More Guns

Just a short update on gun regulations. I heard Ben Stein’s interview on CNN today. I have to love the guy—he’s wrong on almost everything, but he always says it amusingly. Heck, he’s even funny to look at, and he knows it.

In the interview, he was making the point that there are many causes of violence in American culture, implying, of course, that gun ownership is not one of them. He mentioned that Hollywood is partly responsible for the attitude that guns are the solution for almost any problem. Something about that statement got me thinking. Where have I recently heard that same idea: “guns are the solution, not the problem”?

I remember! It was Wayne LaPierre. According to LaPierre and many others, the answer to gun violence is more guns. There are “monsters” out there, and we can’t keep guns out of their hands. The solution? That would be the same one Hollywood promotes. Put armed guards in public schools, encourage everyone to carry concealed weapons. Then we will be safe because the monsters can be quickly dispatched. Or, to put it another way, after society has failed to deal with mentally ill individuals, and a movie theater or grade school becomes the target of someone’s twisted thinking, a citizen with a gun can attempt to kill that human being.

Somewhat contradictorily, LaPierre and Stein suggest regulating violent video games. I don’t know. When we criminalize video games, won’t just criminals own video games?

America is violent, much more so than most countries that we think of as civilized. Addressing that problem is not as simple as instituting controls on gun ownership, but you have to start somewhere. We can talk, and we will, about what other things we need to do to make this a safer and better place to live. This is exactly the right time to talk about regulating guns in a reasonable way. No offense, Ben.


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