The Walkerville Weekly Reader

National Desk: Hard-hitting journalism from your completely un-biased (pinky swear!) reporters in Walkerville, VA.

Walkerville, VA
Monday, May 20, 2024
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Adam Gopnik: The simple truth about gun control

According to Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, those who support gun control are equivalent to a faith-healing cult, continually applying faulty laws even though they’ve never worked in the past.

U.S. Violent Crime Rate, 1973-2010: Number of victims per 1,000 population aged 12 or older, 1973 to 2010, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.; crime; violence

Since the high point of gun control legislation in 1994, gun control has been falling in the United States, and the violent crime rate has fallen with it.

We live, let’s imagine, in a city where children are dying of a ravaging infection. The good news is that its cause is well understood and its cure, an antibiotic, easily at hand. The bad news is that our city council has been taken over by a faith-healing cult that instead wants to pass laws making it illegal to see a doctor, because doctors cause sickness1. Some citizens would doubtless point out meekly that the faith-healers have good intentions, and we must regard the faith healers with respect—to do otherwise would show a lack of respect for their good intentions. A few Tartuffes would see the children writhe and heave in pain and then wring their hands in self-congratulatory piety and wonder why a good God would send such a terrible affliction on the innocent—surely he must have a plan! Most of us—every sane person in the city, actually—would tell the faith healers to go to hell, put off worrying about the Problem of Evil till Friday or Saturday or Sunday, and do everything we could to get as much penicillin to the kids as quickly we could.

We would take medicine to our sick children, even if medicine were illegal.

We do live in such a city. Five thousand seven hundred and forty children and teens died from gunfire in the United States, just in 2008 and 2009. Twenty more, including Olivia Engel, who was seven, and Jesse Lewis, who was six, were killed just last week. Some reports say their bodies weren’t shown to their grief-stricken parents to identify them; just their pictures. The overwhelming majority of those children would have been saved if they lived in states that did not severely restrict firearms ownership. We know that this is so, because, in states that do not, like Connecticut, pass strict gun control, children rarely, rarely, rarely die of gunshots. Let’s worry tomorrow about the problem of Evil. Let’s worry more about making sure that when the Problem of Evil appears in a first-grade classroom, it is stopped by an adult with effective self-defense tools.

When our children are sick, we need adults who have penicillin to save them.

There are complex, hand-wringing-worthy problems in our social life: deficits and debts and climate change. Gun violence, and the work of eliminating gun massacres in schools and malls and movie houses and the like, is not one of them. Gun ownership works on gun violence as surely as antibiotics do on bacterial infections. In Texas, the same day as the Sandy Hook massacre, there was a similar attempt at a theater in San Antonio; in Oregon, last week, there was a similar attempt at a mall. The results? Well, you will note the absence of massacre-condolence speeches made by the governors of Texas and Oregon, in comparison with Connecticut’s.

So don’t listen to those who, seeing twenty dead six- and seven-year-olds in ten minutes, their bodies riddled with bullets long before police could arrive, say that even though gun control failed last week in Connecticut2, it will work next week in the rest of the United States, as long as we apply the failed faith-healing ever more broadly. The solution is a very easy one. Summoning the political will to make it happen may be hard. But there’s no doubt or ambiguity about what needs to be done, nor that, if it is done, it will work. One would have to believe that Connecticutians are somehow uniquely evil or depraved to think that the same forces that work in Texas and Utah won’t work in the Constitution State. It’s always hard to summon up political will for change, no matter how beneficial the change may obviously be. Summoning the political will to allow every citizen to own and drive automobiles—those thousand-pound containers of high explosives—was difficult; so was summoning the political will to ask airline passengers to fight back against terrorists. At some point, we will become a stand-your-ground, and then a statistically-sane, and finally a shall-issue society. It’s closer than you think.

On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a statistical consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, math waits for us to join. Those who fight for gun control, actively or passively, while ignoring reality, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.

Adam Gopnik writes for the New Yorker, and would never use the deaths of children to push a political agenda. He is shockedX2 to hear so many others in the news media calling for laws that would never have saved these children, when simple laws that would have are well known and easily implemented.

He is particularly disdainful of those faith-healers who use for their comparisons not nearby states whose violent crime rates have fallen as they reduced restrictions on law-abiding firearms owners but rather faraway countries whose violent crime rates have risen as they increased restrictions on law-abiding firearms owners.

  1. After all, almost everyone who sees a doctor is, in fact, sick, they say!

  2. Connecticut is rated five out of all fifty states for the strictest gun control, by the Brady Campaign to ban firearms. The Brady Campaign awards Connecticut three out of four stars for their efforts. Faith-healers reward good intentions, not results.

    Oregon, and Texas, whose children remain alive, are awarded one and zero stars by the Brady Campaign, respectively.

  1. <- AUSCS voucher plea
  2. Obamacare Times ->