Sclopetum is a neo-Latin word for firearm. The title of this post is an allusion to reductio ad absurdum,
a form of argument which attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion, or to prove one by showing that if it were not true, the result would be absurd or impossible.
In this case, I call your attention to today’s exercise in virtue-signaling and mass hysteria known as March for Our Lives. What’s it all about? According to the group’s website, this:
Our elected officials MUST ACT by:
1. Passing a law to ban the sale of assault weapons like the ones used in Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Sandy Hook and, most recently, to kill 17 innocent people and injure more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Of the 10 deadliest shootings over the last decade, seven involved the use of assault weapons.
No civilian should be able to access these weapons of war, which should be restricted for use by our military and law enforcement only. These guns have no other purpose than to fire as many bullets as possible and indiscriminately kill anything they are pointed at with terrifying speed.
2. Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines such as the ones the shooter at our school—and so many other recent mass shootings used.
States that ban high-capacity magazines have half as many shootings involving three or more victims as states that allow them.
Limiting the number of bullets a gun can discharge at one time will at least force any shooter to stop and reload, giving children a chance to escape.
3. Closing the loophole in our background check law that allows dangerous people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase firearms to slip through the cracks and buy guns online or at gun shows.
97 percent of Americans support closing the current loopholes in our background check system.
When Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks on all handgun sales, they saw a 40 percent reduction in gun homicides.
22 percent of gun sales in this country take place without a background check. That’s millions of guns that could be falling into dangerous hands.
A background check should be required on every gun sale, no exceptions.
The children of this country can no longer go to school in fear that each day could be their last.
It all sounds reasonable until you get to the bottom line, which implies that all of the preceding actions would somehow end the threat of gun homicides in public schools. But they wouldn’t end the threat of gun homicides, and they certainly wouldn’t end the threat of homicides, period.
What they would do — as long as schools are soft targets for outsiders, and as long as students themselves aren’t routinely and universally subjected to airport-like security checks — is increase the number of ways in which students are killed. Most schools will remain soft targets, and most students will not be routinely and universally subjected to airport-like security checks. (If they were, there would be hundreds of thousands of them marching to protest the invasion of their privacy.) So add bombing, arson, poison, knives, clubs, and what have you to the never-ending threat of mass murder by firearms.
All that the “reasonable” measures supported by March for Our Lives would accomplish is to up the ante after the next mass school-shooting. The omens are in the air. For example, a story by Jazz Shaw features a photo that shows a marcher holding up a sign which reads “Abolish the 2nd Amendment”. That’s a widely shared sentiment among the “gun control” crowd.
The Second Amendment wouldn’t be abolished right away, because that would be too hard. But it could be legislated practically out of existence, given a compliant Supreme Court. And that’s certainly what many of the marchers and organizers are hoping for when they urge the “concerned” to vote. (Against the GOP, of course, as Jazz Shaw points out.)
But what about the law-abiding citizens who will still need firearms to defend themselves against the lawless ones who will pay no attention to tighter gun-control laws, and who will evade confiscation of firearms by the authorities? We’ll be defenseless, that’s what.
Thus the reductio: The boundless and futile attempt to prevent mass-shootings at schools will result in more killings (and assaults and robberies). But that’s “all right” because many of the new victims will be parents, and grand-parents, and great-grand-parents. It’s for the children, after all.
Thanks to correspondent RWB for an e-mail message that led me to the charts below. They underscore my point that gun confiscation (the real aim of “school safety”) will make most Americans less safe.
Source: Mark J. Perry, “Chart of the Day: More Guns, Less Gun Violence between 1993 and 2013“, Carpe Diem, December 5, 2017
As I point out here, it’s the moral culture (not the “gun culture”), stupid. Want evidence? Consider this:
Switzerland hasn’t had a mass shooting since 2001, when a man attacked the local parliament in Zug (the capital of the Swiss canton of the same name), killing 14 people and then himself.
… Switzerland, a nation of 8.3 million people, has about two million privately owned guns. Despite this large number of guns in private hands, the country had only 47 homicides in which firearms were used in 2016 and the country’s overall murder rate is near zero. [Warren Mass, “Swiss Example of Low [sic] Mass Shootings Despite Widespread Gun Ownership“, New American, March 26, 2018
Ben Domenich, “The Truth about Mass Shootings and Gun Control“, Commentary, March 1, 2013
Malcolm Pollack, “The Second Amendment and the Third Law“, Motus Mentis, March 25, 2018
Ed Morrissey, “WaPo: Wow, Did Stevens Give a Gift to [the GOP]“, Hot Air, March 27, 2018
Mass Murder: Reaping What Was Sown
Utilitarianism (and Gun Control) vs. Liberty