Sports radio on the weekend is a vast wasteland of crap. In fact, it is the single biggest reason why I wanted SiriusXM in the first place. Unfortunately, my car is not advanced enough to include it automatically, so I had to get one of those contraptions that plays it through a random FM station on my own radio. Of course, it charges the IPhone at the same time, but static and other factors don't allow me to listen as often as I like.
I was going to pick up some breakfast for the family when I had it on one of the sports stations in town. I don't want to get too specific out of respect for the DJs I do know around town. Yet, weekend sports radio (particularly in the morning) is some combination of home improvement, Neckcar, and hunting and fishing. I don't like any of those things (thus the switch of Nascar to Neckcar) but couldn't imagine sitting through anything more dull on radio. Well, the DJ in question went on a tirade about Congresswoman Jacobs. No, he wasn't saying anything bad about her but the so-called anti-gun movement in the wake of her assassination attempt.
I can only imagine that there are a couple of ulterior motives to this particular tirade. First of all, the host was hosting a hunting and fishing show. I can't imagine too many listeners would be too sympathetic to the gun control lobby. Secondly, I've heard the DJ before. The initial thought I had when hearing him was, "who is the gay guy doing sports?" In actuality, he probably is more like Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual. Naturally, I couldn't care less about anyone's lifestyle, but sports DJs in particular make their livelihood off of their voice and their ability to project manliness. Nothing says manly liking arguing against gun control. So, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was riffing for ratings. However, he uttered my three favorite anti-gun control arguments. So, I thought I would address them.
Guns don't kill people, people do.
Ah yes, the ol' standby lives. In the strictest sense, he was correct. However, most reasonable people would agree that without guns it would be much more difficult for people to kill. Thus, we get to the flip side of the argument. A wise person once said that all technology is neutral. It is how it is used that determines whether it is good or evil. So, what good things do we use guns for? Well, the NRA often argues that guns can be used to protect one's self. Well, we'll get to that one in a minute. Others use guns for entertainment.
I say entertainment because society has evolved to a point where all manner of food products can be had with a quick drive to the store. So, you don't need to hunt for food. So, you hunt for entertainment. You may target shoot for entertainment as well. Putting all things aside and sticking strictly to logic we must evaluate the positive usefulness of the technology with the possible negatives. One couldn't argue with a straight face that the positives outweigh the negatives. It isn't about the instrument itself, but the likely use of said instrument. A similar discussion could be had about those supercars that race for a few hundred yards and are then stopped with parachutes. I could get to work three times as fast (positive) but would endanger how many people along the way (negative).
When you pass a law only law abiding citizens follow
Again, one can't disagree with such a simplistic statement. Yet, such a simplistic statement has logical limits. Could the same not be said about any law? In Psychology we learned about moral development. Such a supposition as above doesn't acknowledge the full development of human morality. In the beginning stages of that development, we aim to please those we answer to (parents). Then, we move onto the stage where we follow rules because of fear for what will happen when we don't.
The statement above assumes this is where morality stops. The truth is that most people acknowledge a need for rules and follow them because they understand society works better when we have rules. There will always be people that don't evolve morally for whatever reason. It could be bad parenting. It could be a psychological condition, or some other breakdown in society, but basing laws on their actions makes about as much sense as basing a menu on the tastes of someone that won't eat anything. We base our rules on the informed opinions of those that all agree we should have them. Jean Jacque Rousseau called this the "general will". Personally, I found the term somewhat dubious in the regard that we all agree we should have a safe society (for instance) but don't agree on specific regulations.
Human affairs are subject to some inexact science. I could point to every country that does not allow guns and point to a simple fact that they all have lower murder rates than the United States. That doesn't prove that guns are primarily responsible. Obviously, this is where some reflexive jackass utters the first line we looked at. There are other underlying factors. We have a more violent culture in general than most. We have violence on television, on the internet, and in movies. Yet, while those things might increase the propensity of someone to act violently, the presence of guns in society makes it easier for those people to cause massive damage.
Citizens can protect themselves better than the police
I just about pulled over and busted a gut when I heard this one. The DJ went onto to say that he had a shotgun next to his bed and if someone broke in they wouldn't get out alive. The gun lobby has never gotten the paradox of this argument. The same DJ has talked about his kids many times. I suppose that is in an effort to dispel the thoughts of his sexuality. If he hosts a hunting show I am assuming he is well versed in gun safety. Therefore, I'm sure he doesn't just leave it lying around because a loving father would never leave a loaded gun in plain view of their children.
A careful gun owner would leave the gun locked away. If they are really safe they will leave it locked and unloaded to be extra careful. Of course, I do not own gun and I don't put my foot down on anything, but this is the exception. So, I'm just guessing here. So, when Mr. Cat Burglar comes in the house, you have to go to where your gun is locked, unlock the cabinet, load the gun, and then hunt for the burglar. If the burglar is still in the house by the time you do all that you have to hope he or she isn't carrying themselves. Then again, if you take the short cut of keeping the gun loaded and handy then you also take the risk of junior playing cops and robbers with a loaded weapon. You also run the risk of the robber getting to the gun before you.
These are just a few of the reasons why a gun in the home is more than thirty times more likely to harm someone in the home than to prevent an outsider from committing a crime. About a week ago, our black cat peed on the furniture for about the fifth or sixth time. He also has pooped on my favorite chair and my child's bed. My wife said if we had a gun he would have been shot. I believe her. How often have domestic disputes ended in tragedy over similar circumstances? Our effeminate DJ even went so far as to say that someone was bringing their gun to the Jacobs rally and could have succeeded in thwarting the attempt if someone hadn't have emptied his gun.
High-minded words and phrases don't work on the simple-minded. So, a simple question: are we safer trusting the police or safer reenacting a shootout at the OK Corral? Let's say that person had his gun and shot it at the would be assassin. How many innocent people would he have hit in his attempt? The road to hell is paved with good intentions and there are lot of people that carry concealed weapons with good intentions. They are good people that wouldn't hurt anyone. Unfortunately, under the right circumstances and the right tools we are capable of destruction. Living in a society is about freedom, but also about mutual responsibility. It is about agreeing to live by rules that keep us all safe. There are a lot of things that don't kill people on their own. Arsenic, mustard gas, and cyanide immediately come to mind. Yet, instead of asking whether or not those items by themselves kill people (ie, they don't jump up and jump into our mouths and down our throats) we should be weighing their positive aspects with their negative ones.