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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Smart Bombs: Gun lobby’s solution to shootings riddled with holes

The gun lobby’s arguments are riddled with holes, but let’s follow the logic to see if we can end the carnage.

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Might as well give all the good guys a gun, though that could be pricey. On the other hand, the National Rifle Association says it works on behalf of law-abiding citizens and not manufacturers, so perhaps it could pressure gun makers into deep discounts to speed delivery. This would also shine a spotlight on people who refuse to own guns, also known as the bad guys’ enablers. There ought to be a law.

“If you enact gun control measures, only law-abiding citizens will follow them.” This calls into question the entire Criminal Justice Industrial Complex. Do you realize how much it costs to finance prosecutors, judges and jailers? Murderers don’t care that murder is against the law, so what’s the point in having murder statutes? Those only stop law-abiding citizens. Plus, we could use the criminal justice savings to arm all the good guys. After all, it’s the only way to stop the bad guys.

“Guns don’t kill. People kill.” This is irrefutable, right? It’s like blaming the car for a fatal wreck. So what’s the point in mandating air bags, seat belts, child seats and speed limits? That’s just more laws to break. Plus, license plates make it easier for the government to confiscate your car. Look, if a criminal wants to unbuckle or speed, he’ll find a way.

“Stop saying the names of shooters.” This is a new movement that isn’t necessarily attached to the gun lobby, though it provides a handy distraction if you’re against gun control. The idea is to withhold the notoriety some criminals crave and prevent copycat crimes. Because, you see, guns don’t kill, but journalists might when reporting on the perpetrators.

So there you have it, America: More guns and fewer laws. Oh, and don’t forget the low-key media coverage, just in case the first two don’t work.

THE SMOKING GUN. Americans like guns. Well, not all Americans, but more of us than just about anywhere else. That’s why we have more gun deaths.

None of the other supposed factors – mental illness, video games, movies, music, the desire to protect oneself, reporting on the perpetrators, etc. – are exclusive to our country. Sorry, but the biggest difference is the affinity for weaponry that is ingrained in American culture.

Americans make up 4 percent of the world’s population, but own more than 40 percent of all privately held firearms, according to damning statistics compiled by Vox.com. The gun lobby posits that more guns equal less crime, a point that just happens to be profitable for manufacturers. But if that were true, our country wouldn’t be homicide central.

Australian comedian Jim Jefferies was once the victim of a home invasion in England, where he was brutally beaten and his girlfriend was threatened with rape. If he only had a gun, right?

He pierces that prophylactic with a monologue detailing just how vigilant one would have to be while at the same time trying to be a careful gun owner. The gun is in a safe, locked or unloaded? Home invaders aren’t going to wait while you unlock and load. How about packing heat at all times? Not exactly conducive to warm family moments. And, really, who does that anyway?

Jefferies notes the overwhelming odds that a gun is going to harm a member of the household, not an invader. He asks why Americans can’t just admit the truth.

“You have guns because you like guns! That’s why you go to gun conventions; that’s why you read gun magazines! … None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door.”

There it is. Point blank. Don’t look away.

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at garyc@spokesman.com or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter @GaryCrooks.

Wordcount: 685
Tags: gun control

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