An “Acceptable” Risk

Posted on December 17, 2012

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Sandy Hook

I really don’t care what the arguments are.  They were always stupid anyway.  A strained, perverse interpretation of an outdated Constitutional Amendment.  A presumption of the equality of flintlock rifles with automatic weapons.  The idea—contradicted by both fact and common sense—that an armed citizenry is safer than an unarmed one.

The United States jails more of its citizens as a percentage of the population than any country on Earth, but it still has a murder rate 7 times that of Canada.  Metro Baltimore alone has a murder rate that exceeds the total of Canada’s four western provinces.  Murder rates like that—and Baltimore is not the worst—are the result of the laxest gun laws on the planet.  Guns make murder easy.

What it boils down to is this:  Second Amendment advocates consider 100,000 shootings a year—30% resulting in fatalities—merely the price America has to pay for “freedom,” an acceptable risk.

Even if the freedom to carry a gun contradicts everybody else’s right to walk in safety.

Even if the freedom to carry a gun contradicts everybody else’s right to freedom of speech and expression—because there can’t be too much of that in a country where anybody can disagree with you with a bullet.

Fundamentally, 2nd Amendment advocates would have us believe (for instance, see the shooting-inspired editorial by the conservative journal, National Review) that 20 dead schoolchildren in a Connecticut schoolroom is an acceptable risk.  Other countries have school killings.  Only in the USA is it common.

But in the USA, Sandy Hook is the “price of freedom.”

Every American citizen has the right to pull their children out of school.

Everyone has the right to barricade their doors, the right to bulletproof their glass.

Every American citizen has the right to hide in a hole with their guns.

Bully for freedom.

Me, I’m just glad I live in a country where I don’t need such rights.

Posted in: politics