O.K., I got into a little bit of trouble on facebook. Somebody wrote “Why are people blaming the gun? More people are killed by texting than automatic weapons. Should we ban texting? What about fertilizer? You can make a bomb out of fertilizer. And airplanes. Airplanes killed a lot of people on 9/11. Why don’t we ban airplanes?”
Instead of just writing “All of those things have legitimate uses. An AR-15 does not” I prefaced those words with “You are an idiot. And an asshole.” Suddenly, I was the bad guy on the thread, for not engaging in a civil discussion.
Yeah, maybe I could worry about my debate skills and diplomacy a bit more. But, seriously. We are talking about guns. We are not talking about texting (which is not terribly dangerous unless you are driving at the time, and I would be all in favor of banning driving. We have cars now that can do it by themselves, and a lot better than human beings), fertilizer (it takes a bit of know how to make a fertilizer bomb, and sneaking it into a nightclub is also problematic. Yes, Timothy McVeigh managed to cause quite a bit of damage with one, but I can’t think of anybody else) and airplanes (seriously? Do you know how many flights there are every day? At any given moment, there are thousands and thousands of people in the air, eating meals and watching movies and feeling safe as a bug in a rug).
We are talking about guns, which are the weapon of choice for crazy people who want to walk into a club, or a cinema, or a school, or a church, and kill large numbers of people quickly.
Guns that can do that should be banned. Anybody who doesn’t think so and can’t muster a better argument than “Some people die while texting, so obviously guns aren’t any worse than that” is kind of an idiot. And somebody who makes that argument the day after a crazy person uses an AR-15 to murder 49 people is kind of an asshole.