A question about guns

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?

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        • Mike Devx

           
          > For an eloquent essay on the real purpose of gun control see Coyotes in the State of Nature – Kevin Williamson – National Review Online Hint: it has nothing to do with crime control and everything to do with denying citizens the right to life independent of the state.
           
          This is the crux of it, DQ.  For you (a conservative in many ways) it is about responsibility; but for the vast majority of those who seek gun control, it is about CONTROL.
           
          And as was said above of Yamamoto, who would not invade this country because there would be a citizen with a gun behind EVERY BLADE OF GRASS, yes, the military seriously overwhelms the citizenry with firepower… but the citizenry overwhelms the military with numbers.  A platoon, no matter how well armed, could never control a city of 5000 if the citizenry were determined to not be controlled.
           
          The most important item concerning guns and gun control is that by forcibly removing from us, the right of self-defense, you are not merely engaging in gun control.  You are engaging in enslavement.  You are engaging in deliberately reducing my freedom.  If I agree to it, I am giving up my liberty and my rights as a free individual, and there MUST be a terrible psychological cost there, to a free individual.  A free individual who has just deliberately chosen to NOT be free.  That is the hidden underside to agreeing to gun control: The deliberate self-surrender of the right to self-defense, and therefore the right to be free.  Could that, in fact, be what ails all of Europe since World War II – they have given up on themselves as a free people, voluntarily?  They have chosen to not be free?  At what cost to their own self-identity, to their own souls?