Blind to reality

On Friday, November 19, The Star carried a letter objecting to any gun control in the U.S. The letter repeated the tired arguments of the NRA. It struck me as I read this letter, that these arguments were very like an alcoholic protesting that he really didn’t have a drinking problem. Objectors to gun control, like the alcoholic, are blind to certain important realities. Unrestricted access to weapons of any type means that the United States is the Western world leader in murders and massacres by people with criminal records or clear evidence of character instability/insanity. These people often get their weapons from a “registered” gun dealer. Pick up any of the literature from the Brady Bill organization and you can get a long list of these tragedies. Mike Royko may write that cities with gun control laws don’t have reduced violence, but look at the laws—they are weak and unenforced. Besides, a short trip out of town will get you any gun you want.

Look for a moment at the rest of the world; I have lived in France and England where gun violence is much less than here. This is because guns are controlled in these countries. You can still have one, but only of certain types and only if you are a responsible adult citizen. Parents in western Europe have no worries about their children dying by gun shot; compare that to the situation in the United States.

Gun enthusiasts say the solution is more prisons, tougher laws and more police (robocops?) on the street. This is a hugely expensive solution to maintain a pathologic condition that does not exist in other western democracies. Let’s simply copy them and responsibly control our weapons. It will take time of course, but will pay off financially and socially in the long run.

Paul Loubere

Associate Professor