The incredibly stupid NRA argument that “Guns don’t kill people”

Of course they do. That’s why they have been manufactured in the hundreds of millions and shipped all over the world so that an untold number of people who would otherwise be alive can now be dead.

And there is nothing to be done about it, apparently. In America. If you listened to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on the Sunday talk shows  you would have learned:

“… this is a human problem.”

Well, no @!$%#, Batman. Virtually every problem we deal with through legislation or statute is a “human problem”. And there is nothing particularly intractable about this one. Sure, if your only concern is indulging in your fetish, be it masturbating with your guns or pandering to the voting block of maturbatory gun owners, it’s fairly easy to wring your hands and claim there’s nothing to be done.

Yes, it’s easy, but then bull@!$%#ting usually is.

The implication is that since we cant predict what crazy people will do, there’s no way to keep guns out of their hands. Since we can’t look into their minds or heart, oh my, we just can’t do anything. Of course, the fact that we could likely keep guns away from the crazy by keeping them out of the hands of most everybody seems lost on the gun fetishists. The logical trope goes something like: “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”.

That would be a distinct improvement, if you asked me. The NRA likes to propagate the absurd notion of “The Law Abiding Gun Owner”. Do I even need point out that the Aurora shooter (like most mass shooting @!$%#s) was a member of that celebrated NRA club. Right up until the moment he wasn’t. That’s right, up until he pulled the trigger the first time in the theater, he was another poster child for the NRA’s fantasy league of Law Abiding Gun Owners.

Gun fetishists also like to masquerade as strict Constitutionalists, which of course is also bull@!$%#. If the Second Amendment were repealed, their love for that sacred document would get thrown out the window. Even with compensation, these lunatics wouldn’t be showing their devotion to the Constitution by turning in their guns. Not on your life.

In reality, as Eliot Spitzer points out below, we need not go that far, although I sometimes wish we would.

… but there are about 10,000 gun murders in the United States every year. According to USA Today, there are on average 20 mass shootings per year. And according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, every day in America, guns claim 84 lives and wound nearly 200.

Yet somehow, gun control in this country has become the third rail of politics. Perhaps that is partly due to the fact that the public seems to care less and less. According to Gallup, in 1990 almost 80 percent of Americans said that laws covering the sales of firearms should be made more strict. By 2010, that number was only 44 percent. In fact, starting in 2009, the majority of respondents said gun laws should either remain the same or be made less strict.

And I am tired of hearing that the Second Amendment as a bar to useful measures—it isn’t. There is no constitutional right to buy submachine guns or silencers or uniquely hazardous bullets without background checks—or at all.


And the Founding Fathers, pragmatists one and all would be laughing at us for binding ourselves to archaic language in a document they knew was imperfect. Remember, these are guys that threw out their first attempt at confederation and started over. They would have long ago dealt with the whole “necessary militia” crap and amended the Constitution in a manner appropriate for the time and circumstance.

Another ridiculous argument of the gun fetishists is that has been making the rounds is that of “a well armed citizenry”. You’ve heard it.

“if only a courageous American had been carrying a concealed weapon in the theater, he could have ended this situation…”

Right. I will not be addressing this trope in the context of the Aurora shooting, it’s been done all over the net and when addressed by the professionals (not the foaming at the mouth gun worshiping commenters), it’s been pretty much universally debunked. I will, however, note that we tried that whole “well armed citizenry” dealio once before. It was called “The Wild West”, and by many accounts it sucked.

The larger problem with “the well armed citizenry”, however, is that the citizenry is remarkably untrained, selfish, reactionary, and well, stupid. Do you really want to be standing in line at Wal*Mart knowing that everybody surrounding you is carefully watching everybody else, hoping to interpret the furtive glance, the sudden movement that might foretell the impending unleashing of carnage?

At first it wouldn’t be so bad, unless you’re the designated first target. These mass shooter wannabes might get off one or two shots off before the reenactment of the OK corral kicks off. This is all fine, unless you happen to be at the receiving end of the first or second shot. People being people, it wouldn’t be long before we started to see news reports of shootings explained away as preventative actions.

“Well, I was standing there waiting to pay for my smokes and he just had this look in his eye, you know… I just knowed he was gonna go postal an I wasn’t gonna be the first to go down.”

Yeah, I can’t wait.

It’s all just stupid. Toasters make toast, hammers drive nails, and guns kill people. Let’s finally do something about it.

Gedde formerly resided in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, the bastion of progressivism in the otherwise largely conservative state of Washington. Like many transplants to the area, he arrived on the waves of irrational exhuberance in the mid-1990s that was the “Internet Boom”.

A “Reagan” Republican in his youth (mostly due to ignorance and selfish-interest in Military pay raises), he’s spent most of the intervening years trying to atone for that period of political immorality. A keen reader of all things news and opinion, Gedde has become increasingly interested in commenting on topics that interest him, namely politics and fools, a near perfect union of two groups.

Gedde is a software professional and enjoys 1980′s music, Opera, cycling, motorcycles, microbrews, classic cinema, all things William Powell, Netflix and his Roku.

Gedde is the editor of

twitter: @trope_a_dope

Gedde now resides in northern California.

By Gedde


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