I recently wrote a letter to the editor to my hometown newspaper in response to a letter from someone claiming that barring firearms from the State House, of all places where anyone might need to carry, constitutes a global threat to private gun ownership. These people see slippery slopes where there is level, dry ground–keeping guns out of the fucking legislative chambers hardly suggests that THE MAN IS COMING FOR YOUR SHOTGUNS AND HANDGUNS, and I outlined the reasons why. The replies were a mixture of polite disagreements and half-baked bullshit from my functionally illiterate coterie of haters. (I used to post in the comments section on this site, but quit when I could no longer tolerate having to confront how many stupid people there are in New Hampshire, let alone the nation at large.)
These paranoid rednecks are undoubtedly culled from the same gaggle of waterheads who will refuse to fill out their Census 2010 forms, citing bullshit concerns about personal privacy.
Here’s the text:
I am always amazed at ideas like those of Leigh MacNeil (“Threat to freedom,” Feb. 28), who is convinced that passing a law that prohibits bringing firearms into the state legislative chambers constitutes a step toward eliminating gun ownership altogether.
The list of places in which guns are already not permitted is long: schools, courthouses, airplanes, rock concerts, sporting events and so on. Yet this has not threatened anyone’s right to possess a firearm. Why would the passage of HB 1635 result in anything different?
MacNeil’s letter also included a familiar canard: the idea that a fully armed citizenry would result in less violent crime. Not only is there no evidence for this (and none could be collected without a real-life “experiment”), but it makes no sense in light of the demonstrable ways of the world.
Guns are more widely available in the U.S. than in European countries, and this correlates neatly with a higher level of gun-related violence. That people expect that this trend would reverse itself with even higher levels of gun ownership defies logic. (The foregoing ignores the fact that a fully armed citizenry is already a legal possibility; some simply choose not to carry.)
I am not anti-gun ownership, by the way. But I do find the idea of people devoid of basic reasoning powers packing heat a little distressing.