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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

It's a gun world

America, locked & loaded:


Thirty years after a powerful gun-control movement swept the country, Americans are embracing the idea of owning and carrying firearms with a zeal rarely seen since the days of muskets and militias.

A combination of favorable court rulings, grass-roots activism, traditional fears of crime, and modern anxieties about government has led to what may be a tipping point on an issue that just a few years ago was one of America's most contentious. Gun rights have now expanded to the point where the fundamental question seems not to be "should we be able to carry guns," but instead is "where can't we carry them?"

[. . .]

In 2009, three times as many pro-gun laws were passed in the United States as antigun measures – a trend that experts say has only accelerated since then. Fully 40 states now mandate that anyone who asks for a concealed-carry permit and meets the qualifications must be issued one. One result: The number of concealed-weapon license holders in the US has gone from a few hundred thousand 10 years ago to more than 6 million today. In some parts of Tennessee, 1 out of every 11 people on the street is either carrying a weapon or has a license to do so.

From a very long, surprisingly balanced story in the Christian Science Monitor, which tries to answer the unaswerable question: Is the country  safer or more dangerous because of this sea change? But consider this:

Moreover, the number of deaths caused by a gun in the US has been declining even though the number of guns carried in public has been growing.


Tim Zank
Mon, 03/12/2012 - 8:48am

It's an undeniable fact that gun control laws do absolutely nothing but make more citizens targets.

Harl Delos
Mon, 03/12/2012 - 11:14am

If more people carry guns, there will be more accidental firings.  That seems incontrovertible.  That doesn't necessarily mean more killings, though.

If guns are readily at hand, there will be a greater tendency to use them, which means drunkenness becomes more of a potential problem.

If the guns are carried concealed, that does nothing to prevent crime; it only means that the victim may retaliate.  Whether the victim ends up shooting the attacker or an innocent third party, that is a matter of chance.

If the intention is to kill someone, I'd rather a gun be used, because it's easy to aim.  If you cut the guy's brake lines, there may be dozens of others who die,

Many gun deaths are suicides.  Rest in peace; I'm glad your suffering is over.

The reduction in crime corresponds with legal elective abortion and the time for an unwanted baby to grow into a criminal.  It happened before Roew v Wade in places like New York.  And the effect is bigger where elective abortion is easier to obtain.  I suppose we should thank the anti-choice demonstrators for helping get out the word as to where distressed women can go.

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 1:37pm

In some ways the gun issue and the abortion issue are the same.  One side wants to see guns banned and the other side wants to see abortions banned.  I don't see either happening without major turmoil.

But, one part of the abortion issue that many more people do not support is when any tax dollars are used to support this right.  

If we are required to support a poor person's right to an abortion financially then I guess we should pay for many other rights.  Isn't that logical?  Many poor people can't afford a gun to protect themselves.  Why should they suffer when they have a right to have a gun?  Would a liberal support their own concept?

Mon, 03/12/2012 - 3:19pm

I once read a story by a journalist who had long been antigun.  He awoke one night to hear someone in his downstairs.  The area was under reconstruction, and he reported grabbing a carpentar's hammer as he crept down to confront the intruder.  He seemed oblivious to the obvious question ..... wouldn't you rather have a handgun???  And if the intruder had a handgun, a shotgun?  But liberals, as Orwell predicted, do not allow such logical thought in areas that are deemed off limits to logic.  Freedom is slavery, ignorance is bliss.

Christopher Swing
Mon, 03/12/2012 - 4:36pm

Unfortunately, the first thing someone is going to point out is of course guy might rather have a gun at that point. He might rather have a magical object that makes things go away, for that matter. Plus you don't tell us how it worked out.

But it doesn't matter anyway. Things like http://www.cncguns.com/ are real now, and it's not getting harder to manufacture all sorts of interesting things. Trying to legislate gun control is rapidly becoming something like trying to legislate the sky purple.