No hope for America on gun control

The Age reported on an NRA video urging the parents of slain reporter Alison Parker not to become emotional in appealing for gun control after their daughter’s death. Parker and work mate Adam Ward was shot on television by a disgruntled employee of the television company.

Alison Parker, pictured with her boyfriend, WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst
Alison Parker, pictured with her boyfriend, WDBJ7 anchor Chris Hurst

The video warned against “grief-inspired advocacy”.

One of the things that the video claimed was that “the killer’s issue wasn’t a gun, the same way a morbidly obese person’s isn’t a spoon or a fork.”

This is typical of the approach of the NRA to arguments about gun control: draw an analogy, no matter how inappropriate, and then force your opponent into an argument about wether the analogy is appropriate or not.” It’s highly effective and it means the substantive issue never gets debated.

But at more fundamental level, arguing with your payments of gun control is ultimately futile. This is because you’re arguing with a group of people who believe the only way of settling an argument is with a gun. Logic, rationality and compassion have no role in the argument over gun control.

A significant proportion of gun owners keep guns to protect themselves against “tyranny”. For tyranny read the government. In a robust and functioning democracy, armed force is not the only way of protecting the freedoms of the people.

Last week in Melbourne in Australia, the mere suggestion that the Border Protection Force (a paramilitary organisation under the control of the Immigration Minister) would be enforcing identity checks in the CBD of Melbourne, led to an immediate protest in the city centre and the rapid cancellation of the BPF operation.

A democracy will function without the use of guns. Gun violence in Australia has declined since John Howard’s courageous stand against gun ownership. Unfortunately, the system in America will not allow sanity to prevail. Each year, 33,000 people are killed by gun violence.

That’s the population of a medium-sized town every year, yet nothing is done.

The gun lobby, headed by the NRA, and aided by a group of craven politicians, is locking the people of America into a never ending spiral of violence.

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