The comments on my last few posts have been running about 3-to-1 against my position. I take this to mean I am hitting a nerve.
I make it a personal policy not to get into extensive exchanges in my comment section. If I have an involved response, I make it into a post. Here’s the latest comment:
No, Dr. Dino, you’re right. Living as I do in Israel, where we often see the real results of violence, we not only have firm gun control, we have a very low incidence of crime-connected gun violence. I often think that one of the problems in the US is that very few people actually witness carnage caused by guns — it’s all “fake violence” in movies or TV with lots of ketchup thrown about and the “corpses” are decorously draped here and there [always with their eyes closed, ever notice?] Very few Americans, relatively, even see carnage of other types, such as the results of car accidents, up close, unless they are accompanying someone to an Emergency Room. News programs do not usually show the really gory pictures. It therefore seems that owning a gun, and shooting it, is really a rather sterile exercise [marksmanship targets don't bleed or scream], dehumanized in fact. In reality, I would expect most of these “if we only had more guns someone would have taken that shooter out” sorts would panic in the heat of the moment, and probably have made the situation a great deal worse.
First, thanks for your support. I agree that I’m right (obviously, heh) though not for the reasons you describe.
Many of the responsible gun owners to whom I refer have indeed seen carnage. Maybe not from bombs and guns, but real live horror nonetheless. They know that people die with their eyes open. They also hunt, so they know that targets bleed. The problem is that from these experiences, they surmise (incorrectly) that carrying their guns with them at all times makes them safer. They use them more like a talisman than an actual weapon, but their presumption that everyone who carries is as responsible as they are is flawed.
Another major difference between Israel and the US is size and diversity. Israel is about the size of New Jersey, but with fewer people (about 7.7 million for Israel vs 8.8 million for the Garden State.) Across this great land approximately three thousand by one thousand miles wide are found habitats ranging from congested urban centers where millions of folks constantly rub shoulders, to wide open expanses where the people are few and far between. Gun laws that make sense for isolated areas where the nearest police officer is an hour away make no sense on the streets of the big city, and vice versa. Children continue to die in cities (see Camden) because gun proponents refuse to allow any further regulation, whether or not it actually affects them.
We could probably get everyone in New Jersey to agree to Israeli style gun regulation, if that’s what we decided we really wanted to do (relatively small, homogeneous population) but to many people in the rest of the country have never met a regulation they supported in their heart of hearts.
Limit sales of high capacity ammunition magazines? No way! Why not? They claim that any number of rounds used to define “high capacity” will necessarily be arbitrary. It’s their refusal to even admit the existence of such a number that gives them away.
Register every gun? Hell no; that’s just the gubbmint’s first step towards confiscating all of them. (Right. That’s why they insist that you license your cars.) You keep your guns safe at home, and of course no one will ever break in there (when you’re away, of course; the whole point is to be able to blow them away if you’re there) to steal your guns and use them in a crime; whereupon said registration will allow the perp to be caught and punished.
Limits on ammunition? Even if we accept the premise that hollow point and other bullets designed to ensure death instead of just damage are necessary for adequate protection (from the mythical attacker who can’t be talked down), how many of them are needed? It is claimed that this is a rare occurrence. Why hoard hundreds or thousands of them?
Israelis are serious about protecting their citizens. Americans don’t seem to be. Until everyone is willing to talk about sensible regulation of firearms, nothing will change.