Phil Kadner penned a gun control editorial in Chicago’s southtownstar.com that wanders along the border between fairness and total incoherence. The long and the short of it: while Kadner acknowledges the need for self-defense, he reckons human are fundamentally unstable. So they shouldn’t have guns. Not really. Kadner runs (himself) headlong into the counter-argument: “The same can be said of anyone who gets behind the steering wheel of an automobile, my colleague said. Yes, but guns are different. You need a car to get to work, go to the store, drive the kids to soccer. Most people don’t need a gun . . .”
Good lord, where does one start? Once again, an editorial “exploration” of gun rights assumes that regulating firearms ownership is a practical matter, rather than a discussion of a fundamental right to self-defense guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and, some say, God himself.
But if we’re debating on the practical level, who determines whether an individual falls into the “most people who don’t need a gun” category or the “some people who do” side of the equation? The police? Continuing his fence-straddling theme, Kadner torpedos his own theory and, supposedly, puts himself in the pro-gun camp.
Several years ago, I switched sides on the gun ban issue after two women called me, fearing for their lives. An ex-husband in one case and an ex-boyfriend in another were stalking them.
More worrisome, the women said, was that they feared for the safety of their children.
They had gone to local police departments in two different south suburbs, seeking protection, and had been told the same thing by police officers: “Get yourself a gun. We can’t protect you.”
I called both police departments, and officers at each verified the basic facts. The men did appear to be a real threat to both women. Police officers told me they couldn’t protect the women 24-7.
Going “off the record,” the officers said if it was their mother or their sister, they would advise them to buy a gun and learn how to use it.
Neither woman was ever harmed, proof another co-worker insisted, that guns were unnecessary in these cases. In fact, had these women had access to guns, they might have shot the men they feared and ended up in prison themselves.
That argument didn’t alter the fact that these women were in danger, the police couldn’t protect them and they were faced with two choices: Wait for the worst to happen or do something to protect themselves.
I wasn’t going to make that decision for anyone ever again, I told myself. Every person should have the right to own a gun for self-protection.
Clear? Ish. After detailing a grisly murder, Kadner wants it known that he thinks guns suck. Hence the title of the piece “Guns have a way of shooting people“. Well, actually, Kadner’s position is a bit more focused than that: people suck.
I have not changed my opinion about gun control. But I’m not comfortable with it.
Human beings, as a species, are crazy and unpredictable. Adding guns to the mix doesn’t make me feel any safer.
Yes, criminals will find a way to get guns. But guns also have a way of turning some people into criminals.
I believe that.
And every time someone does something stupid with a gun, it’s proof positive that the average person isn’t capable of handling—or is tempted into violence by—gun ownership. Or so Kadner and this school of thought believe.
Here’s the thing: tens of millions of American gun owners don’t go off the rails. And then . . . nothing. No negligent discharges (a.k.a. accidents). No self-defense shootings. No drunken brandishing. No murder. No media coverage. No political blowback. Nada.
The Second Amendment was written for these people. Upstanding citizens who can navigate life’s challenges without resorting to violence—unless they have to. People who know exactly where to draw the line. Responsible gun owners.
Although there are plenty of examples of gun owners gone bad, there are more examples of gun owners who are good. Punishing the latter for the crimes of the former is to leave the majority defenseless. Gun-wielding nutjobs are simply the price we must pay for our freedom from fear and tyranny—and another good reason to own a gun.