Ben Stein commentary on CBS Sunday Morning
Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:17 AM
Let's start with a few facts about guns and shootings and deaths. Lately there have been far too many shooting of innocent people by crazy people. We can go back to Virginia Tech or Tuscon Arizona, or look just recently to Aurora Colorado and to Wisconsin and the Sikh temple. Too many crazy homicidal people have lethal weapons. And you might say there should be very strict gun control. And for crazy people, there should be.
On the other hand, you might look at this little set of facts. In San Point north Idaho where I live for most of the summer, it's extremely easy to buy a gun. You can buy them at stores, at gun shows or just at yard sales. Yet there are almost no gun deaths in Bonner county Idaho. The last ones of note in North Idaho were done by the FBI in Ruby Ridge and that's a different story.
On the other hand, in my beloved Los Angeles where I live most of the year, there is extremely strict gun control, it's a real project to buy a gun. Here we have gang shootings and death by guns on a terrifying scale. In my native city of Washington DC the same goes, strict gun control and lots of shootings. The same goes for Chicago, strict gun control and a lot of killing. Obviously, San Point Idaho is a very much calmer place than Chicago. And I'm not saying that people in Chicago should be allowed to just tote their guns in their cars the way that many can and do in north Idaho.
But my point is, that there is nothing easier simple about the relationship between gun control and crime. If a man had started shooting in a crowd in north Idaho, probably several men in the crowd would have shot him down immediately, maybe a woman too. I'm not for vigilante law enforcement, but I'm also not for government disarming everyone but criminals.
I've never understood the flaw in the argument, that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. And of course there are already laws against murder. The whole problem of guns and killings is complex, and saying "Gun Control" or being angry at the NRA simply does not get us very far. I wish I had a better solution, but I don't. And as far as I know, neither does anyone else.
Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:31 PM
So what makes the good people in north Idaho more special than the good people in Chicago, Mr. Stein?
Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:08 PM
Well, these guys can't come out and say "sorry, we can't afford more police." People would raise hell about the waste and corruption. So instead they pull the old demagogue's trick, rant and rave about "we need to get these guns off the street" and "we need stronger controls and gun laws". They know perfectly well they can only take that so far and it gives them a permanent excuse: whenever someone got shot, you'd see Daley on TV talking about gin control and "the folks in Washington have my hands tied". It's nothing but political smoke and mirrors. I can't find them right now, but I saw statistics posted on another website showing that after the Daley handgun ban and "assault weapons" ban in Chicago, murders went down slightly the following year, and then from then on they increased almost every year, just as they had been doing more or less for the previous 50 years. The handgun ban did nothing to stop murders because people who are going to commit murder, CRIMINALS, don't care about gun laws any more than they care about any other law.
“By concord little things grow great, by discord the greatest come to nothing.”
Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:46 PM
No government can keep it's citizens safe, its a complete lie from the get go - but politicians stay in power by convincing stupid and cowardly people that the governmnet can indeed make them safe, and believing the lie makes weak minded people feel safe.
^ That is pretty much what Gary McCarthy said in his speech at St. Sabina's "Washinton is putting guns into the hands of inner city youth and killing young men of color" - I'm paraphrasing. But if the voters buy it - then it's a good way to blame your failures on someone else.
I am glad though, that the politicians kept me from eating foie gras. Thank goodness for that...
Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:27 PM
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