While I'm on the subject...
It seems ludicrous for anyone to be completely against "gun control." Some sort of control is a good idea, right? We don't let 14-year-olds buy whisky; we don't allow child molesters to move silently into suburban neighborhoods; we don't hire people who have seizures every three minutes to drive public buses. We need, also -- it would seem to me -- to control who gets to have a gun. No?
Should we argue that "alcohol doesn't get people drunk, people get themselves drunk?" Of course not. We need to control alcohol based on when someone is equipped to make the right decisions, in terms of drinking. Does it always work? Of course not. Does that mean it shouldn't be controlled? -- that there shouldn't be a drinking age? -- that it should be okay for a bartender to let a drunk guy do one last shot of tequila before going out to his car?
So, if it makes little sense to just let anyone buy guns, the question then becomes: How much control is necessary? I won't dive into the argument too deeply, because, admittedly, I am not too up on firearm technology. I'm reluctant to start deciding what types of weapons the general person ought to be allowed to buy, but somewhere between a snub-nosed .38 and an Abrahms tank, there have to be things the average citizen should not be allowed to purchase, right?
I agree that we have a right to defend our own homes with firearms. I understand the argument about defending ourselves against an oppressive government and I take it very seriously -- it does happen; it could happen again; only a fool would think otherwise. But, if we are playing the odds, is the possession of a hyper-powerful weapon more likely to end in some series headline slaughters, or is it more likely to end in victory against a new oppressive American regime? Again, I am not saying this flippantly. I do understand that the Revolutionaries were very conscious of the average citizen and the potential for him to need to defend himself against his own government, the way they had to against theirs...
...but sometimes, the philosophical idea, valid though it may be, is not an absolute open ticket. And, it occurs to me that a united revolution, even if underfunded and under equipped, can still be successful. Revolutions are not simple things, you know. The military contains about 1,500,000 people. The US population is about 320,000,000. If each person had a gun that ranged from a pistol to a shotgun...
I know. I know. Those numbers are filled with kids and the elderly and with people who will neither have a weapon nor participate in the fight. I'm just trying to illustrate the uncertainty of the whole thing; or, at least, the very real potential for revolutionary victory, if needed, in spite of being outgunned.
This is not me being partisan or even presenting a hard-line position. This is me asking questions. This is what it looks like to me afer some contemplation. Put succinctly, I think we should have the right to have guns, certainly, but that we need to be judicious in terms of who gets guns and we need to decide how much firepower "crosses the line" from self-protection into potential mass slaughter. When does the scale tip into daily danger and away from a potential preservation of personal saftey and freedom? A nut can kill ten-times as many people with a machine gun than he can with a hammer. What if the numbers in the next 200 years add up to 10,000 people mass-murdered with machine guns and not one Second American Revolution? (oh, stop it -- I am not saying we should be limited to hammers. See paragraph four.)
I welcome discussion on this. My ways are not set. I write this in part to see what I think on the subject ("How do I know what I think unless I write it down?") and in part to hear from those who disagree -- or, more accurately, to learn about the nuances of the argument that I don't see.
One purpose of argument is to win; the highest purpose is to find the truth. I'm into the latter.