Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Control in America

Adam Gopnik has a good commentary on the shootings in the New Yorker.

To paraphrase, or express what it makes me think, he says that basically every country tightens up it's gun control laws after a horrible gun killing atrocity, and then they don't happen any more. Not so in America where our thick heads are clouded by fears of government intervention, and the fear that we could be invaded and caught gunless. A relative of mine was against gun control. But did she want one? No. So what's she worried about?! She doesn't like the idea of curbed "freedoms" even if it would result in people not being killed, which is what it's all about to me. I'm so sick of reading these articles in the paper. We need gun control! Charlton Heston is not my president (I saw a bumper sticker in North Carolina asserting that once). That stupid slogan "guns don't kill people, people do." Yea, people with guns. Takes both those things. You can't remove the people so remove the guns.

America is an adolescent that is worried about it's autonomy. While it's economic power wanes and fades, it needs to grow up and join it's elder brothers and sisters in Europe, stop acting like a teenage who's out for a drive, craves the freedom to hurt themselves. America needs to mature, grow up.

Until then, get ready for the next gun killing spree.


napoleon15 said...

Pretty impressive of a cocky, adolescent country like the United States to save its elder brothers and sisters in Europe from Nazism and Communism, huh? Why do you have so much contempt for the United States? America has done more good for the world than any other country in history. By the way, why don't you do some research on "Gun Town, USA": Kennesaw, GA? Then contrast it with Morton Grove, IL.

Stephen Parks Bell said...

I'm going to leave this post as an example of the kind of off topic thinking about gun control. What does the USA's role in past world wars have to do with gun control? I love America too, that's why I don't want senseless loss, preventable loss. I think to equate desire for gun control with contempt is yet another silliness, it's specious reasoning. It saddens me that this is the kind of response I get to my comment, because it's that attitude that keeps people dying.

Stephen Parks Bell said...

And just because one city made every head of household have a gun, and there was no murders, does not prove that what happened recently wouldn't have happened there, had the person who went on a rampage lived there. And crime going up, when a city adopts a gun ban, does not prove that guns shouldn't be more tightly controled. I'd rather there was more crime than death by guns, crime can be petty. Explain to the parents of 33 people why their children are dead.

napoleon15 said...

Thirty-two innocent people were murdered at VT because they were unarmed. Had any of the students and/or professors been armed, do you think Cho would have murdered or injured as many people as he did? As for being off-topic, I was responding to your comment, "America is an adolescent that... needs to grow up and join it's elder brothers and sisters in Europe, stop acting like a teenage who's out for a drive, craves the freedom to hurt themselves. America needs to mature, grow up." This is the same thing so many Hollywood snobs say, and they have the utmost disdain for ordinary Americans. If you repeat what they say, aren't you expressing the same sentiment?

napoleon15 said...

If you are going to claim that Cho couldn't have purchased a pair of guns if we had stricter gun-control laws, I already addressed this and other points at my own blog napoleon15.blogspot.com

Stephen Parks Bell said...

I've never heard anyone else call America adolescent, certainly not from Hollywood. Perhaps I'm not giving the proper respect to how gun culture developed in America. Still, historically speaking, America is very young compared to the European cultures, and I think it shows sometimes.

I should clarify, my perspective, if you've read my blog at all, is that of a Buddhist who wants people not to be harmed. I suppose if someone had a gun and it got into a gun fight, there might be fewer deaths. I'll grant you that. But would there be fewer deaths over all in America if there were tighter gun restrictions? I think there would be. And I think European countries prove that. They and other countries prove that gun control cuts down gun deaths. It's simple: if people don't have guns, they can't kill each other with guns.

But it is a complex issue, and there is a culture of gun use in America, as the Wikipedia articles on gun control suggest. I suppose it's an expression of the preciousness of life to be for gun control, for me. Of course it's mixed not pure, but for me it is.

I know if everyone was toting a gun, there would be shorter killing sprees by wackos, but over all, if people don't have guns, then it makes sense--nobody dies from guns. I suppose I appreciate some discussion and it has spured me to greater understanding of the issue in America. But for me the desire for gun control is an expression of my desire for no harm to come to people.

napoleon15 said...

I and most others share your desire for peace. I think, though, that in this world peace is brought about through strength, not pacifism. As George Herbert said, "One sword keeps another in its sheath." THis was the same policy that kept the U.S. and Soviet Union from going to war with each other. Also, any American could buy guns off the street as easily as he or she could buy illegal drugs. If guns were banned in America, then criminals would still have them and law-abiding citizens would not.

Stephen Parks Bell said...

Well, our goals are the same, our idea about means differ. I think you have to be peaceful in means and ends. I would never shoot someone, so there's no point in carrying a gun. When you carry a gun for self protection, you are also carrying a gun out of fear. I think it's more courageous not to carry a gun.

Regarding the insane mutually assured destruction of the arms race, it makes me wonder what the would would have been like if all countries decided to get rid of nuclear weapons. Why can't every country have nuclear weapons, if we have them. When you are peace, you create peace, IMHO.