Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Right to Shoot Oneself or Others

Please tell me how the 2nd Amendment as currently interpreted doesn't simply amount to the right to kill or wound, oneself or others, either on purpose, by accident, or by misadventure.

I don't think you can.

This man legally bought an assault rifle with a 100-round magazine...

...and killed this man's son and eleven others (while wounding fifty-eight).

Now, add to that the uncontrolled sale and transfer of guns, which is, gun laws nothwithstanding, the state of gun-law enforcement these days. What we get, then, is the right for people who should never have access to guns to acquire guns relatively easily.

This guy stole a gun...

...from his mother, who trained him to use it, and then he killed her...

...before using it to kill these children.

Next, add in a couple of NGOs, the NRA and the (ironically) Newtown-based National Sport Shooters Foundation, whose main objective is to prevent any and all laws that limit the types of guns or the access to them. Then, have these lobbying groups have outsized influence on state and federal legislatures such that, regardless of national, state, or local opinion, the chances for reasonable new and more effective gun safety laws are slim to none.

This famous actor-turned-NRA president is so much better...

...than this man?

As since the very nature of guns, small and large, powerful or extra-powerful, is to kill people, it's a reasonable expectation that people will be killed. And since guns are an efficient means of killing people -- allowing for incompetence to reduce that efficiency -- more people will die because of a broadening or at least non-shrinking presence of them in American society.

One final point is that this is American-society specific, at least among developed, industrialized democracies. Unlike most of the developed world, we have institutionalized a system in which we are free to kill ourselves or others to our hearts' content only constrained by laws that say you shouldn't do it in almost all cases. And yet, of course we do it and often.

And this is acceptable? Apparently so.

Oh, I forgot. Guns are cool in America.

Note. According to the Huffington Post, in the 98 days since the Sandy Hook massacre, guns have killed at least 2,244 more people. This trend -- of more and more gun deaths as the days go by -- is likely to continue until...

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