Thursday, January 10, 2013

Human Volition, not Guns, is the Source of Gun Aggression

American Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson, discussing the issue of gun control, writes in the Washington Post:

Compare the rate of murder by gun in the United States to the rate in any other advanced industrial nation, and you’re forced to draw one of two conclusions: Either there are far more homicidal people in this country than just about anyplace else on Earth, or far more guns. We must either be home to more people who succumb to murderous rage or who kill out of the coldest of calculations, or it’s easier to pick up a gun and start shooting here than in any comparable country.

Meyerson chooses the prevalence of guns, thus taking the simplistic way out by citing statistics as primary proof that "restricting" the sale of guns will make us safer.

Statistics, in and of themselves, are not proof of anything. They may be valuable as a starting point for further investigation or as supporting evidence for a rational case based on observation and logic. But they do not constitute fundamental proof that guns cause violent gun aggression.

Gun control advocates' fixation on guns misses a crucial distinction; the difference between responsible citizens and irresponsible citizens. A gun is an inanimate object. It does not have volition. It cannot make moral choices. Those are attributes of the individual human mind alone. The individual, not the gun, it logically follows, must be the focus of the debate.

Meyerson's whole case collapses when one focuses on facts of reality.

Is it possible that "restricting"--i.e., banning--guns will prevent an occasional isolated psycho from committing mass murder? Of course. But outlawing private gun ownership is much more likely to spur a thriving underworld gun market, thus shifting the prevalence of gun ownership from responsible, law-abiding citizens to criminals. Look no further than the alcohol prohibition era and the power of organized crime it spurred; or, today, the high incidence of drug-related gun violence and the power of the drug cartels.

The laws of economics can not be repealed by a legislative act. The high level of gun demand in America will not change at the whim of anti-gun legislation. Such legislation will simply shift more resources away from fighting rights-violating crime to chasing non-rights-violating gun trade and possession, creating another class of victim-less criminals much as the drug "war" has done. The result will be to violate the rights of the innocent many, for the wrongdoing of the guilty few. Even if outlawing guns could reduce gun crimes in America, a highly doubtful outcome, violating rights can never be justified.

What, then, lies behind the difference in the ratios of gun deaths between America and other countries cited by Meyerson (assuming these surveys are accurate)? That is a much more difficult question to answer than Meyerson's shallow statistical approach can answer.

I would look to the differences in educational philosophy between America and other countries. The dominance of mind-crippling progressive education is strong in America. Our failure-riddled K-12 education system, which is most strongly manifested in the same urban centers that have the highest crime rates, actively hinders children from developing the natural cognitive mental tools needed to deal with reality. Improperly educated children have varying degrees if inability to cope with life, and in the most extreme instances, could escape into criminal activity.

What about the Left's hateful campaign against "the top 1%"--i.e., the productive and successful--which could conceivably boil over into gun  aggression by those imagining themselves to be "the 99%"--i.e., the victims of that evil elite.

Meyerson's obvious political agenda--his piece degenerates into Republican-bashing--may explain why he is quick to dismiss the idea that "there are far more homicidal people in this country than just about anyplace else on Earth," and thus to evade why that isBut that is a far more logical explanation than the statistical model. The question is, why is that the case? What ideas--what mindset--motivates an individual to pick up a gun and use it to senselessly gun down innocent people? Statistics won't answer that question. They will just indicate that there is a problem.


Gun Control Should focus On Principles, Not Guns

Thoughts on the Colorado Theater Shooting

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

Banning guns only keeps psychos from getting guns from legal sourcs. But, illegal sources will mushroom & make guns available to psychos. Psychos will commit mass murders anyway. Banning guns won't prevent mass murders. It only violates our rights and makes all of us more defenceless against crime of all kinds, and thereby encourages more crime, including mass murders.

Other factors, most evidenced by the lack of integrity of law & gvt., is what needs attention, not guns or gun ownership.