BY STEPHEN NUÑO
There is a reasonable solution to this gun debate, but neither side is being reasonable. The anti-gun folks are ignoring the evidence that gun laws are not correlated with gun violence and are focused on banning as many types of weapons as possible. Meanwhile, crackpots like Alex Jones, are busy feeding the media with reasons to doubt the sanity of gun owners.
Senator Dianne Feinstein is poised to renew her “Assault Weapons” Ban from 1994, which not only proved disastrous for the Democratic Party, but made no discernible impact on gun violence. She has promised to update her bill so that it will, “[Stop] the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically-named firearms as well as certain semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns…”
The key word there is “certain.” California already has a ban on “assault weapons” that lists several pages worth of illegal firearms, and through it all you can still purchase a firearm that has no functional difference than any of the firearms on the list, let alone an AR-15.
These calls to ban firearms only exacerbate sales, and gun sales have been on the rise ever since the gun ban in California with no correlated rise in gun violence.
However, the United States is unique in the sheer scope of it’s gun violence, and with about 10,000 gun-related deaths a year, we are by far the most violent country on earth short of those in a full-pitch war.
But we are at war. We have been at war since the 1970s. It’s called the “War on Drugs,” and it turns out that the United States is also unique in it’s vapid approach to drugs, which does seem to be a related to gun violence.
We also have the greatest incarceration rate in the world. About 20% of those in jail are doing time for drug-related charges, and the war on drugs has a ripple-effect throughout the system. Teenagers, disproportionately minorities, go into jail as kids who made a mistake, and come out hardened criminals.
Perhaps Mrs. Feinstein can tackle the war on drugs before peddling legislation that will do nothing, but then she’d have to deal with the private prison industry or the unions who run our prisons. Better to pretend we’re doing something, and if minorities pay the highest price for it, who really cares?
But Mrs. Feinstein isn’t the only problem. The other day, Alex Jones went berserk on television while being interviewed by Piers Morgan about gun-control. In an utter failure to get his message across by yelling at Mr. Morgan, Jones did a disservice to our civil rights by acting unhinged, let alone someone you would reasonably trust with a firearm.
Rather than his usual conspiracy-driven paranoia about government tyranny, Jones could have said that guns are tools, very dangerous ones, but tools nonetheless. Every responsible homeowner has a fire extinguisher and fire alarms installed to help against tragic fires that can cost lives. Schools have them too, and if a house or school nevertheless burns down, no reasonable person says that its not worth having fire extinguishers or fire alarms.
Many school gyms have portable defibrillators nearby in case of cardiac arrest. Nobody says these tools make no sense to have because basketball coaches aren’t doctors, and nobody argues against fire extinguishers because teachers aren’t trained firefighters.
Of course, guns aren’t fire extinguishers or defibrillators, but their improper use can certainly be deadly. Luckily, I don’t have to answer whether or not guns make sense to be stored in some locked case in a designated office which will sound an alarm to authorities if opened, as a fire alarm does.