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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Moving to a new neighborhood - Issue #9

Special issue explanation here

My previous post, regarding Professor Bainbridge's take on a gun rights court case, reminded me of an editorial I wrote some time ago for my personal website. I thought I had already posted it here, I guess my memory is going as I grow older lol. So, here you go.

Feburary 2, 2002

The Tyranny of Inanimate Objects

Or as some would like to say – “Guns cause crime”; to which I would respond, and baseball bats cause assaults and vandalism, phones cause harassment and stalking and ski masks cause bank robberies. I could go on but I think most people can see the point. There is a view in mainstream media and among liberal politicians that if only we would ban something; in this case guns, it would reduce the relevant crimes. Of course in that short list the only thing they want to ban or limit is the ownership of guns.

“So what?” one might say; “Less guns mean less crime.” That sure sounds like common sense but for a very thorough response to such a statement I recommend the book More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott. His work shows that stricter gun control laws do not actually reduce crime and the states that allow law abiding citizens to have guns, and especially carry concealed guns, had crime rates drop once these policies were implemented. But I am sure some will be tempted to say that must have been a biased study and for them and their choir that will be enough. There is a problem with focusing on supposed bias though; it is not really very helpful, just merely satisfying; as it allows one to ignore the actual studies and therefore avoid having ones emotionally powerful yet factually unsupported dogmas challenged.

Recent history can teach us many things if we will only listen. England and Australia are currently seeing higher crime rates since bans on certain firearms went in to affect. The city of Chicago has just won the honor of being the murder capitol of this country and that is with a handgun ban in affect. This same city responds to a series of rapes in a neighborhood by giving out whistles to women. Heaven forbid we should really even the odds by letting a woman carry a gun for self-defense.

But just to make sure, try an experiment. Place some loaded gun on a table and wait for something bad to happen. I am sure many are thinking, “As soon as someone gets mad and loses control, they will do something violent with that gun and prove our point”. Actually that proves my point. The gun could not do anything until that irresponsible, morally bankrupt individual wanted to do something and then actually acted on that desire. They would have done something if it had been a baseball bat. Are we going to ban baseball bats? Limit the number of bats one can purchase each month? Require registration so it will be easier to confiscate all baseball bats later? “Of course not”, would be the response, “We can’t help it that some choose to use a tool of sports entertainment for violence”. Very well then, we also can not help it that some choose to use a tool of hunting and target shooting sports, or objects of antique collections and family heirlooms in a violent manner. Not to mention that the use of this tool has allowed many law-abiding people to successfully defend themselves and others against criminals even when the criminal was armed.

So the fact is, that guns do not cause crime; just as baseball bats, or phones or ski masks do not. Experience and common sense tell us this. The real problem we need to face is not the tyranny of any inanimate object; rather, it is the tyranny of evil that people allow into their hearts that cause them to use any object for violence.


Previous Issues of "Moving To A New Neighborhood":

Issue #8 Do Unto Others...
Issue #7 Are Chicago Women Really This Stupid?
Issue #6 OnStar and The Nanny State
Issue #5 The Limits of Our Language
Issue #4 Abortion - Fundamental Issues
Issue #3 Mel Gibson Failed
Issue #2 Abortion - Knee Jerk Arguments
Issue #1 Jerry Springer and the Fall of Rome
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