I hadn’t intended to write anything about the flared up gun debate simply because as an issue, it’s been done to death, and no one’s mind is ever changed. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever written about it, in spite of the frequency in which it comes up as an issue. On the other hand, anytime there is a shooting the issue flares up as if we’ve never discussed it before, and we get treated to the same old arguments…
Of course, as I noted earlier in the week, if we’re going to debate anything, it should be terrorism, but the media has guided the issue away from that to guns because, that’s what they feel comfortable talking about. They don’t feel comfortable talking about terrorism, so guns make a nice distraction from the real issues. To that end, one of my guilty pleasures, the Monsters of the Morning radio show, had an oh so serious gun control discussion. Although I was slightly irritated at having my morning dose of fart jokes cut off, it’s a local Orlando station and Central Florida needed the catharsis of talking about the tragedy.
Listening to the show on podcast, it more or less fulfilled my expectations. In other words, I was in a constant state of facepalm. Of course listening on podcast meant the show was in the can and I couldn’t call in for any corrections. On the other hand, what’s the point? I’ve seen other gun debates in which the pro gun person would have to correct all of the typical mistakes that anti gun people make because in general, the anti gun people, not having any interest in firearms other than as a hate totem, don’t know anything about them. In this debate the primary anti gunner was producer Carlos Navarro, who, as a superlib Obama supporter, was the natural default antigun proponent.
But there is a way to argue with liberals on guns and a way that is totally ineffective. Like most leftists, he didn’t care about the 2nd Amendment, and was pretty clear that he didn’t think much of the constitution; or care about the rights of people they hate (you know, “bitter clingers”) having access to weapons for recreation or self defense. In fact, from his perspective, the onus on justifying why you need an AR-15 was on the gun owner, which was the question he asked every single caller. From his perspective, they had to justify to him why they had to have an AR-15. As you can imagine, every reason fell short. So trying to argue from those points is worthless. When the constitution only means what the next liberal judge on the court says it does, constitutional arguments are moot.
But there is a line of argument that they are vulnerable on, because it’s already part of their suitcase of issues. They totally don’t accept the logic of prohibition. They know that the war on drugs is a failure, and they know making drugs illegal; particularly weed, doesn’t keep anyone from getting some.
But when it comes to guns, prohibition seems totally plausible. But that is the crux of the current gun control argument: the logic of prohibition. Liberals do care that the war on drugs is a failure since the government has totally failed to restrict the sale or import of drugs. Prohibition can’t work with drugs they will say, so why do they think it will work with guns? Take a typical leftist or libertarian argument against drug prohibition and replace the word ‘drugs’ with ‘guns’ and you have the same argument. It’s just a matter of whose pot is being gored. In fact, I credit host “Dirty” Jim Colbert for making that point regarding cigarettes.
After all, if you are really concerned about saving lives, wouldn’t you be in favor of banning alcohol? Annually, 88,000 people a year die from alcohol related causes. However in 2015, there were 12,942 gun deaths in the US. A large number, but if you were interested in saving the most lives, you would ban alcohol. But….most people like to drink. So if you like to drink but don’t own weapons, then you want the government to go after the other guy, and that’s the case here.
Interestingly the most eye opening thing about the show is that most of the callers still supported keeping AR-15’s legal, and that’s in Orlando, three days after the city suffered the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. That’s reassuring when everything in the media wants them banned. So while I expect Morning Joe to go off on another 6 month crying jag on gun control, there still seem to be people who are immune to it.