Recently, a imgur poster, noting my reaction to gun control threads, decided to send me a personal message, drawing a comparison between guns and cars, an argument that I’m sure holds… some weight, I suppose, to… some people, whatever. Anyway, the point is, I had this reaction and I figured it was worth penning down as a more reliable, usable reaction to the issue at large.
I conventionally make a point of not arguing with Americans about their gun laws, happy to sit on the sidelines and just throw rocks. We had mass shootings, we passed legislation to control guns and in the wake of that, we had exactly 0 fascist dictatorships ascend in power, a reduction in gun-related suicide, a reduction in gun-related homicide, a reduction in gun-related accidents, and 0 mass killings with guns. I grew up in a country where when two people get into a shouting match over loud music, what results is a punch up and an embarassing story for the loser, not a potential shooting.
I have, however, seen the same gun arguments play out regularly. Comparing guns to cars is one of the more common canards, which seems to forget that the purpose of cars is moving things around and their misuse kills people, while the purpose of guns is to kill things and their proper use can also kill people. It’s not an argument that holds any weight with me, because what it really seems to be about is finding a way for the gun owner to justify a self-image, an ideal. Right now, America has I think 98 guns for every 100 citizens. America has also decided, as a culture, that it does not want to control those guns, nor is it acceptable to discuss reducing that number. Therefore, I have to assume that America either does not care about mass shootings enough to want to prevent them, or that America simply cannot ever be trusted to manage or control its firearm problem. The rhetoric that flows from America plays into this: “These laws cannot prevent everything, therefore, there is no reason to ever have them.”
Essentially, the gun control debate from America is a country of 298,000,000 guns saying ‘We cannot control ourselves, we cannot fix our problems, and the occasional mass murder of children, schoolteachers, government employees or teenagers walking home is the price we are willing to pay for this level of freedom.’
So, I will answer your question with a question: Why in the world should I ever bother discussing the topic of firearms with a person who looks at this state of affairs and tries to find excuses to maintain this status quo?