Out of the Frying Pan

Well, the President is pushing for gun reform.  On Facebook earlier in the week, someone posted a link to a cartoon (not this exact one, but very similar in sentiment) and they added their disgust and dismay that anyone could suggest that gun control laws here in the United States might lead the government to commit atrocities against its unarmed citizens.  After all, the situations here as opposed to communist Russia or Nazi Germany are completely different.  

I pray that they are.  
But history also indicates that bad ideas often motivated by good intentions.  Or masked by good intentions.  Good, proper, forward-thinking, and legal intentions.  It is only after such ideas are put into practice that abuse can occur.  It doesn’t mean it will occur, only that it becomes much, much more tempting.  Our founding fathers knew this through personal experience.  They were far more distrustful of the government than of individuals, a situation that is almost completely reversed now.  Only time will tell if gun control in the United States paves the way for epic abuses of power and human rights violations.  
But I can predict with absolute certainty that gun control will not eliminate the atrocities that are committed against one another in our country.  Banning assault rifles will only lead to people realizing that assault rifles are actually a very tiny minority of all homicides committed with guns (though they get a lot more attention).  Then we’ll need to extend the controls against a wider range of guns, since it seems illogical to say it’s OK to murder with one type of gun and not another.  That would be discrimination.  
I can empathize with proponents of gun control.  I can almost empathize with those who think all forms of guns should be made illegal.  But I don’t know anyone – regardless of their stance on this issue – who applauds what happened in Newtown last week.  I am appalled by the people who assert that those who resist gun control are somehow all closet terrorists and child-murderers.  If people were trained to think and argue rationally, these sorts of informal logical fallacies wouldn’t stand a chance.  But in a culture dictated by who screams the loudest and the longest, and who seems better able to make a case for somehow being a victim, ad hominem attacks and appeal to pity fallacies regularly substitute for calculated, careful thought and debate on an issue.  
Because of that, we’re all going to suffer, sooner or later.  
And, just to keep the discussion interesting, here’s a little reminder – guns are only one small way that we kill each other.  The number of ways we can kill each other seems to be growing with our reliance on technology.  While drones and homing bullets and other weaponry garners the headlines, there are far less glamorous but equally lethal risks from our reliance on technology and convenience.  Smart phones could turn out to be one of the hot new weapons of choice in the very near future.
But I doubt anyone is going to argue that we should ban them.  

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