I was going to say something about this yesterday, when I was watching the Jon Stewart segment on discussions of gun violence as relates to that basketball player and Bob Costas (who by the way is going on my list of people who obviously have a hideously disfigured and rapidly aging portrait of themselves in their attics, along with Rob Lowe and Jon Bon Jovi) and people like Ted Nugent saying something about “Only fools blame tools instead of human” something. But I didn’t say it yesterday so I guess I might as well say it today.
I sort of agree that people kill, not guns. But the thing is, guns are a tool the only use of which is for killing. “But hunting!” Right. Hunting is also killing. Not that I don’t see the point. But also, Jason, who gets interested in stuff like this, has explained to me that there are guns the best use of which is hunting and guns the best use of which is not hunting. If there were a law in this country that we could only possess the kind that’s best used for hunting, I’d be cool with that. “But defense of your home against intruders!” Right. Okay. That’s legit, I guess. I like the idea of stuff like rubber bullets or tasers or something in that case, because you can stop an intruder without killing him (or her, I suppose – how many home invasions are committed by females?). I mean, I know you can kill with a rubber bullet, but you can kill with a lot of things. You just have to be trying a lot harder, or have the worst luck ever.
So guns are tools the only use of which is for killing. And I am fully willing to blame a person and not a gun for when a person takes that gun into an elementary school classroom and opens fire on HIS MOM and A BUNCH OF KIDS. But the thing is, as far as I can tell, most humans in this country cannot be trusted with guns. So I think we should make it really hard to own one.
Look, cars are tools, and cars sometimes kill (although their primary purpose is not killing), and yet we allow a lot of people to drive them. But not until they’re 16-17, and not without giving them classes on how to use them properly, both in a classroom and in an actual car, supervised by a teacher and/or parent, and not without testing them to make sure those classes took. And you can have your license revoked for various misuse of the tool. And the thing is, with America being what it is, people really, really need cars. So the standards for allowing people to have them have to be as lax as possible without allowing known dangerous drivers on the road.
Guns are not really, really necessary to the American way of life the way cars are. I know, I know. Hunting! Defense! But we have supermarkets, and we have police. And baseball bats. Whereas we don’t have really great public transportation, or walkable communities, or bike paths, in most places. So we don’t really need guns the way we need cars. So it should be fine to make really, really strict laws on a) what kind of guns can be sold, and b) what kind of people can buy them. You should not only have to, at a certain age, pass a written test, have a permit under which you can shoot in supervised situations for six months, then take a test proving you know how to use the gun and be issued a license that can be revoked at any time, and also have to subject your guns to state inspections every once in a while to make sure you don’t have the wrong kind or haven’t done something to your state-approved one to make it illegal, just like you have to do with cars; you should also have to pass a psychological test certifying that you are a human we can trust with a tool the only use of which is for killing. That you will only shoot it if someone is about to harm you or your family, or if you need meat and are therefore aiming it at a deer or something.
I am fully willing to blame humans for gun violence. But, therefore, I do not want to allow humans free access to guns and then wait until they’ve killed 20 SCHOOL CHILDREN to take it away from them. Therefore, I want to seriously restrict which humans can have guns and what kinds they can have.
Somebody, please explain to me why this is unreasonable.