Disclaimer: the following post is hyperbolic in its intent to parallel the “straw man” arguments of those who propose gun control as a way to reduce the type of mass killings we’ve witnessed lately on American soil with the mass killings at the hands of Islamist groups in other parts of the world. While I use Islam as comparison, I do not propose any sort of law against this religion nor do I propose excluding Muslims in America from their 1st Amendment right – the freedom of religious expression.
Let the finger pointing begin.
Same story, different day. As I write this, Al-Shabaab gunmen have stormed a mall in Kenya, leaving 62 dead in the wake of what is now a hostage situation. Al-Shabaab is a terrorist organization with ties to Al-Qaida “fighting for the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state in Somalia.” Reports state that the attackers were targeting non-Muslims.
There’s more. In Egypt, Coptic Christians are the target of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Egypt, Christian businesses and churches are targeted for attack, but the worst part is that Christians are kidnapped by the radicals and held for ransom. When the ransom is paid, the kidnappers kill the “infidels” in spite and hatred.
And, finally, recent attacks on Christians in Pakistan have left dozens dead. As worshippers left services at the historic All Saints Church in Peshawar, two explosions ripped through the crowd, an attack that targeted Christians. Sunni militant groups claimed responsibility for killing.
Because each attack was perpetrated by some faction of Islam, the only way to stop these needless hate-crimes is to make being a Muslim illegal. After all, a majority of terrorist attacks in this world are fueled by Muslim groups who hate anyone non-Muslim. Stop Islam, and we stop the killings.
Applying the hyperbole to gun control
In a recent post after the Navy Yard killings, a friend from the blogosphere concluded that the atmosphere of mass killings in America are the result of…
…those indirectly responsible for the tears and the grief. The ones who say that pointing fingers in the wake of a mass murder is inappropriate and counterproductive. The ones who claim, “Now is not the time.” Their self-preservation shtick is getting old.
So let the finger pointing commence.
There is a key demographic that continues to ensure that Americans will lead lives no less risky than our fellow humans in war-torn countries of the Middle East. He is the conservative NRA member who wants congress to repeal Obamacare.
He and I respectfully disagree. While I do have issues with readily-available assault-style rifles with 30-round clips, I know Liberal Politicians well enough to know that they won’t be content with the control of assault-style weapons. It’s the ol’ frog-in-the-kettle parable where the frog doesn’t know he’s being boiled because the water is ever so slowly heated. It’s a slippery slope…if those conservative NRA members give an inch, the Liberals will take them “lock, stock, and barrel” – literally.
Gun control – what President Obama calls it – is an attempt to stop the needless, senseless killings that take place in our society. To follow his logic, controlling access to guns by private citizens will significantly reduce mass killings, and, maybe, homicide, period.
But, it won’t.
NPR reporter Cory Flintoff states that, in Russia, where there are significant gun control laws in place, there are far less guns, but more homicides. He tells us,
Russia has tough gun laws on the books. It’s illegal for Russian citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic guns. It’s possible to apply for a handgun or shotgun license, though citizens are required to provide reasons such as hunting or target shooting.
Applicants face strict background checks, including criminal history, a full psychological evaluation and a medical exam. They must pass a test on firearm laws and safety.
Each weapon is then registered by the police during a home visit. Police take bullet patterns, test bullets and cartridges so bullets can be matched if the gun is used in a crime. A license lasts five years, after which applicants must go through the whole process again.
In spite of these laws, the country does have periodic mass shootings by people thought to be mentally ill.
Gun control is not the answer. Because someone “off their rocker” decides to walk into a crowded place and kill masses of people doesn’t mean that the whole of law-abiding citizens who enjoy and use guns correctly should be punished.
Nor should my friends who are Muslim.