Friday, June 27, 2008


An immoderate post at the Moderate Voice:
Our national schizophrenia on firearms defies rational explanation. In the wake of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, both presidential candidates and, according to public opinion polls, most voters believe in "the right to bear arms."
Yet only one out of three Americans owns a gun and, after mass murders like Virginia Tech, there is an upsurge of grief and outrage at the easy availability of deadly weapons. . . .
How do we reconcile the apparent contradiction that many of those who believe in preserving the life of fetuses are just as passionate about the right to own weapons that kill human beings after birth?
Uh, sir, my weapons have never killed a human being. You are equating my rifle -- whose most recent target was a rabid raccoon that wandered out of the woods -- with guns owned by murderers. It's like saying that I'm passionate about car ownership because cars can be used for vehicular homicide.

Why is gun ownership a fundamental right? Let me ask: What good is "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," if you're dead? Implicit in the right to life is the right to self-defense. If someone attempts to kill you, and you kill your assailant in order to save your own life, you have committed no crime -- it's justifiable homicide, not murder.

Gun ownership is a right because guns save lives -- which happens to be the name of an excellent book by Robert Waters: Guns Save Lives: True Stories of Americans Defending Their Lives With Firearms. I recommend it heartily. Another book I'd recommend -- if, like the poster at Moderate Voice, you're incapable of grasping the basics of reasoning and argument -- is Introduction to Logic.

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