Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I'm Finished with THIS Particular Windmill...

Dr. Kelly (see The Other Side, and Tilting at Windmills) has responded once again with a short paragraph:
Kevin, you are a bright individual and I respect your opinions. I would add the following:1) I need only one. Sometimes two scalpels only. More is wasteful and allows the sharp object to manifest in the wrong hands or cause injury. 2)Guns kill, while baseball bats and clubs injure and are easier to treat. 3) we are not going to solve societal ills overnite but can we agree that kids should not have access to deadly weapons so that they can ‘act out’ their conflicts in mortal ways. There remains too many guns on the streets and I am open to any solutions.
Again, I'm short (for me) on the reply:
Dr. Kelly:

Thanks for the replies, but no, I don't think you really respect my opinions. I've provided three detailed replies to you, and all you respond with is platitudes. I appreciate that you want to save lives, but - as I noted before - you seem convinced that "gun control" is not only an answer, but the only answer. I've illustrated (with examples!) that "gun control" is a failure in that regard, and you brush it off. This is the semantic equivalent of putting one's fingers in one's ears and saying "la-la-la-I can't hear you!"

This is not respecting an opinion. It's ignoring it outright.

Certainly we're not going to solve societal ills overnight, but if you want to solve the problem of Philadelphia's youth killing each other, solving societal ills is what you're going to have to do no matter how long it takes. I have no problems with kids having access to deadly weapons, so long as they belong to the right "gun culture." I and pretty much everyone I grew up with "had access," and we didn't kill or even wound each other. I'd say the same is true for the vast majority of Pennsylvania's youth. It's only in Philadelphia and other "inner city" areas that the wrong "gun culture" exists. The problem isn't the guns, Doctor, it's the culture those kids live in. The problem you refuse to acknowledge is that there is no way "gun control" can keep guns out of their hands. "Gun control" is the be-all and end-all of your "solution," yet we know from experience that it's not achievable. But thinking that it is achievable sure is easier than attempting to solve those societal ills, isn't it?

You're not open to "any solution," you're only open to solutions that "reduce the number of guns." Well you might be able to do that, but what happens when it doesn't reduce the number of killings? Try again, only harder?

I've actually studied the history and efficacy of gun control, Dr. Kelly, since 1994. That's something I imagine you've been too busy to do. I pointed you to one study commissioned by the Clinton administration and just recently released by the National Academies of Science. The conclusion of that body, after examining all of the studies available up to the present was that gun control hasn't measureably affected gun crime or suicide by gun. This repeats a study done more than twenty years previously, commissioned by the Carter administration in 1978 and published in 1983 as Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America. Let me quote from the conclusion to that volume:
The progressive's indictment of American firearms policy is well known and is one that both the senior authors of this study once shared. This indictment includes the following particulars: (1) Guns are involved in an astonishing number of crimes in this country. (2) In other countries with stricter firearms laws and fewer guns in private hands, gun crime is rare. (3) Most of the firearms involved in crime are cheap Saturday Night Specials, for which no legitimate use or need exists. (4) Many families acquire such a gun because they feel the need to protect themselves; eventually they end up shooting one another. (5) If there were fewer guns around, there would obviously be less crime. (6) Most of the public also believes this and has favored stricter gun control laws for as long as anyone has asked the question. (7) Only the gun lobby prevents us from embarking on the road to a safer and more civilized society.

The more deeply we have explored the empirical implications of this indictment, the less plausible it has become. We wonder, first, given the number of firearms presently available in the United States, whether the time to "do something" about them has not long since passed. If we take the highest plausible value for the total number of gun incidents in any given year - 1,000,000 - and the lowest plausible value for the total number of firearms now in private hands - 100,000,000 - we see rather quickly that the guns now owned exceed the annual incident count by a factor of at least 100. This means that the existing stock is adequate to supply all conceivable criminal purposes for at least the entire next century, even if the worldwide manufacture of new guns were halted today and if each presently owned firearm were used criminally once and only once. Short of an outright house-to-house search and seizure mission, just how are we going to achieve some significant reduction in the number of firearms available? (Pp. 319-320)
In 1978, when this study was performed, the authors estimated that 120 million firearms were in private hands in America. That number has almost tripled today.

Yet you still cling to "gun control" as the answer to a problem that has existed since before the turn of the century.

Thank you for your time, Doctor, but I'm done with you now. You won't listen, and you refuse to think.
I forgot to add: "And thank you for serving as a perfect example of type."

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