My Response to Mike Littwin’s Anti Gun Editorial

Mike Littwin recently wrote this anti gun editorial for the Denver Post.  Written in a sarcastic manner, it blames guns for society’s woes, and blames NRA members for the actions of armed criminals who break just about every law in the book as they murder law abiding people who were disarmed by so-called gun free zones.  My response is below:

When you have volatile, unstable people, things like this are bound to happen, in much the way that volcanoes must eventually blow open a hole in the side of the mountain. If these people didn’t have guns, one person wrote, they’d use machetes . . . In the last month, according to those who keep score, we had eight mass murderers killing 57 people, using all guns and, as far I know, zero machetes.

People who commit mass murder do sometimes choose to use a gun.  This is because while such criminals may be mentally unable, they are not necessarily unintelligent.  The know that guns are one of the most effective ways of killing a human, which is what makes guns so effective for self defense as well as murder.  In the hands of a law abiding person, guns can and do stop murders every day, and are used for self defense 2.5 million times each year.  Overall, guns are used to save far more lives then they are used to take.  In fact, the biggest cases of mass murder in the US, from Timothy McVeigh‘s bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, were committed without guns.

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Getting back to the use of knives by criminals, I would like to point out that violent individuals can and do commit mass murder and other terrible crime with knives.  This mentally unstable man killed 7 people and wounded 11, using just his car and a knife.  Using a knife, this insane man stabbed a fellow bus passenger to death, cut off his head, and ate some of his flesh.  This mentally unstable man murdered at least one person, and stabbed 13 babies with a knife.  This gang of young British kids stabbed a dog to death then attacked its disabled owner, slashing her viciously.

when the NRA came to town the weekend after Columbine, members didn’t apologize or reschedule, because, they asked, why would they?

Here, Littwin suggests that NRA members should have apologized for the Columbine school shooing, in which two juveniles broke a great many gun laws (plus the law against murder) while murdering defenseless victims in a “gun free zone.”  That is plainly ridiculous.  The law abiding members of the NRA, who spend their time and money defending our constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self defense and sporting purposes are in no way responsible for the actions of the aforementioned killers, just as law abiding car enthusiasts are not responsible for drunk drivers who mow down innocent people.  Instead, the NRA and its members work hard to advance concealed carry rights so that more law abiding citizens will be able to defend themselves against school shooters and other violent criminals.

And we apparently can’t be outraged about the fact that emotionally disturbed people have easy access to guns — like, say, the guy who killed his five children in Washington — because then, well, something would need to be done.

Here we have, as is often the case with anti gun arguments, an attempt to use emotion as a replacement for reason, coupled with the implication that these children would still be alive has the father not gotten his hands on a gun.  There are three basic flaws with this suggestion:  Firstly, it is quite possible to be outraged over this man’s murder of his children, without wishing to take away the gun rights of law abiding citizens.  I’m certainly outraged anytime there is such a killing, however just as I don’t wish to ban cars when a drunk driver misuses one, I also don’t wish to ban guns when a murderer misuses one.  Secondly, as we’ve seen with other similar killings, all the gun control laws imaginable simply don’t stop those who want a gun from getting one, as a person bent on murder won’t care about breaking any other laws.  Finally, it defies logic to think that a person who wants to kill their children will be unable to do so unless they have a gun.  As sad as it is to think about, parents who wish to do so can easily poison, burn, drown, or beat their childen to death.  Making it harder for parents to lawfully own guns won’t stop the small percentage of murderous parents from killing their children, but will instead just ensure that parents are unable to defend their children against violent home invaders.