In the recent debate over gun control in the US I have heard “How Dare They” a lot.
How dare they attack our constitution?
How dare they attack our freedoms?
How dare they use victims (School Victims and Gabrielle Giffords etc…) To gain sympathy?
How dare they punish innocent gun owners?
How dare foreigners tell us we shouldn’t have our guns?
Each one of those “How Dare Theys” are ones I have actually heard used in the media or from American friends.
I am going to explain how dare they for each of them.
1. How dare they attack our constitution?
All constitutions, whether they be American, Canadian or North Korean (just adding a bad one for reference) are documents that define the current constitution of the state they represent. The Constitution of the United states of America for example should represent today not September 17, 1787. It has been and will continue to be amended to meet the current reality. There is a process for this. The problem is those that say “How Dare They” seem to think that the constitution is as in viable and infallible as the Bible . In Government we often talk about our working documents as living documents and that is the case with the constitution. It is concrete in application until such time as it is amended that is what makes it alive. To propose that the right to bear arms have limitations is justifiable. In 1787 there were no weapons that could fire hundreds of rounds a minute there were no weapons that could fire for over 10 minutes without reloading let alone an hour or more. You could not carry a weapon that could take out a city block. Today you can, so the constitution needs to be amended to state that while you have the right to bear arms there are some logical limits.
2. How Dare you attack our Freedoms
Simply put should we be free to endanger others? If you are free to endanger others they are free to endanger you and thus we have a working stalemate like the cold war and most intelligent people will admit that the years of fiscal waste on the cold war inevitably held back progress.
Some times Freedom needs to be reigned in for the greater good, whether it be for the protection of each other or to allows society to progress.
3. How dare they use victims (School Victims and Gabrielle Giffords etc…) To gain sympathy.
This one is simple and needs little defense. If a person is a victim of a flawed policy then they are just the persons that need to be present to show others that things need to change. Sorry NRA if you don’t like it help improve the safety of gun ownership, and sorry telling people how to use them does not count because for each that gets the responsibility message two learn how to kill more effectively whether they do or not is up to their conscience and the NRA can’t fix that.
4. How dare they punish innocent gun owners.
Firstly controlling how you may own a weapon or how you may use it is not a punishment it is a way to protect society. You tell your children that they can only play with one toy at a time, Why? Not because you are punishing them but because you don’t want to trip over the hundreds of toys they leave out every day.
Secondly about 58% of gun owners feel this to be a punishment and only 22% of Americans own guns which means that about 12% of Americans feel that they are being punished. Of that 12% I would hazard a guess that less than half will have weapons that will be impacted by gun control (%6) and almost none will have all their weapons confiscated.
So who is being punished?
5. How dare foreigners tell us we shouldn’t have our guns
According to a recent survey the United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world. And if Only 22% of the population owns guns then there are some seriously over armed and potentially dangerous citizens in that country.
The same study http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/08/28/us-world-firearms-idUSL2834893820070828 notes that “”There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people.” Logically people with guns are a risk (the amount is debatable but they are always some percentage of a risk) and if that 3 extra guns per person in the world was to be reduced to 2 or 1 the world would be a safer place. Thus I think we have the right to complain about the insanity of gun ownership south of our border.