The comments section of any article about sensible gun regulation reveals the infant-like imaginary world of the pro-gun argument. The most common, perhaps, is that ‘Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.’ But when was the last time you saw a murderer swing a People against a group of people, killing them?
Should we also ban trucks, since terrorists kill people with truck bombs, they ask. You don’t have to answer stupid questions, but if you did, the question would be: No. Trucks are manufactured to deliver goods. A truck bomb is a misappropriation of its purpose. Firearms, on the other hand, are manufactured only to deliver bullets. Whether the handler delivers those bullets to a target, a beer bottle, a wild animal, or a crowd of unarmed humans, delivering bullets is exactly what that gun was designed to do. Other similar false equivalencies include banning fertilizer, certain chemicals, and the 17th-century pressure cooker.
Countries with stricter gun regulations also suffer mass gun deaths, they say. Firearms were used to kill 69 people at a summer camp in Norway, a country with stricter firearms regs than the U.S., proof that gun control is useless. An appropriate response to this line of reasoning is to thank the individual for raising one awful incident, a circumstance unique in Norwegian society. Unlike the recurrence of incidences here in the U.S., like Newtown, Orlando, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Columbine, VA Tech, Charleston, etc, etc. Just to name a few in recent years.
Fewer people would die in these attacks if more people had guns, they insist. But it seems like wild return fire from a frightened group of country music fans at ground level toward the 32nd floor of a crowded hotel would cause more death and destruction, not less. And let’s not talk about arming schoolchildren against an intruder, please.
Let’s not politicize this tragedy, they piously admonish. They are correct, of course. Let’s not politicize it. Let’s resolve the problem at its core by admitting that the single most obvious factor common to incidence of mass murder by gunfire is: gunfire.
Not today… Because ‘Today’ is somehow too sacred to the memory of those we lost. Even if we were to grant ‘Today,’ the question is, ‘Then when?’ In fact there is only Today. Yesterday would have been better, and tomorrow never comes.
So yes: TODAY.