Saturday, March 23, 2013
The David Horsey column in the March 17 U-B is an insult to law-abiding gun owners and a classic example of the type of ad hominem attacks those opposed to Second Amendment rights like to level against people who own firearms.
Horsey is concerned about burgeoning gun sales. He asks, “Why are so many guns being sold?” Then, while admitting that there’s no way to determine who is purchasing “all those assault rifles and hand guns,” goes on to postulate that it’s no doubt the same group of Republicans who “expressed the belief that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq” and “many of the same folks who believe Barack Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist sympathizer or a socialist or Kenya-born or all of the above.”
In other words, if you’re a gun owner, then you’re also, by definition, a knuckle-dragging Republican given to conspiracy theories.
Then he takes it a step further by insinuating that gun owners are old, paranoid, male Republicans who “live in an alternate reality.” Hey, I might be old and I might vote Republican the majority of the time, but I resent being labeled a psychotic simply because I own a few firearms.
Horsey, in another column he writes for the Los Angeles Times, ridiculed gun owners who view the Second Amendment as a safeguard against tyrannical government. That is, according to his argument, an armed citizenry could never fend off a government that possesses heavy weaponry like tanks, fighter jets, etc.
Go tell that to the Taliban. They’ve done a pretty good job by all indications with little more than small arms and explosives.
I and every gun owner I know would support any law that would prevent another Newtown shooting. But the reality of the situation is that banning the sale and ownership of firearms (even the scary looking ones that resemble military weapons) will do absolutely nothing to prevent another tragedy like Newtown.
However, there’s much that could be done to prevent gun violence, including private background checks (so long as the information used is not retained to build a registry of owners), better care for the mentally ill, tougher punishment for straw purchasers and better enforcement of existing laws.
But nothing along these lines will ever be accomplished so long as opposing sides resort to name-calling and attempts to ridicule and belittle each other.