Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary America has been poised for another heated debate on gun control. Here are some arguments I’ve heard from gun control supporters and what I think.
(1) Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
The basis of this argument assumes the responsible don’t kill irresponsibly, which may be true, but then a responsible person may buy a gun, which could then be taken to be used by an irresponsible child, as so many of the shootings in American schools have shown.
(2) Would you ban cars just because someone died after being hit by one?
No. But a car’s primary function is to transport people from one place to the next. That it can also be used as a weapon is a sad fact, but the truth is that more people will be transported safely than will die from a vehicular accident. This is quite different from a gun. A gun’s primary purpose is to KILL. That is what it’s designed for, made for, and then sold for. But you can also be inventive and say use the butt of your gun to crack nuts. But this is not a gun’s primary purpose. It follows then from this argument that more people will die from a gun than nuts cracked with a gun’s barrel.
(3) If there were more people armed in these tragedies then disaster could have been averted.
If this argument were to be believed we might as well believe conflicts around the world would be better solved by increasing the arms available to all parties. The war in Syria should thus now be over if this argument is to believed, after all the opposition are now also armed alongside Assad’s army. But isn’t it the case that since the arming of the opposition the fighting in Syria has actually been escalated. The above argument is similar to that used during the Cold War, and one that Mutually Assured Destruction is based on: If the Russians have just as many nuclear weapons as the Americans then neither would be foolish enough to use them. But history has shown the contrary that the proliferation of weapons causes fear and in turn introduces even more players into the arena – both Iran and North Korea trying to aquire nuclear weapons are recent examples.
(4) The solution is to teach people to respect guns.
Again this argument sounds fine on first inspection, but I think the same people who say this would be the first of patriotic Americans who insist Iran shouldn’t engage in nuclear technology. But Iran has argued that its program from Uranium enrichment is specifically for peaceful purposes, as a source of clean energy. This indicates respect for the technology. If they have clearly shown this amount of respect why are Americans so concerned about the Iranian dalliance with radioactivity? Could it be there is not a little bit of hypocrisy here? Teaching people to use guns responsibly would be the same as teaching a country, in a region as unstable as the Middle East, to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only, without considering that maybe just maybe the technology could be transferred to more destructive ends. And this action would be clearly irresponsible. If we are scared of the ramifications of Iran developing nuclear technology, albeit for peaceful reasons, we should likewise be concerned about the proliferation of guns in the United States.
By Uzor Chinukwue
Originally published on uzorchinukwue.com
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