1. If the police come to my house, they will probably shoot Mrs. Wigglebottom.
2. There’s something really funky about how we treat gun owners. I probably don’t have this point as well worked out as number 1, but that’s because number 1 is easy to be alarmed about. I was talking to the Professor about this at lunch yesterday and Coble brings it up again today. Twice in two days? Probably a good topic for blogging.
So, I’ve been thinking–why, whenever there’s some horrific crime involving guns, is the response to push for restrictions on gun ownership and not harsher penalties for the crimes or more money for police or what-have-you?
Are we, as liberals saying that we believe that there’s just a certain level of wrong-doing that’s going to occur and that there’s nothing we can do to affect it other than to keep the wrong-doers from having too-deadly of weapons? Are we really, at heart, saying that we don’t believe that punishment deters crime or that social programs can lower crime rates or that police protection makes much of a difference? That wrong-doing is just a force of nature, unimpeded in its ability to hurt us by anything except reducing the tools available to wrong-doers?
I don’t think we really believe that. I could be wrong, but I don’t.
I think the impulse is actually worse than that.
I don’t think this is about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals at all. I think this is about ridiculing and shaming legal gun owners.
I think we do this for two reasons. 1. By and large, we don’t own guns. We want to believe that our way of looking at the world is correct and therefore, we want gun owners to give up their guns in order to validate our ways of life. This is stupid, but not malicious.
2. We want to punish gun owners for being different than us, for not accepting our values.
This is an insidious wrong, painted up like a moral position.
And, I know, it’s not as if there aren’t one million things about which conservatives do the exact same thing. You know, if we were honest, we’d just change the National Motto from "In God We Trust" to "We Know What’s Better for You than You Do, and By God, We’re Going to Make You Do It." It’s not quite as catchy, but it’s more accurate. We’re going to have to mint some larger coins to fit that on there, but it’s worth it, I think.