We Tried to Talk About Guns.. and Failed
Dear New York Times,
I tried to talk to my friend about guns like you said. The conversation didn’t go quite the way I expected.
We need gun control to stop these Islamic terrorists from getting guns. That’s why we need to let the government put terrorists on the no-fly/ no-buy list. Isn’t that obvious?
But the terrorists who commit these recent mass murders were never placed on the no-fly list. Not the murderer who shot up the Chattanooga recruiting center, not the murderer at the Oregon Community College, not the muslim murderers who shot up the Christmas party in San Bernardino. I don’t want to end up on the no-fly list because I donated to my congressman.
Well.. but those are isolated incidents. They don’t prove anything. What we really need are comprehensive background checks so criminals can’t get guns.
But the last mass murderers got their guns legally in California. California already has universal background checks, and the murdering terrorists passed them. The murderer at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon, he also got his guns legally.. and Oregon has universal background checks too.
Right. Sure, I knew that. Uhm, so.. what we really need is to outlaw assault weapons. Nobody needs a military machine gun to hunt deer.
The murderers didn’t use machine guns. You can’t buy a machine gun in California, and the guns the murderers bought were legal there.
No. That is crazy. I mean.. I mean we need to keep crazy people from getting guns. That way their friends and neighbors can call the cops and keep crazy people from getting guns and murdering people. That is what I want to do.
I have to disagree with you again. Do you remember the crazy person who shot the students at spring break near the University of Santa Cruz? He was seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist. Those doctors didn’t think he was a threat to other people. Three policemen interviewed the murderer before he killed his roommates, and the police didn’t think he was a threat either. The murdering student who shot up the library at Roswell High School was interviewed by two therapists. The police looked in his diary, and he said he lied to the therapists who interviewed him.
You keep bringing up examples. Don’t you know lives are at stake. We need to take guns away from American citizens because they only use guns to commit mass murder.
That isn’t what the US government says. The Federal Government’s Center for Disease Control reported that US Citizens use a gun for self-defense about one and a half million times a year. Citizens who hold a concealed carry license are much more law abiding than the average citizen. People who use a firearm for self-defense are also less likely to be injured that those who are disarmed. Besides, most of the deaths due to guns are from suicide, not homicide. But I agree that we need to improve our mental health system. Can we agree on that?
What? Oh, sure. But you’re not seeing the big picture. You have to admit that modern guns are too deadly. That is why we need to limit magazine capacity to two bullets. Did I say two bullets? No, make that eight bullets for now. That will stop mass murder.
No, It won’t. We did the research. Magazine capacity didn’t change the body count in mass public murders. The murderer simply reload their guns until someone with a gun stopped him.
But we can’t let citizens be so deadly and carry murder machines. Gun owners don’t have professional training so they only need a few bullets.
I’ve looked at the crime reports. Criminals don’t fight fair. There are usually several criminals involved in a robbery or break-in. I can’t believe that you want a single mom who is defending her family from four thugs to have fewer shots than the police?
No! No, you’re twisting my words and not listening to me. Guns are bad and need to go away! We need more gun control, not less.
I think I hear you. I thought guns were bad, but I noticed that criminals use any weapon they can get. I like the fact that a thug can’t beat up a 90-pound woman.. if she has a gun and knows how to use it.
No, that’s not how it is supposed to work. Women should be disarmed.. or protected by the police.. not by using a gun.
I see. Gun control is the theory that criminals who are willing to ignore laws against rape, torture, kidnapping, theft, and murder will somehow obey a law which prohibits them from owning a firearm. We’re going to have to agree to disagree.
See, I told you. You gun owners don’t listen to reason. That is why the government has to take all your guns away in the middle of the night.
Gun control is the theory that a government that is willing to break into your home in the middle of the night and take your means of self-defense will then leave you alone to peacefully live the rest of your life without government interference. No, I don’t believe in gun control.
Like I said, I tried to talk to him, but you were right that gun owners don’t listen. They obviously don’t read the Times. I agree with you that we need to take their guns away now, maybe tonight. The sooner the better. We have to do something, and those gun owners are crazy and dangerous.
Your faithful reader.
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