Pew is not exactly known as a right-wing group, yet their figures show a ‘startling’ trend: gun homicide rates have been declining for decades:
‘National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.’
Gee, could that have something to do with the increase of ‘conceal-carry’ permits?
C0nc0rdance is a scientist who often appears on The Magic Sandwich Show, which I sometimes watch. And while I do not agree with all the views expressed on that show, I do like the level and manner at which the discussion occurs.
So, when C0nc0rdance put out a video on the topic of the 2nd Amendment and the whole gun control issue, I expected a well thought out, well supported position.
Having heard C0nc0rdance’s views on individual vs. collective rights, I also expected that his conclusion will not be the same as mine.
I was not disappointed – on either count.
I was, however, surprised how long into the video I agreed with each and every word he said. His conclusion and mine hinge on one very important distinction in how we perceive ‘rights’….
It is my core belief that the only way for a society to function is to recognize the inalienable rights of each and every individual within that society. The very concept of ‘collective rights’ is anathema to our civilization, where all rights derive from the individual. It is therefore not possible for any group to have different rights than those the individuals within that group have….because if it did, then those individuals within these privileged groups would have greater rights than other individuals in society and we would no longer have equality before the law.
In other words, in order to ensure that each citizen is treated equally by the courts and the law, we are limited to only legally recognizing individual rights. This makes any argument based on ‘group rights’ invalid.
Despite this insurmountable difference of opinion in individual vs. collective rights which makes C0nc0rdance arrive at a different conclusion than I, I think his argument is very good and well worth listening to.
A few points…
I do not think placing armed guards in school is a good idea – I believe each and every teacher has the responsibility to protect the children we entrust to them. Therefore, each and every teacher MUST be fully trained and qualified in the use of guns and be armed at all times while on school property. Loose your gun certification, loose your teaching job, just like a cop.
My reasons for this is threefold.
First, the teachers are already supervising the children. There is no need to have a second person in each classroom to protect them from potential gun violence: this is wasteful and unnecessarily raises the anxiety level of the students. Simply put, it would be costly, inefficient and fear-mongering.
Second, people tend to fear that which they do not understand. Currently, the vast majority of the teachers I have encountered have never handled a gun in their lives…especially urban teachers. And, these are the same people who tend to be unreasonably afraid of guns. (I do not mean that all fear of guns is unreasonable – simply that some peoples’ fear of guns goes beyond what it should reasonably be.) Urban teachers tend to come from social circles where anti-gun hysteria is at its shrillest: and this prevents them from reacting reasonably should they find themselves facing a gun. Forcing teachers to become familiar with guns would go a long way towards minimizing their unreasonable fear, educate them how to behave under threat, and thus would lead to a more constructive reaction should they ever be in the unfortunate position of having to face an armed assailant.
Third, and perhaps most important, is the lesson of self-reliance this would teach the students. Yes, the police is there to help solve crimes and catch criminals, but once you become an adult, you are not a ward of the state but a sovereign human being responsible for your well being and for the well being of your dependents. While it is good to accept help when you need it, it is YOU – and you alone – who bears responsibility for yourself.
This third reason would be completely reversed if the people who carried arms in school were special armed guards and/or extra police officers. Rather than teaching students – from a young age and by example rather than through flowery speeches – independence and self reliance, putting armed guards into schools will only further deepen the chasm between ‘armed people’ and ‘the rest of us’.
Putting armed guards in schools will teach children that only those who represent ‘the authorities’ are permitted to be armed and the rest of us must cower in fear. It will normalize the dangerous notion that carrying gun is a job in and of itself and that it is wrong for ‘normal people’ to be self reliant.
And that, in my never-humble-opinion, is a lesson each and every tyrant would like its populace to be taught from a very young age!
It is not a coincidence that prior to every major government-purpotrated massacre or genocide or pogrom, gun control laws were enacted and private arms were widely confiscated. Learn from the mistakes of others or perish, like they did…
I’ll go even further than that: I have very grave reservations about licensing and registering guns at all. If the government and/or ‘authorities (or even unscrupulous civil servants – remember, weakest link, human failings and all that) know who owns guns and where they are kept, they have the ability to overpower and disarm these citizens – one at a time. Having lived under a totalitarian system where this very thing happened, I deeply believe this is not a risk worth taking.
I have said this many times before, in many places: the only way to protect our kids from gun violence in schools is to require – yes, require – each and every teacher to maintain high proficiency in the use of firearms and to be armed at all times while working. Even with the best possible response time, a police force cannot beat the efficiency of having a well trained, well armed teacher in each and every classroom!
After all, our kids are worth it!
This is beyond the pale!
Yes, Mr. Levant is correct to raise the spectre of Pavlik Morozov: I was certainly taught in school to live up to his example. But that was on the other side of the iron curtain! There is no room for twisted crap like that in our schools now!
Let you be the first to read it!
I have a gun.
I even volunteered in a school, teaching children how to use a gun, just like mine.
A glue gun, that is.
I have a whole bunch of glue sticks in an ammo box I bought at an army surplus store – partly because I like puns and partly because it is efficient.
I also own a tape gun – it makes wrapping presents more efficient.
And I have two staple guns. (OK, one is my hubby’s, but that makes at least half of it mine, no?)
My kids own guns, too!
From the air-zooka (which ‘shoots’ air, if you are not familiar with it) through a marshmallow gun to water guns…
But if I wanted to own a firearm – an actual gun for shooting bullets – I would not feel obligated to tell ‘the state’. Why? Because I believe, to the core of my being, that the Magna Carta gives me the right to carry whatever arms I think I need to protect my person, family and property. Nothing – no law – can, in my never-humble-opinion – abrogate this natural right to protect myself.
It is precisely because I have the right to carry weapons that police has the power to carry weapons: they derive that right from me, and you, and all the other citizens. Since the government acts as our proxy, it cannot do what each and every one of us does not have the right to do, irrespective of the government.
This equation goes both ways: since the state is acting on our behalf, it cannot do anything we are not free to do. Therefore, if some agents of the state do carry firearms, it therefore follows that each and every citizen has that very same right. If we did not have that right, then the government agents would have nowhere to get that right from.
I recognize I am not expressing this eloquently – following is a video that does a much better job of it: