Wayne’s World: Guns Over People

If all human beings displayed the same fervor and passion for human rights as NRA members and gun owners express for their guns, we might already have achieved world peace. — Well, if only we could do something about those guns.

I’m consistently astounded when I hear gun owners advocating for their Second Amendment rights as if the right to own a murderous weapon was the most important right or the only right bestowed upon them. If human beings cared more about real civil rights and not material rights like gun ownership, arguments by gun owners, that society requires firearms to keep the peace, would not only break down, they would seem foolish and antiquated.

But we don’t need a utopia to break down irrational and illogical arguments from gun rights advocates. Like many conservative arguments, their “logic” doesn’t revolve around any single cogent line of defense. Instead they have a litany of pre-prepared, ready for mass consumption arguments. When one doesn’t work, insert another.

Take for instance the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, who can’t even articulate a Fox News friendly argument. On Thursday, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said to LaPierre, “You hear the parents of those children killed — say 11 children had the chance to escape while he [the shooter] reloaded — That is, to me, the most compelling argument — for this limitation [on ammunition].” LaPierre’s reply was both typical and uncompelling. “My response is that the criminals are not going to have less. — One round in the hand of someone who is going to do horror is too many,” said LaPierre.

Yet LaPierre will not support anything that makes it more difficult for criminals to obtain weapons and ammo. This is the standard gun advocate response: Why should we have gun laws when criminals don’t obey the law? You could extend this to any other area of law to reveal the folly of logic: Why is robbery or burglary illegal if criminals are going to ignore the law anyway? Same with murder. — Foolish indeed.

Wayne LaPierre - photo by Gage Skidmore

But LaPierre’s faulty judgment didn’t end there. Kelly followed up with, “How do you know? How do you know, Wayne? Adam Lanza’s mother was a legal gun owner. And how do you know that his mother would not have obeyed the law and limited the magazine clip, and then Adam Lanza would have been limited to 10 rounds instead of 30.” This is where LaPierre changes the argument to suit the question, insisting that it only takes seconds to change a magazine clip. Essentially he is saying, why bother limiting magazine capacity when you can change magazines so quickly? Of course, I’m pretty sure the average person isn’t swapping in a new magazine in a second or two.

Gun advocates don’t present a standard defense of gun ownership. Instead, they present a multifaceted approach, intended to defeat any proposed gun control legislation. It is the end, not the means, that is important.

But if their is one singular defense employed by gun advocates, it would be the Second Amendment. The only problem is, the courts don’t agree with them. The Second Amendment does not guarantee you the right to own any firearm that gun manufacturers can dream up. Jurisdictions have the right to regulate the types of arms and ammo that can be legally purchased. I didn’t say it, the Supreme Court did.

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