Search the KHIT Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2022


"The murders in Uvalde barely begin to describe the scale of American violence, but they do provide insight into its character. School shootings are only a subcategory of mass shootings, which are themselves only a subcategory of gun crime. America sharply surpasses other comparably developed countries in each of those classes of violent crime. A country in which those indicators aren’t necessarily signs of terminal decline is conceivable. But these aren’t the growing pains of a society making difficult advances toward an orderly peace. These are the morbid symptoms of a society coming undone, and they arise largely from policy choices made by interested parties with material motives."Elizabeth Breunig
You gotta be kidding. Uvalde TX is a town of some 13,000. They spend 40% of their annual municipal budget on their police department, including stuff like this? Local taxpayers certainly did not get their money's worth this time.

The civil law tort principle of "inherently dangerous instrumentality" is what finally brought Big Tobacco to regulatory and compensatory damages heel. Habitually used as intended, tobacco products disproportionately sicken or kill those who partake of them. They are inherently dangerous, and, as such—while still not outlawed—they are heavily regulated in reflection of the threat they pose (however inadequately).

A firearm, absent its fitted calibre projectile, is just an expensive piece of pipe. The intended function of the bullet, however, is to damage or destroy that which it impacts—be it a beer bottle or can, a paper target, or an animal or human. There is no other purpose (while the addictive "purpose" of smoking tobacco products, from the customer's perspective, is the ensuing psycho/physiological "relaxation" it accords).
And yes, firearms can be “used safely" (while providing end-user "pleasure"). That is not in dispute. But neither can there be any rational dispute about the purpose of bullets. People who buy them intend to use them to hit things. And the necessary vehicles for doing so are the firearms. Locked and loaded, you get inherently dangerous instrumentalities.
It's not a perfect analogy, and, tobacco products are not protected by the constitution. But it's damn close enough functionally to justify rational firearms restriction (I am not arguing prohibition here). The relative risk associated with the smoking of a single cigarette pales in comparison with that posed by the firing of a single bullet.

Let's get real. (But, yes, I realize there's the obstructive PLCAA problem in the way)
Ten years ago, in the aftermath of the horror in Newtown, Connecticut—where a twenty-year-old with a semi-automatic rifle entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally shot twenty children and six adults—Wayne LaPierre, the C.E.O. of the National Rifle Association, said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The idea of vigilant protectors subduing armed antagonists spoke to a vision of a society in which firearms are as commonplace as cell phones, and where more guns mean more safety. If the idea seemed absurd then, the passage of time has only made it empirically so.Jelani Cobb

No comments:

Post a Comment