Retailers reported a Black Friday slightly below expectations this year, but those in the business of selling guns had a banner day. According to the FBI, more federal background checks were run last Friday than on any other single day in American history.
“This was an approximate 5% increase over the 175,754 received on Black Friday 2014,” wrote the FBI’s Stephen Fischer. “The previous high for receipts were the 177,170 received on 12/21/2012.”
Nearly every media outlet that ran the story, of course, had to point out the fact that while all of these sales were attracting buyers, a nut in Colorado Springs was laying siege to Planned Parenthood. The obvious connection to be made: More guns mean more mass shootings. And with the awful murders in San Bernardino stealing the press’s attention for the foreseeable future, chances are good that we’re going to end 2015 with another debate about gun control.
Which is fine. It’s to be expected. And even if it isn’t, there’s nothing to be done about it. Both sides have made their arguments clear; anyone who doesn’t know where they stand on this issue by now is never going to know.
What’s not fine: things like this from the New York Times – “The National Rifle Association and other gun rights supporters have promoted the idea of weapons as protection.”
Huh? So…if it weren’t for the NRA, people would not see weapons as protection? How did people view guns before the NRA came into existence? Toys? It’s hard to imagine a time – even in the Stone Age – when people did not buy into “the idea of weapons as protection.” That’s…that’s basically their entire purpose, you idiots.
Now, the NY Times is making the point that people with guns in their homes are less safe than those without them. Which is a highly disputable point. But if you’re going to make that point, at least have the intellectual courage to make it without resorting to these weaselly phrases. And at least acknowledge that it would make no sense if this were not the case. Of course people with guns in their homes are more likely to be shot. People who drive cars are more likely to get into car accidents, too. It doesn’t mean they are more likely to die.
The real problem with the gun control debate in this country is that it’s really a thousand problems rolled into one. Gang crime in Chicago is not the same problem as Islamic terrorism in California. A school shooting in Connecticut is not the same as an epidemic of suicide. Psychos are not political activists are not opportunistic criminals are not kids who have an accident. And until we break these problems apart and address them separately, we’re just going to keep having the same irrelevant arguments.
Without a constitutional convention, guns aren’t going away. Obama’s attempts are both meaningless and irritating at the same time. If we agree that we’re not going to repeal the Second Amendment then let’s stop talking about idiotic measures that aren’t going to stop a single killing. Let’s use our heads, come together, and find out what this country needs to do to get a handle on this violence. Otherwise, these gun sales are going to keep breaking records. Why? Because Americans – foolish, NRA drones that we are – really do believe that weapons are a form of protection. And if these shootings are going to keep happening, we’d like to be prepared.