“Laws that mandate a waiting period before buying a gun are well grounded in the fact that humans tend to act impulsively. These waiting periods are wise and necessary. They give people an opportunity to reflect and cool down, to use their heads first and not their handguns.” So sayeth the Senior deputy district attorney for Riverside County (CA) writing for huffingtonpost.com. Burke E. Strunsky fails to take into account a simple fact: when many law-abiding Americans decide to tool-up for the first time to defend themselves against a perceived threat, they don’t make that decision seven days in advance of the realization that they need a gun. How could they? Anyway, Strunsky’s all about the murderous impulse . . .
By nature, handguns play right into the unpredictable, transitory passions of human beings. Too many people are dead or in prison because a handgun was too convenient in a moment when their emotions got the best of them.
So much FUD in two relatively short sentences. Where to start? Let’s go with the phrase “unpredictable, transitory passions” . . .
Are human “passions” (i.e. emotions) unpredictable? Are we fundamentally unstable: powder kegs of repressed emotions just waiting to explode into a murderous frenzy? Are we all capable of hitting an emotional wall, saying “f this,” reaching for a gun and taking innocent life?
Obviously not. While homo sapiens have a natural fascination with violent events, our species’ success depends on our emotional stability and behavioral predictability. If all humans were hard wired for hair-trigger homicidal fury we could never cooperate enough to get anything done.
More to the point . . .
Even if you consider every one of America’s 9,146 firearms-related homicides (2009) “crimes of passion”—a patently ridiculous idea given the prevalence of murderous gang-bangers—that’s such a small percentage of the U.S. population that it’s statistically irrelevant.
If Mr. Strunsky wants to add 17k annual firearms-related suicides to that calculation (2005), as gun control advocates are wont to do, well, that’s another entirely dubious supposition. As international suicide rates prove, access to a handgun is not a determinative factor.
Anyway, let’s call it 30k “passion-related” firearms deaths per year.
Which still leaves at least 100 million American gun owners who didn’t/don’t/won’t wig out and shoot anyone without legal cause. I call that a definitive win for the idea that the U.S. gun owners are emotionally stable enough to not shoot someone in a fit of rage, jealousy or any other “transitory passion.”
To prevent his readers from seeing his assertion in its proper context, Strunsky qualifies his assertion with “Too many people are dead or in prison because a handgun was too convenient in a moment when their emotions got the best of them.” [emphasis added]
How many is “too many”? Are we in the rhetorical realm of “if one life is saved it’s worth it”? If so, Burke would do well to read-up on his John Lott and note that gun control laws which reduce the number of not nutso gun owners increase crime levels (e.g. Chicago). One life saved may not be worth it.
While we’re at it, I wonder if Mr. Burke would like to define “too convenient.” I don’t think he’s judging relative convenience—as in on-the-body carry versus a firearm locked-up in a safe. I reckon “too convenient” is Burke’s euphemism for any access to a gun at all, ever.
Bottom line: Burke believes that ALL of us are potentially murderous. Therefore one cannot help but conclude that the true crime writer (true story) would prefer that NONE of us to have “convenient” access to a firearm. Even if he won’t admit it to his readers or, indeed, himself.
Which brings me to my main point . . .
Gun control advocates like Burke are afraid of people. More specifically, they’re afraid of people with guns. Whether it’s projection or paranoia, they believe that if someone’s got a gun, human nature makes that person a potential murderer. Strike that. Extra-special easily murderous.
Never mind that people are potentially murderous without a gun. They could snap and take innocent life with a knife, fireplace poker, baseball bat, car, can of gas or their bare hands.
Literally, never mind. Gun control advocates want to live in complete denial. They want to restrict (i.e., ban) civilian firearms so they can forget about the possibility of a lethal attack.
Gun control advocates like Burke are blind to reality: the horror and misery gun control causes for billions of people around the world. The genocide it enables. If that kind of denial isn’t considered a mental illness, it bloody well should be.