Liberals politicize every crime committed with a gun to advance their goal of an unarmed citizenry, contrary to the goal of an armed citizenry as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Let’s apply their arguments to another issue: the legalization of marijuana.
One of the primary reasons people cite to justify legalization of marijuana is that possession and use of marijuana is a victimless crime, and so it is expensive, repressive, and silly to outlaw it. Okay, point noted. The same can be said of gun ownership. Most guns are not used to murder or commit crimes, so by making outlaws out of gun owners, a victimless crime becomes a manufactured crime, just like the manufactured crimes concerning marijuana.
The immediate outrage to that comparison is to point at the victims who are shot during the commission of a crime. Well, robbery, rape, murder, burglary, and trafficking of contraband are all crimes, in and of themselves. Using a gun while committing them is the method the criminal chose to commit the act. The parallel to marijuana is that weed is the method the stoner chose to get high; cocaine, meth, heroin, and spray paint all seem readily available for those who prefer those methods.
According the the Department of Justice website, about half of the murders committed in the United States between 1976 and 2005 were committed with a handgun. Other guns account for 14.9% of murders during that time period. Knives were used to murder 16.6%, blunt objects made up 5%, and other weapons chosen to commit murder totaled 14.2%.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that in 2010 11.9% of Americans used marijuana. Obviously, the use of marijuana is far more widespread than murder by guns. If 11.9% of Americans murdered someone else last year, that would have resulted in almost 40,000,000 murders. I think it is fair to conclude that gun owners are far more respectful of the law than drug users.
Let’s dig into those Department of Justice numbers a bit more. 35.8% of murders are committed with knives, blunt objects, or other weapons. Over one-third chose a method that is messy, very personal, and up close. That suggest a great deal of rage. The time, effort, and planning that went into committing murder by those methods demonstrates that murder is more than a heated argument that boils over into a gun fight. Do guns make murder easier? Yes. So do knives, as evidenced by the statistics; that’s why blunt objects is only 5.0%.
Another argument employed by those who wish to legalize marijuana is its widespread use. If only 11.9% of the population constitutes widespread usage that justifies legalization then the estimated 40-50% of the population who own guns should more than qualify for the same consideration. Many people lie and speed, but I don’t think many are advocating we legalize perjury or abolish speed limits.
Evil and insane people commit crimes every single day. When we focus on banning the implements that they employ to inflict their nightmares on others, we focus on the wrong thing. Just like inmates who are able to hang themselves with bedsheets or fashion weapons from sharpened objects, sraped against the concrete block walls, evil and crazy people will devise methods to commit their heinous acts against others. If we embark on a quest to eliminate potential weapons, eventually we will have humanity sitting naked in empty fields.
Rocks, sticks, water, vines, hemlock tea, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and gravity are all natural forces and objects that can be used to kill others. Life is a dangerous and risky endeavor. As morbidly callous as it sounds, the truth is that none of us are going to get out of here alive. To vainly attempt to eliminate all life-threatening scenarios in our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, is as futile as the attempts to discover the fountain of youth.
Our focus should be on the behavior that people exhibit that suggests they are a threat to others. Someone purchasing a gun, in all likelihood, is purchasing it for home protection. Someone purchasing a hatchet, in all likelihood, is going camping in the near future. Someone who tortures puppies and screams violent and obscene threats at the neighbors is probably going to act them out someday and should be dealt with…harshly.
So, should we legalize marijuana? It’s a subject that should be seriously debated. However, the reasoning justifying or denying it should be consistent and applicable to other issues, including gun ownership.