Shortly after a I posted yesterday, a friend shared this article from The New Yorker about the abuse of the elderly via guardianship rights.
It’s long, so let me give you a snippet of the story: Out in Las Vegas, full-time professional “guardians” prey on the wealthy elderly. The article profiles the case of a self-supporting married couple, living independently with a limited amount of home health assistance, and checked on daily by their adult daughter. A “guardian” got hold of enough information to obtain legal control — without ever informing the couple or their daughter — of their entire estate and all their decisions.
The guardian proceeded to have the couple forcibly moved to an assisted living apartment, then liquidated the estate and used the proceeds to fund the guardian’s bill for her guardianship services. If the daughter wished to speak with the guardian . . . she was billed for the privilege.
All this was completely legal. Read the article.
Yesterday in my guns-n-stuff round-up, I wrote, “A difficulty Americans face is that our laws have to take into account the actual way that Americans act.”
People who are (understandably) in favor of gun control fail to understand why a portion of Americans consider the 2nd Amendment so sacred. The elder-abuse article above is one of the reasons why.
Is it because Gunlandians imagine themselves standing at the door holding off the court-appointed guardian when she comes to liquidate the family home?
No. It isn’t as simple as that.
It’s that Gunlandians know that governmental power gets abused. Gunlandians have no good reason to trust the US government, and lots of reasons not to.
The recent violence in Spain is exactly an example of what Gunlandians fear. People doing democracy, going to the polls to peacefully vote for what seems no more radical than Brexit or Scottish independence, and the Spanish government turns violent. We have an acquaintance who was in the US on business and made a point of getting home in time for the vote. He said that he had never cared about Catalan independence before, but the aggressiveness of the Spanish government’s response turned him into a separatist. He literally has everything to lose if this goes badly, but he went home to vote for secession.
When people talk about What’s Wrong With America, the EU is held up as the shining example of How To Do It Right.
Gunlandians look at that and say: If this right, I wanna be wrong.
If instead of dismissing our opponent’s view we acknowledged it, the two sides would look like this:
Gun Control: I have a deeply held fear that innocent people will be killed by gunfire. My fear is founded in ample evidence that this is a serious risk. Even as we speak, other people are already suffering this fate. The measures I propose might not work as well as I’d like, but there are good reasons for me to think they will help.
Gun Rights: I have a deeply held fear that innocent people will be brutally oppressed by a ruthless government. My fear is founded in ample evidence that this is a serious risk. Even as we speak, other people are already suffering this fate. The measures I propose might not work as well as I’d like, but there are good reasons for me to think they will help.
So that is why we are at an impasse. Those who want stronger gun control mostly mock and ignore those who want to preserve gun rights. The difficulty is that those in favor of gun rights hold to their position as firmly as those who favor gun control. There will be no change in the status quo, other than perhaps a deepening of political divisions, so long as the debate remains stuck in this phase.
Can anything be done?
Yes. We can shift the question to: How can we reduce crime without threatening highly-valued civil rights?
It is only when the nation is ready to answer that question that we will be able to move forward.
Looking for the combox? It’s here.