January 02, 2006


Automobile Control, Inc.

...In a previous essay I offered data from the Centers for Disease Control showing the apparent superficiality of strict gun laws in the United States. The topic was one that merited more investigation, and a few things became both puzzling and interesting with regard to our country’s gun-control movement.
...We’ve heard that the fight to ban guns is designed to save lives, most notably the lives of young people. On the Brady Campaign’s Website, a “fact sheet” is offered with statistics on the number of children killed by guns in 2002.
...After comparing these statistics with the statistics of deaths by other means, a pertinent question arises: Is the gun control movement actually based upon preventing death, or is it based upon something else? The numbers might make one wonder.
...Reports by the Centers for Disease Control showed that 2,893 children and teenagers were killed by firearms in the United States in 2002. Of those deaths, 167 were unintentional. The statistics from the CDC that are cited state that firearms are the second-leading cause of death—automobile crashes being the first—for people 19 years of age and under. The number of people aged 1 to 19 who were involved in those first-place automobile crashes was 7,550 (65.7% of all unintentional deaths of 2002 for this age group). In the end, 4,657 more children died on the highways than did at the end of a gun barrel.
...This makes us wonder if the gun control war is being fought to win the battle against children dying, or just to win a political battle against ideologies that have traditionally supported private gun ownership.
...After all, if the primary drive of the gun control movement is to see fewer children die, why haven’t the same people come out in opposition to automobiles? Since they’re using statistics to illustrate their reason for opposing guns and gun ownership, why would they stop with the second-place killer? Why not oppose something that is killing over twice as many children?
...Let us suppose that it’s the intended use of the inanimate objects in question—in this case the automobile versus the firearm. Vehicles are intended to transport people and items; firearms are intended to take lives. Vehicles can kill, but since they’re not designed with the primary purpose of killing, they might deserve a pass. Firearms are primarily designed to kill—people or animals—and therefore are more a target (no pun intended).
...With that said, fighting evil intentions isn’t a bad thing. We have laws against conspiracy to commit crimes and even attempted murder (an intention that didn’t reach fruition). Those laws come in quite handy against those who intended to do harm to others.
...Let us stay with the supposition that intentions are the primary factor in the war on guns. We should still ultimately find what really allows for all the crime that is perpetrated by people with firearms: A willingness to carry out intended harm toward others.
...It has, indeed, become clichéd to suggest it, but people don’t kill others because a firearm “forced” or “caused” them to do it. If that were the case, we could unequivocally say that all murders using knives were “caused” by the knives—not the person wielding the knife; we could unequivocally say that all baseball bat beatings were “caused” by the bat—not the person swinging it; we could unequivocally say that all strangulations were “caused” by hands—not the person who was willing to do the strangulation. How do any of those weapons “cause” a heinous crime without the willingness to do harm and the inherent evil intentions of the person in possession of that particular weapon?
...Throughout all of this it might be a minor note to point out that historical evidence shows us that banning tangible things has not only failed, but has also bolstered the criminal element and black market profits (e.g., the “noble experiment” of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and our failing “war” on drugs). It is, though, a note that is important to mention.
...In conclusion, if those who are presently involved in the gun control movement are truly concerned with the actual number of children dying, statistics show that there are inanimate objects that are far deadlier for children than guns. On the other hand, if their primary concern is intentions, it might prove more beneficial to fight the widespread willingness and intentions of people who commit crimes using whatever weapon that might be available to them.
...Obviously a fight such as that—one against human nature—would be an uphill one, but wouldn’t it be a more honest fight than the current one which seems to be rooted in image and emotion?


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