To me, and lots of others, it's obvious that guns kill people. My first blog post on this subject contains inarguable facts to that effect.
The United States has 35-50% of the world's civilian owned guns, but only about 5% of the world's population. We rank #1 in firearms per capita. Our intentional homicide rate is three times that of Canada. Our firearm-related death rate is five times that of Canada.
State comparisons lead to the same conclusion: guns kill people; people don't kill people. States with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership have the lowest firearm death rates.
Yet the NRA wants more guns floating around, not fewer.
It is calling for armed guards in every school. Some Republican legislators want teachers to be able to have a gun in the classroom. Though the facts show that more guns equals more gun deaths, this isn't convincing those who consider that the only way to stop gun violence is to arm the public more heavily.
(The NRA should start a weight-loss program with the same philosophy: the more you eat and the less you exercise, the thinner you'll be. When dieters see how well that adage works, hopefully the absurdity of the NRA's similar theory about gun violence will be apparent.)
I'm a realist. I understand that many gun lovers are impervious to facts. So here's a couple of other ways to look at the issue of gun violence being largely caused by gun availability.
Why don't we legalize surface-to-air shoulder fired missiles? After all, people shoot down airplanes; shoulder fired missiles don't shoot down airplanes. If terrorists don't have a missile, they'll just find some other way to destroy an airplane.
How comfortable would you feel flying on a commercial airliner if you knew that anyone could legally stand along its flight path holding a shoulder fired surface-to-air missile?
If you're an NRA member, logically you should be just fine with this, since your organization favors allowing assault rifles to be owned by just about anyone.
Here's another thought experiment:
Imagine that you're attending an event where there's going to be a lot of argumentative emotion involved. Political debate. Crucial soccer match. Pro- and anti-abortion rallies on adjacent street corners.
There's also intoxication involved. Free beer. Free amphetamines. Anything you want to alter your consciousness with. Just like real life (except the drugs are provided at no cost).
As you approach the event, you see that all the attendess are being channeled through lines where they get some complimentary gifts. Knowing that you're going to be spending several hours with many emotionally aroused, intoxicated people, how comfortable wouid you be knowing that people are carrying around:
A New Year's Eve type noisemaker, or...
A pocketknife, or...
A baseball bat, or...
An assault rifle loaded with a 100 round magazine?
Remember what the NRA says. Guns don't kill people; people kill people. So if you support the NRA, you should feel just fine in a crowd of emotionally fired-up drunk or drugged people, all carrying assault weapons.
Or would you? Maybe the baseball bat or pocket knife would make you feel more comfortable. Or how about no weapons at all at the event, just noisemakers people could use to express themselves?
Think about it. Be honest.
Then remember the twenty children killed this month at Sandy Hook Elementary School by an assault rife. Ask yourself how you'd feel if the killer had carried a baseball bat or pocketknife instead.