This Space for Rent

Now this is an interesting line of argument

In the wake of the latest episode of what's becoming an American tradition (psycho buys guns, goes on a rampage), a very interesting blame the victim theme appears to be emerging; The gun nut community has decided that the problem is that the State of Virginia (a state with no gun control laws at all, and where you can apparently carry on every bit of public property outside of the security area in an airport) has not enacted a mandatory carry law. Why? Well, apparently VPI, like many many other universities, has a no-guns policy. Now, it may not be a particularly useful policy to have, given that Virginia is the second-most gunhappy state in this gunhappy country (if the press is accurate, there are "domestic violence" incidents involving firearms in and around the campus every 6-8 months. I strongly suspect that their no-guns policy has managed to cut down the number of pistols on campus to maybe 5,000,) but that's what they have.

This is apparently (at least among the gun nuts who aren't blaming this massacre on feminism, conservation, or the Archie comic books) the reason why Mr. Shooty McEvil was able to murder 32 people. One could make an argument that this is simply magical thinking (I'd suspect that the gun nuts at VPI would carry anyway; if I thought that I had to carry *all the time* to be safe, I'd just carry despite what the university regulations said) by people who would react to a mass murderer by collapsing into a foetal position, but it seems to me that they're starting to argue on the same side as the passionate gun control advocates.

How's that, you might ask?

Well, it's like this. Virginia has a lot of guns, so you'd think that by the incredibly dimwitted guns == safety argument that the gun nuts use it would be barkingly safe. But, no, it's apparently so unsafe to live in chock-full-of-guns Virginia that private concerns should not be allowed to regulate access to their property.

If firearms were this dangerous, perhaps it would be easier to just ban them, no? I feel that one of the benefits of living in a civilized society is that I don't have to carry if I don't want to. If the price of free access to firearms is that I have to carry one all the time, I'd just do without the free access to firearms and resign myself to the almost complete lack of gun crime that most of the rest of the first world enjoys.

Mind you, this hysterical scenario that's being pushed by the gun nuts (and I must say I'm particularly appalled at attempts to blame the victim here) is completely untrue; there is no small amount of data that seems to indicate that the increase in violent mortality in states where everyone carries is pretty small (it's certainly there, but I recall it being something like a 10-15% increase in mortality, which still leaves approximately 375% difference between Switzerland and the paragon of security that is the United States) and it's just that the USA is hyper-violent, and would most likely remain hyper-violent even if all the guns were taken away and people had to revert back to being suicide bombers for their murder/suicide sprees. But, alas, gun nuts are ignorant, so they'll just keep reinforcing the gun control arguments in their own little dimwitted way.

(Want to comment? Please keep in mind that
  1. I have a comment policy,
  2. I have very little tolerance for arguments that cite L*tt, KKl*yt*n Kr*m*r, or their ilk
  3. I have even less tolerance for people who call me a gun grabber. It was fun trolling the gun nuts of alt.peeves 10 years ago, but I'm older and grumpier these days.


I’m just waiting for Michelle Malkin to say

“Clearly we’re violent and can’t be trusted– we need to all be put in internment camps again!” (well, except me, ‘cause I’m a published auther, etc…)

Tuesday I watched a bit of Larry King, in which he talked to alleged psychologist Phil McGraw. Dr Phil said that “well, they couldn’t do anything because they had to respect his rights”(!) but failed to point out thast the overwhelming majority of brooding antisocial young persons don’t “go postal” and kill a bunch of people. I know it’s not a requirement of the APA, but it seems to me that if a mental health professional goes on tv to talk about this he’s being irresponsible if he doesn’t point this out. I checked the CNN transcript later that night and sure enough nobody who was on the show said anything about that.

(although they took a comment OUT from a VT student who said “you can’t be too careful after 9/11”. I thought that was interesting too.)

Jonathan Versen Sun Apr 22 08:45:43 2007

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