So, down in Florida, a woman who has made of herself the poster girl for gun rights was accidentally shot with her own weapon by her 4 year old son. She will recover (thank God), but has taken down her Facebook page "Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense" As Mark Griswold says, over at the American Thinker in an article entitled Another Senseless Shooting, Another Senseless Response from the Anti-gun Crowd, the whole affair is tragic. Apparently she left her gun in the back seat of her car, unattended, and when her 4 year old son got in the car, as children are wont to do, he got a hold of it and pulled the trigger. It was sheer stupidity on her part.
Equally stupid was the response from the anti-gun crowd, as expressed in Lindy West's Guardian article. West constantly states her unreasoning and unreasonable fear of guns, all pointing apparently at her, and her children. West writes:
I grew up with the same persistent, low-grade fear of gun violence as any American – my middle school was once locked down because of a shooting at the high school up the street, and I was a junior at that same high school when we watched the Columbine massacre unfold on TV – but my family didn’t have guns, and we lived in a liberal city so most of my friends’ parents didn’t either. Guns were scary, but for the most part they felt far away.West, in her article projects the same "low-grade fear of gun violence" on all Americans, as if we lived in a society of mutually assured destruction. In her telling, America is an armed camp, a kind of OK corral, where the only solution is more laws, because heaven knows, the 23,000 laws on the books are not enough. But most of us do not grow up with such a low-grade fear, and most of us do not seem to have West's neuroses. Rather than look at the world through a set of rose tinted glasses, most of us try to look at things as the really are. Most of the time, most of us will not be assaulted by a criminal, but when it does happen, most of us would like to have a fighting chance. Most of us know that criminals, by definition, do not obey laws, and so they will be armed if they think they can get away with it, and they usually can.
Griswold goes on to write:
Anti-gun folks like the author, Lindy West, enjoy trotting out the old canard that the U.S. has too few laws regulating guns so their answer is to pass more laws. (More laws is de rigueur for the Left; it’s the ultimate cure for personal responsibility.) But let’s just explore that in the case of Gilt.
The law preventing children from having access to firearms didn’t work in this case. Maybe we should require gun owners to go through training? That’s fine. I think you’ll find that the vast majority of gun owners are well trained and strongly advocate that anyone using a gun be welled trained as well. But considering that Gilt runs a Facebook Page about gun “sense”, I’d be shocked if she hadn’t gone through training and, clearly, the training failed in this case. Yet, as tragic as the outcome was, let he who is without blame cast the first stone. We’re all guilty of disregarding our training at one point or another. If we weren’t, there wouldn't be more than 5 million auto accidents per year. And this is key.West's fear, and thus hatred, of guns, as opposed to disgust for people's occasional failures, causes her to seek out "facts" to back up her fears. She cites these "facts" from, of all places, Mother Jones News. Where will she go next, the National Enquirer? While both papers have done some good work, I would not trust either of them implicitly.
As for "banning guns," the West article did not explicitly propose it, which allows her to deflect if pressured upon that point, but the general air of fear implies that she wants to see less ownership of guns, perhaps an outright ban. Let's explore that for a minute.
Banning things, particularly easy to make things, has never worked out as planned. Remember Prohibition? Well, alright, so prohibition took place even before I was born, but, I have read about it and studied it. The Constitutional Amendment, the 18th, in 1920, banned the sale, distribution and manufacture of alcohol, but strangely not the consumption. The problem was that alcohol is just too easy to make. Corn, wheat, rice, any grain can be malted, which turns the starch into sugar, and the sugar is fermented into alcohol by the action of yeast, which in the 1920s, every woman had access to for making bread. A few more steps and you have beer. Fruits have natural sugars, which can be fermented to produce wine. With grapes, the wine almost makes itself. Of course, having people making wine and beer for their own consumption was hardly the problem. The real problem came when organized gangs began smuggling distilled spirits out of Canada. Just as drug gangs today can not expect the law to protect them, so organized crime then had to protect themselves and their product with gun fire, resulting in many who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time being killed as well. I think the term of art is "collateral damage." So, Prohibition was happily (for most) ended in 1933, a failed experiment in changing people by legislation.
Then we made the same mistake with drugs, because...I suspect we forgot a good history lesson.
Now, onto banning guns. Once again, we have forgotten the lesson. Despite what people who never made anything may think, guns are fairly simple machines. Quite usable guns were built in the pre-industrial age, with rifling. The pistol is actually easier to build that the revolver that preceded it. Any well equipped machine shop has the tools and know how to build a working handgun, It may not run for 50,000 rounds before breaking down, but if guns were banned, a person needing a gun wouldn't be too picky. The lesson of Prohibition applies. Where there is demand, someone will supply it, and the other lesson, if it is easy to make, more people will supply it. Which means that you really can not "ban" guns any more than you could "ban" alcohol, or "ban" drugs. Such "bans" are legal fictions, and have no basis in reality.
Remember those rose colored glasses West is wearing? She need to take them off and look around. Some few of us feel entitled, if they even think at all, to the goods of others. These people are known as criminals (yes, I'm looking at you Bernie supporter). They don't obey laws, they don't fight fair, It's your job as the first responder to make sure you live to tell it to second to respond, the police when they show up. As for Ms. Gilt, I am sure she knows exactly what she did wrong, Guns can be dangerous unless handled correctly. So can gasoline, automobiles, chain saws, drain cleaner...the list is endless. If you want to be afraid all the time, be my guest, but don't come bleating to me about it.