Home Page -> Commentary -> 31 March 1998

Comment of the Fortnight
31 March 1998
The Gun Issue

Since the two children allegedly shot their classmates and a teacher in Jonesboro, Arkansas this past week, the radio talk shows have had idiotic comments like these: In particular, there have been comments like these from people who worship the second amendment: In regard to these last few comments, I sent the following fax to talkshow host Ken Hamblin, who is a bit conservative for my tastes but quite enjoyable to listen to.
There are two small but significant points that your callers seem to overlook:

  1. The primary purpose of duct tape is to tape ducts together -- although you can use it to kill people. The primary purpose of a brick is to build buildings -- although you can use it to kill people. The primary purpose of a computer is to manipulate numbers -- although you can use it to control a weapons system and kill people. The primary purpose of a gun is to kill people. (When was the last time you used a gun to repair ducts, build a building, or balance your checkbook?)
  2. Guns don't kill people - they just make it a whole lot easier to do so. It takes a lot more involvement and effort to kill someone with duct tape or a brick at close range than with a high-powered rifle at fifty yards.
That pretty much sums up my feelings about the "why don't they outlaw..." crowd.

To answer the questions you didn't ask:

You may, of course, wish to see an opposing viewpoint.

Back to top of page