I, like millions of Americans, am deeply concerned about the epidemic of gun violence in this country, the proliferation of combat-style weapons and ammunition clips among the general population, and the ludicrously weak system of screening and registering gun purchasers.
I am even more concerned about a nation that continues to promote an antediluvian fixation on an 18th century rendition of public welfare that is attached to the barrel of a gun.
Be that as it may, some gun rights advocates attempt to counter gun-control supporters with the sarcastic proposition that since plenty of people are murdered with hammers and knives (one might also include two-by-fours and monkey wrenches), perhaps government should regulate them as well. Ok . . . fair enough . . . indeed, people are murdered with all sorts of devices. But it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to wonder how things might have turned out had Adam Lanza arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with only a switchblade rather than an AR-15.
Regulating firearms is not synonymous with banning them. I concede the point that some folks love to shoot ducks, deer, paper targets and junkyard Chevys. I also concede the point that if confronted with an armed intruder at the foot of one’s bed in the middle of the night, a firearm could come in handy.
However, I refuse to concede to the theory that civil order is best supported when society is “locked and loaded” and when the “logical” response to an epidemic of gun violence is to reduce regulatory controls while introducing more guns into the system. And, I’m fairly certain that banning hammers and knives has nothing to do with this argument.