Sunday, September 15, 2019

Anti-gun laws always wrong path

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 14, 2019)

In the wake of the recent mass shootings and the hype surrounding them, people are asking "why?" Simpletons parrot the popular answer: "guns". Sensible people know there's no single reason.

Thankfully, mass shootings are rare. The way they are publicized makes them seem common, and copycat crimes often follow on the heels of well-publicized shootings. If it were up to me, the shooter's face would never be shown and his name would be replaced by the words "some loser".

Mass shootings-- almost without exception-- happen in places where guns are prohibited. This makes sense. People who plan to shoot random people don't want their intended victims to shoot back. A "gun-free zone"-- be it a mall or other business, a school or other government facility, or an outdoor event-- gives them exactly what they want.

Some people blame poor "mental health care", suggesting it's government's responsibility to run a giant socialist program for identifying mentally unstable people and rounding them up or forcibly medicating them.

I don't trust people who believe governing others is OK to make reasonable assessments of other people's mental health.

The "worthlessness" these shooters express in the months and years leading up to their evil deeds must play a part. If you don't have any meaning in your life it is easier to decide nothing has meaning so you might as well act on your hopelessness, nihilism, and anger.
These guys need meaningful relationships. They need meaningful work. Both are getting harder to find for the average person. This isn't something government can fix, but perhaps society will find solutions.

I suspect the lack of an attainable frontier may contribute to the problem, and believe if one doesn't open up soon, things will get worse.

I would be tempted to blame violent video games, except the evidence seems clear that this isn't the case. If you desensitize people to committing violent acts it seems they'd be more accepting of aggression in real life. Yet the data points to the opposite effect. The violent games apparently serve as a sort of pressure release.

The same goes for violent movies. 

I didn't want to believe it, but I must accept the evidence unless more evidence comes to light. I can't help but wonder why accepting evidence is such a difficult thing for humans to do.

The evidence is clear: there are many causes, but making things worse-- with additional anti-gun laws-- is always the wrong path.

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Good guys with guns

Several times I've seen people ask why-- in the cases of successful mass shootings-- the loser wasn't stopped by good guys with guns.

That's simple to answer.

The good guys with guns are prohibited from having guns in the places where mass shootings happen... that's why the mass shootings happen where they do.

Plus, even if I'm carrying where it is prohibited, my first responsibility is to protect myself and my family. If I have the opportunity I might also try to protect those around me who shirked their responsibility and aren't prepared to protect themselves, but that's not my obligation. Why should I risk my life and liberty for people who don't value their own life enough to carry the proper tools with which to defend it?

If I am forced to pull my gun I open myself up to "legal" consequences. Are those irresponsible people worth that trouble?

America doesn't have too many guns. Americans are carrying too few guns.

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