The Single Most Important Fact about our Gun Culture

The Single Most Important Fact about our Gun Culture May 7, 2014

…is 30,000 corpses each and every year. There are a lot of other secondary considerations. But that is, overwhelmingly, from a prolife perspective, the single most important fact.

My views on our gun culture are fairly simple.  It can be boiled down to this: the human tradition of the second amendment does not trump the divine revelation of the fifth commandment. That’s because, to repeat, the single most important fact of our gun culture is 30,000 corpses each year.

In case that is still fuzzy, allow me to repeat it one more time: The single most important fact about American gun culture is 30,000 dead people each year. Are there other important questions about property, safety, and liberty? Sure. But the single most important fact is 30,000 corpses.

If it were Al-Quaida killing 30,000 Americans each year, it would be treated as a civilizational emergency requiring a national effort to prevent as many of those deaths as possible. But because it is Americans killing themselves and each other, the reply that I consistently get to that fact is a huge amount of fantasizing about the Great Hitler Gun Confiscation that Is To Come, and a kind of terrified paralysis that turns a blind and hostile eye to even the most common sense attempts to effect even the teeniest change to the status quo.

So, for instance, here is a story about a Maryland gun store that was forced to drop plans to sell smart guns due to death threats from some of the more insane members of the gun culture.

Oh, and look, here is another story about somebody, not trying “grab our guns” as the fantasizers perpetually fear, but simply trying to likewise sell a smart gun that can’t be used by people the owner doesn’t want using it–and receiving massive harassment for it.

Note that: these are not people coming to steal our guns and leave us all prostrate before the Nazi, Communists, and criminal hordes who haunt the imagination of the NRA. These are just people who want to sell guns that, like your car, computer, and front door, can’t be used by people you don’t want using them. An eminently common sense effort to make gun security tech better. Who could object to that?

Insane gun culture, that’s who. So instead of supporting smart gun research, insane gun culture makes death threats. And when I pointed this out on Facebook, the response from the gun culture was that the people claiming to be threatened were like abortionists claiming to be threatened by prolifers. That’s a special kind of crazy.

What this does not translate to in any conceivable universe is the conviction that 30,000 deaths each year is the most important fact about our gun culture. Indeed, it looks rather uncommonly like 30,000 deaths every year is perfectly acceptable losses, including the occasional Sandy Hook.

On my planet, Prudence says to pay attention to the real pile of 30,000 corpses and the real Adam Lanza who grabs mom’s gun, kills her, and then slaughters elementary schools full of children. So building guns that simply would not have fired in his hands seems like a very sensible thing to attempt. But in the terrified fantasy world of gun culture, I have been reliably informed that Obama is going to hack into your smart gun and turn it off (despite it not being on a network). Obama is going to initiate the Great EM Pulse to disable our guns and institute sharia law. In the post-apocalyptic hellscape of safe gun Amerika, I am told, the state could (gasp!) mandate safer guns as it mandates safer cars and before you know it we will be herded into FEMA concentration camps and gassed. Somehow, these fantasies always triumph and the annual mountain of real dead bodies?: well, they don’t really matter.

Me: I think he real annual mound of 30,000 dead bodies is the central fact.

Therefore, I think “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. So let’s give Adam Lanza as much access to the technology of mass death as possible because whaddaya gonna do?” is a stupid argument.

I think “Sin begins in the soul, not the gun: therefore murderous sinners should have easy access to the technology of mass death” is a stupid argument.

I think, “Hey! People will use rocks to kill so we might as well let them have easy access to weapons of mass slaughter!” is a stupid argument.

I think “Look at the Chinese guy who stabbed 22 people, let’s ban knives!” is a stupid argument, since the goal is not “banning” guns (an impossible task) but building safer ones that can’t be fired by the wrong hands.

I think “There’s no point in improving gun security tech if it is not 100% effective!” is a stupid argument.

I think “Obama is spying on us through our computers, so that proves computer security tech is worthless and gun security tech is pointless” is a stupid argument.

I think “If we invent safer guns then the government will mandate their manufacture and that would be horrible!” is a stupid argument.

I think “People who are death threatened out of selling smart guns are like abortionists complaining about death threats” is a stupid argument.

And I think the steady drumbeat of “Don’t try. Won’t work. Give up” addressed to advocates of smart gun tech is a stupid, stupid argument. We can put a man on the moon but we can’t invent a gun that won’t fire unless the owner wants it to? And the attempt merits death threats?

And I think all those arguments and thousands more like them that I perpetually run into demonstrate with utter clarity that 30,000 deaths, including the occasional Sandy Hook, are acceptable losses to our gun culture.

Until I hear *something* from the gun culture besides “Meh. 30,000 deaths. Kinda sad I guess, but whaddaya gonna do? BUT IF WE MAKE SAFER GUNS THE GUMMIT WILL DISARM US AND MARCH US INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS AND RAPE OUR WOMEN!!!!!!” I find it impossible to apply any word but “insane” to that radical refusal of prudence. 30,000 corpses is what matters here, not the endless fantasies that somebody trying to build a more secure gun is a harbinger of the Apocalypse and a stooge or dupe of the Police State.

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