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Guns, guns, guns – a side note on a strawman

October 13, 2015

One of the major arguments I’ve seen against gun control is basically, “Well if you take away the guns, then people are just going to use something else. Like bombs!”  (Let’s set aside for the moment that “taking away the guns” is kind of a strawman argument*, because I’m not arguing that the USA should or would or could do so.)

I’ve been thinking about this. I think, of course, that this argument is total bullshit on its face. It’s not a good argument to say that X shouldn’t be banned because people will use Y, which is also banned. “We should not ban heroin. People will just turn to meth!” Well, meth is also illegal. An argument for making a thing illegal – or in the case of my actual suggestion, making a thing more regulated and therefore more difficult to obtain and stockpile – does not depend on the alternatives available. A thing should be banned, or regulated, or not at all regulated because of that thing.

As a further side note: I also think that even if this argument weren’t total bullshit on its face, I rather like the odds of some dipshit blowing himself** up before he gets to the chance to do it to others, as opposed to a gun – which is relatively safe to the shooter. Yes, yes, I know that bombs can be silly easy to make. But (and these are just my thoughts…remember that I don’t think bombs should be part of the gun discussion), a good bomb, or a timed bomb, or a bomb that could, say, be placed inside an elementary school to maximize destruction to the kids there…these are far more difficult things. Far, far more difficult than walking into your local K-5 with a couple of handguns and 100 extra rounds.

But again. Bombs don’t have a damn thing to do with the gun debate. Stop talking about the stupid bombs. What we’re trying to do is to make it more difficult for people who are likely to become violent, to do large amounts of damage.


*It’s only kind of a strawman argument, because I AM suggesting we make it harder for people likely to commit violence to get hold of guns. I get that. It’s something else entirely that people think “fewer guns = just as much violence via bombs”.

**I will stipulate that there are some violent women, if you stipulate that the vast majority of mass murders are committed by men. So shut up about the gender use here.

Previous blogs on guns include Part 1 and Part 2.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 13, 2015 3:39 pm

    I have never seen the gender argument, but that seems misinformed. Also its not a matter of bombs instead of guns, but many places to ban guns see drastic rises in stabbing deaths. But this from Harvard proves more guns = less crime

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