In a blog entry last week I anticipated the argument of someone opposed to gun control when I pointed out that stiffer gun control laws would most likely have prevented virtually all of the recent spate of mass murders. In doing so, I mistakenly used an old saw of the gun lobby that “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”
I should have used the new and improved, and slightly scarier version, to whit, “if more people carried guns, then mass murderer X would have been stopped or caused less harm.” After each of the mass murders over the past few years, we have heard many versions of this idea.
Let me get this straight: Someone is able to become a mass murderer because we have loose gun laws that allow virtually anyone to buy as many guns as he or she likes, and also let people carry guns, sometimes concealed and sometimes in the open. Now instead of tightening up these gun laws to prevent these nuts from getting weapons as easily as they now can, we are supposed to encourage people to carry loaded guns to use if someone should try to pistol-whip them. In other words, instead of trying to stop violence, we should encourage the use of it to combat violence. Which of these approaches will lead to more people dead, I wonder?