There are a lot of arguments around the issue of the Second Amendment and its implications for the private ownership of firearms in the US. And I think reasonable arguments can be made all around this issue. However, in the wake of the latest shooting conducted with legally obtained firearms, there is already a refrain heard from some folks that goes like this:
“Banning guns will not prevent violence or people from being killed. If some psycho or evil person is intent on harming people, if they can’t get an semi-automatic pistol, they will use a revolver. If they can’t get a 30 round magazine, they will use three 10 round magazines. And if they can’t get a gun, they will use a knife, and if they can’t get a knife, they will use a baseball bat.”
This argument is ordinarily summarized into the pithy phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Far be it from me to challenge the determination or ingenuity of those with murderous intent, or the opinion of those who claim to be intimately knowledgeable about same.
However, there are a few facts, upon which, I think we can all agree:
-A gun or firearm is a device capable of projecting a small piece of metal (“Bullets”) at a velocity across a certain distance and with the force sufficient to penetrate flesh and bone.
-The faster the firearm can fire (its firing rate), the more bullets can be fired within a certain period of time. For example, an automatic weapon will fire so long as the trigger is depressed, until the bullets run out.
-The more bullets the firearm can fire without being reloaded (its ammunition capacity), in addition to its firing rate, also increases the amount of bullets that can be fired within a certain period of time
-The above ability of some firearms to fire more bullets faster than others is colloquially referred to as “firepower”.
-The greater the firepower, the more things you can hit (like people) with more bullets in a shorter period of time.
-The more bullets someone is hit with (remember, they can go through flesh and bone) the more likely it is they will die.
However, according to the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” folks, the above facts are completely irrelevant. Because if you are intent on harming someone, you will be able to accomplish the same result, regardless of the tools used.
So instead of murderous psychos, let’s look at a positive example of folks who intend to use deadly force – Soldiers.
Soldiers are trained to use deadly force against our country’s enemies. They are motivated to do so, via training, their professionalism, and bravery. However, based on the above, I guess we have been showing a distinct lack of faith in their commitment to duty, since we have, throughout history, made great effort and expense to supply them with firearms with greater and greater firepower. How insulting.
So perhaps a starting point for discussion is that, while we can agree that "people kill people", we can perhaps also agree that you can kill a lot more people, alot faster, based on how much firepower you have.
If not, and a gun is the same as a baseball bat, we should go head and replace “Lock and Load” with “Batter up!”