooter was too easily able to purchase handguns, and that something should be done to make guns harder to attain. This is horribly misguided, and I am going to tell you why.
Ideal vs. Real
Liberal ideology is largely based on how things should be, not how they are. I agree that people shouldn’t have to carry guns, and I agree that people should consider other people’s religious beliefs to be equally valid to their own. Those are nice ideas, but they’re kind of like Newtonian physics: they don’t hold up well under extremes.
One example of something that absolutely should not happen is abortion. Ask a liberal if they think we should kill babies and they’ll get quite upset. They’ll very effectively argue that it’s not that they think it’s ideal, but that it’s an issue of greater good considering the unfortunate reality we live in.
I totally agree, and that’s why I’m pro-abortion. What liberal gun-control advocates don’t understand is that this is the same reason we should be allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. And I’m not alone in this; many people are seeing the failure of gun control in the U.K. and Australia, as well as the reduced violent crime rates in states that have carry laws.
I know there will be a call for, ‘Boy, we’ve got to take hold of every single gun and register the gun.’ It’s sort of like after 9/11, we had to worry about terrorists, but what we’ve done is register every American,” he said. “With national ID cards, inspection and loss of our liberties, warrantless searches, we’ve attacked law-abiding citizens. So, no, I don’t think we need more gun control for law-abiding citizens. — Ron Paul
Ultimately this question comes down to risk. Which is more likely to present a danger to society: 1) Mishaps caused by law-abiding citizens who have everything to lose by doing something stupid with their weapon, or 2) Criminals who will always have weapons despite ANY ban, and who feel emboldened when their victims are unarmed?
I say the latter. And it’s important to recognize that it’s all about the current threat level. If we lived in an ultra-quiet, non-violent society I’d be strong advocate of gun control. Why? Because the risk of accidents caused by the guns would be much higher than that of violent crime caused by criminals. But that’s simply not the case.
Here’s a short illustration of how this risk breaks down, keeping in mind that these are my own non-scientific estimates of the various values:
My chart isn’t meant to be conclusive proof of anything. It’s not tied to real data, but I think it does capture the fact that while one value goes up, another goes down. And as society gets more violent, the scale will tip farther and farther toward the benefits of citizen carry. It is this dynamic that should be closely studied in order to create policy.
Think, Don’t Feel
Another concept that Bruce Schneier speaks about often is that of illogical and imbalanced emotional reactions to various threats. In this case we see accidental harm being reacted to much more strongly than to violent crime itself. It’s as if 1 accidental death equals 5 deaths caused by criminals. I think we, as a society, need to fight that impulse.
As it turns out there is a very poignant example of legal carry laws working to the benefit of society. In 2002 there was another shooting incident at another Virginia university. It was stopped by two law students who legally owned handguns. They went out to their cars, got their weapons, and were able to put a stop to the incident before it became headline news.
It’s time to look very seriously at this issue without the liberal filter of what “feels” right. Few people would argue that having more guns in the society is an ideal situation, but if it achieves the very goal that gun control was meant to accomplish then it’s simply the thing to do.: