Don Quixote here, since Bookie appear to be back to her iPhone. As you may know I’m a libertarian on social issues and a conservative on economic and military issues. I believe in a very broad definition of freedom and a vigorous defense of those freedoms. But the one issue on which I have trouble sticking to my libertarian/conservative guns is, well, guns.
Oh, I understand intellectually that Americans should be free to have guns, to protect themselves, their homes and their family, if nothing else. But we pay a fearsome price for that privilege. Consider that in Oakland, California alone more than 100 murders take place each and every year, the vast majority of them by the use of a gun. In the attached link, check the boxes for 2007 and 2008 and watch the screen fill up with markers representing real, dead human beings.
An article in Wikipedia notes that, “According to the FBI, in 2008 14,180 people were murdered in America.
Ira M. Leonard has calculated that during the 20th century, more Americans were murdered by fellow Americans than soldiers died on active duty during the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.”
Plus, Lord knows how many attempted murders resulted in painful and permanent injuries. And I haven’t even begun to talk about gun accidents. Is there any real doubt that many of these human tragedies could be prevented by serious gun control? On the other hand, is there any way to preserve the right of peaceful, law-abiding people to have guns while getting them out of the hands of murders (assuming we can identify murders in advance at all)? I have no answers, but the questions are deeply troubling. What do you think?