The national news is running non-stop coverage of the Charleston shooting. There will be a renewed call for gun control as a reaction. Lots of people will make impassioned pleas to get the guns out of the hands of “bad guys”, and mass outrage at how “guns are everywhere” and they “permeate our society”.
Everybody is going to talk about how the murderer would not have been able to kill so many people if he did not have a gun. That is a meaningless argument. Remember, we do not get to choose a world where “bad guys” do not have guns! That is simply not an option. We have spent decades fighting a War on Drugs, and we have not been able to reach a point where people cannot get drugs. We have passed wildly restrictive and authoritarian laws giving the police massive unchecked powers in the hopes that they would be able to get rid of drugs, and they have not been able to get rid of drugs. We have increased sentences for drug possession to ridiculous heights, and still millions of Americans are willing to acquire, use, distribute, and sell drugs. We have given the police carte blanche to search people and vehicles just by citing a vague suspicion or getting a trained dog to behave as its master wants it to, and still drugs are available in every state and county in this country. We have given police the ability to seize money, cars, houses, and even bank accounts without going to court to prove anything at all and without any appeals process in the hopes the deterrent would help get rid of drugs, and it has not worked.
You do not get to choose a world where “bad people” do not have guns! That is simply not an option. It cannot be done, it is no more possible than choosing a world with no gravity or choosing a world where global warming is not happening. Guns are a fact and they will always be here. The only choice we have is whether to try prohibiting guns in a vain effort to pretend they do not exist. I will remind you again that the only Constitutional Amendment ever passed that restricted people’s rights instead of expanding them was the Amendment that prohibited alcohol. It was such a fucking disaster for our country that it is also the only Amendment ever to be undone, reversed in another Amendment a few years later. And we have lived half a century under a draconian and totalitarian system in an effort to prohibit drugs, and it has failed just as miserably.
There is simply no choice to “get rid of guns”. It is impossible. It will never happen. The only choice we have is whether to live under a strict authoritarian regime imposing prohibition, or not. That is it, that is the only choice we have. And given that choice, I don’t see how anyone could choose yet another prohibition given our nearly a century of historical proof that it is massively expensive, guaranteed to be a horrible failure, and requires tearing apart most of the freedoms this country was founded upon.