The Left

Happiness is a warm gun?

Handgun
Handgun
The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is an American non-profit lobbying group that advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights, and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. | Photo: Getty Images | Nra, Second Amendment, Handgun, Gun, Violence,

There's a reason mass murderers pack heat.

Of all the arguments against gun control, the weakest is that if killers couldn't get guns, they'd just use something else. Even if that were absolutely true, wouldn't it be a good thing? Gun-supporters insist that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and ignore that guns make it much, much easier for people to kill people.

If someone comes at me with a knife or a lead pipe or a meat cleaver, I can see him and duck. Or just cut and run. Admittedly I'm pretty slow on my feet, but if I'm lucky, I'll encounter a homicidal manic who isn't too speedy either.

But a guy with a gun? I sure as hell can't outrun a bullet. I can't dodge one either.

Using a knife requires coming within arms' reach of the victim, which means at least some chance to fight back. If the knife-wielder's trying to commit mass-murder, fighting and stabbing a half-dozen people is going to take some effort and time'time for more people to run while he's exhausted and trying to catch his breath.

With a gun, none of that applies. A killer can stand a hundred feet away, take out a half-dozen people fast and still have the energy to gun down more. Look at the Colorado movie-theater shooting earlier this year: It's a lot easier to gun down 80 people in a crowded theater than if you have to run from seat to seat trying to stab that many.

In short, if taking away guns meant killers would only come after us with knives or lead pipes, we'd be better off.

I can't help wondering, do the people who make this argument know anything at all about history? Haven't they noticed that swords, pikes and battle axes have faded from the world's arsenals over the centuries, to be replaced by guns? Which are then replaced by better guns? And that the reason for this is that guns actually make people more effective killers?

If it really doesn't make any difference whether people carry guns, knives or blunt objects, why aren't conservatives protesting against the outrageous waste of tax dollars spent arming our soldiers with guns? If all they need is knives and blackjacks, think how much we can save on gun-manufacturing costs! Think of all the ammunition we won't have to replenish! What a boondoggle soldiers carrying guns is!

For that matter, why are pro-gun groups always insisting that people need to pack heat to prevent violent shoot-outs and terrorist incidents? If it doesn't matter whether killers are armed with guns, knives or blunt objects, presumably John Q. Public (and his sister Jane Public, of course) can take killers down without guns just as easily.

It's one thing to make a Second Amendment case that people have a right to own guns. Claiming that guns don't make a difference'that killers with guns would be just as lethal if we took their weapons away'is nonsense. It's not as daft as the paranoia about Obama (four years of not taking everyone's guns away still hasn't stopped gun-enthusiasts from insisting that the Evil Kenyan Usurper is on the brink of doing so) but let's face it, that's not saying much.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:13 PM EDT | More details

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