Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Guns, Forks and Freedom

The NFL suffered a terrible tragedy this past weekend when Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins before driving to Arrowhead Stadium where he turned the gun on himself. The incident prompted Bob Costas to speak out during halftime of Sunday Night Football, where he quoted Jason Whitlock, a Kansas City-based writer who had written an article for Fox Sports advocating the postponement of that Sunday’s game between the Panthers and Chiefs. The sentence that Costas quoted and caused the most controversy stated that “If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today”. This statement may be true, but we will never know for sure.  Regardless, gun advocates wasted no time in calling for Costas to be fired. Why is it that supporters of the second amendment are the quickest to deny others their first amendment rights?

It is not surprising that they are unable to see their own hypocrisy given how idiotic their rationale is.
Perhaps the stupidest argument regularly made by certain gun lobbyists is the one that equates guns and murder to forks and obesity. Of course! Not everyone with a gun is a murderer, just like not everyone with a fork is fat. This is a specious argument. There are three big differences between guns and cutlery.

1. If I have a fork, I will make myself fat. If I have a gun, I will make you dead.
2. If I have a fork, it will take me a very long time to make myself fat. If I have a gun, I will make you dead very quickly.
3. If I get fat, I can lose weight with my fork. If you get dead, my gun will not bring you back to life.

I understand America’s desire for a gun culture; the country formed through war and in the 1800s, there were legitimate concerns about safety from foreign invaders. But times have changed. Nowadays, there is no need for the average man to own a gun. Instead of self-protection, guns are used to end arguments, commit felonies, or shoot an unarmed intruder that happens to be your son (the fact that this happened twice within two weeks is damning enough).

Of course there are situations where having a gun is helpful (there were 204 justifiable homicides committed by citizens with firearms in the US in 2008), but far more often the result is tragedy (9,484 firearm murders that same year). People say that if they own a gun, they will be responsible, but there are stories every day about those that forget that promise in a fit of anger or jealousy.

I’d be happy to listen to some intelligent discussion from the gun lobby, but I’ve yet to hear a single cogent argument against gun control. Perhaps their inability to formulate such a position is the reason they avoid entering a meaningful national debate. Instead, they are happy for their nation to continue to see innocents gunned down for no particular reason, while society as a whole becomes increasingly numb to murder. Very soon, America's only remaining freedom will be freedom from conscience.



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