Alan Jacobs on guns

I thought that Jacobs raised some interesting points in this post.

Hat tip: John Fea


One comment

  1. “Idealize and compel” are what first came to mind when reading Jacob’s questions. As if he had said, “I don’t think it is necessary and I don’t think it is desireable, therefore you should not have it.”

    – To what extent, in America today, is a highly armed citizenry necessary?

    I agree that “social chaos” is not here (or isolated), but if riots do come and police are unable to do their job, as has happened in the past, it will be too late to consider that law abiding citizens should have been armed, just as it is too late in the recent horrific cases.

    In other words, the primary utility of a gun is its potential, not its actual firing to kill (which is rare). The mere presence of guns can both initiate and prevent crimes. It’s misleading to only look at one side of that reality simply because most of us don’t like guns.

    – To what extent is a highly armed citizenry intrinsically desirable?

    “intrinsically” desirable? As opposed to “actually” desirable as compared to our realistic alternatives?

    I’m concerned that there’s no awareness that the result of laws will be different from their intent. Gun laws are far more effective at keeping guns from victims than from criminals. Perhaps the very first “key question” should be: how well can we prevent criminals from obtaining guns and what are the costs?

    “What’s wrong with the world? […] I am. […]” Today, you and I are what’s wrong. As much as I’d like to believe that guns would be no problem if everyone were just like me, in my heart I know better. Or ought to.

    What does this mean? That Jacobs should not be trusted with a gun? That no one should? Is he seriously using G.K. Chesterton to argue moral equivalence between a murderer and his victim? Neither should have a gun?

    When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action.

    This is a fair aspect to consider, but the impetus here is not a crime of passion or convenience. Rather, it is a carefully planned mass murder which targeted the weakest and defenseless in our society.

    One of the key issues that bugs me about the current arms debate is that none of the proposed solutions would likely have had any positive effect on the motivating cases, and in fact would either be irrelevant at best or result in situations where it is even harder for victims to defend themselves. It is either a futile or harmful exercise primarily dedicated to appeasing our grief and playing politics.

    swords are beaten into ploughshare […] They are decommissioned, knocked out of shape, put to work for something totally different.

    Voluntarily, because they no longer serve a useful purpose. The Kingdom of God is remarkable, not because there will be no guns, but rather because there will be no need for guns. We can’t just reverse the causality and maintain the morality.

    If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target. But if all you have is the child’s openness and willingness to be loved, everything looks like a promise.

    By the logic of gun control, should we then legislate that people only have children who are open and willing to be loved? Ah, that’s silly and unrealistic, so let’s just legislate that most children should be that way.

    I had an email back and forth with [a friend] where she argued that AR15s are rarely used to commit crimes. My simple response is that dynamite is also rarely used to commit crimes.

    Do you know what his point is here?

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