In his Jan. 27 letter, “Living with the fear of being shot,” Ivor Paul affixes blame for murders on inanimate objects and not on murderers. Following this logic, we should address the problem of mothers drowning their own children by immediately banning bathtubs. Of course, most bathtub owners are not child-drowners, just as the vast majority of America’s gun owners never commit any crime with their guns. While we’re at it, we should also ban ropes, knives, baseball bats, pillows and bare hands.
I never owned a gun in the States and have never handled one except when in the Coast Guard, so I don’t personally have a horse in this race. But for Paul to claim the champion-of-logic crown by blaming guns — instead of criminals — for crime is rather outrageous, especially in that guns are used far more often to stop or prevent crimes than to commit them. Research tells us that communities are actually safer when private gun ownership is less restricted.
Following Paul’s logic, cities such as Chicago and Washington should have very little crime; after all, it’s virtually impossible to legally own a gun there. But that’s not the case. There are also countries such as South Africa, Colombia and Russia with little or no legal gun ownership, but with extremely high murder rates.
As for Paul’s claim that “logic plays very little part in rightwing politics”: It’s one thing to disagree on the gun issue, but quite another for Paul to imply that his opinion is the only logical or permissible one. Apparently, to folks like Paul, this new “civility” that’s been demanded of us recently is only meant to go in one direction, namely from right to left.
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