Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blaming the "Gun Culture" for One Accidental Shooting is Unjust

Calling the tragic Kentucky case of a 5 year-old shooting of a 2 year-old with a child-sized gun "no 'crazy accident'," the NJ Star-Ledger said:

We can argue about the need to limit the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. We can have a reasonable debate about the effectiveness of background checks. Perhaps it’s time to broaden that discussion, and include the acceptance of a fringe gun culture that puts weapons and live ammunition in the hands of a preschooler, as if it were a toy.

In a Forbes op-ed, Harry Binswanger explained how he grappled with the issue of "gun control":

Both sides [in the gun control debate] are looking at cases that are real. The question is: how can we take all of them into account? What is the proper way to think about this issue?
The answer I’ve come to is radical: reject entirely the collectivist mindset. Don’t look at populations; don’t ask: among 300 million Americans, would law X result in more lives being saved than lost? That sort of cost-benefit analysis is amoral; lives are not balanceable one against the other. And, in practice, it leads to endlessly battling statistical studies. I realized I should not take a God’s eye perspective, looking down on the flock, seeking to preserve the herd. Mankind is not a herd.

It was with Binswanger's perspective in mind that I left these comments:

Guilt by association--blaming the innocent many for the wrong-doing of the few--is one of the greatest of injustices perpetrated by men over men. That's the collectivist mindset at work.

A "fringe gun culture" didn't put a loaded weapon in the hands of a child without adequate supervision. Neither did some mysterious "acceptance" of such a culture. Some specific adult did, and the circumstances of that specific situation, and how they relate to child endangerment laws, must be looked at before anyone can be judged.

The collectivist worldview is an amoral worldview, and the source of so much injustice.

Related Reading:

Banning Guns Punishes the Innocent and Violates Rights

With Gun Control, Cost-Benefit Analysis is Amoral by Harry Binswanger

No comments: