Pat's View: We need better guns
By Patrick Robinson
If you like and use guns you are not going to like this. That’s ok.
You have a right to your beliefs too. Which is sort of the point.
Guns themselves, as proponents always assert are not the problem. They are just objects after all. It’s the way they are used, or misused, that is the problem.
But you have to wonder what if they did not exist?
Let’s do a thought experiment:
What would happen in a place that is wracked by gun violence like Chicago if we could
1. Remove all guns
2. Give everyone a gun
What do you think might happen?
Bear in mind.. I am not suggesting we ban all guns, or confiscate them or anything like that. Nor am I suggesting that we arm everyone. As always it’s about what makes sense. Where is the middle ground?
This is a thought experiment, not a proposal.
What did we do BEFORE we had guns? An article on Brittanica.com explains in brief a bit about the advent of firearms and how they were used. It explains that gunpowder reached Europe shortly before 1300 with firearms being invented about a century later. But they were not efficient tools. In fact crossbows and early guns were used side by side. It was only in the second half of the 15th century that an early gun, the Harqebus which was the first to have a buttstock and trigger was invented. It was inaccurate, and unreliable of course so, soldiers called Pikemen.. carrying a kind of spear called a Pike fought side by side. Hand to hand combat was tried and true.
In his book Guns, Germs and Steel, author Jared Diamond explains how guns enabled imperialism. Permitting one society to dominate and press into submission another. It was the technological advances in weaponry that if you follow this thought to its logical expansion and conclusion, lead to the development of the atomic bomb, the cold war, ICBM’s and now we see on the horizon particle beam weapons, radio frequency weapons, hypersonic missiles, EMP Weapons space based weapons and more.
So back to the thought experiment. By the logic of “remove all guns” the argument goes, angry people or criminals would simply fall back to the next level of weapon, likely knives, or clubs or other things like baseball bats. But it’s very hard to imagine that you’d see many drive by stabbings. Even less likely would be mass casualty stabbings. It could happen of course (in fact it has) but it’s clearly less likely.
By the logic of “Give everyone a gun” armed people are less likely to get shot, because they can shoot back. Yet in places like Chicago, the people getting shot are in fact armed. These are not people trained in how to properly use a deadly weapon. Often the guns are stolen. Mass casualty events are made more likely by having weapons capable of creating them. We’ve created nearly perfect killing machines because that is the direction the technology has driven us.
Right now there are 4.6 million loaded and unlocked guns in American homes today but more alarming are the 2,600 youth suicides that happen via guns annually.Of those suicides 82% obtained the gun from their home.
Which leads us to another logical conclusion. Since we won’t be able to remove guns, why not replace them with something better?
By that I mean we completely maintain the 2nd Amendment but under a government funded effort we replace guns with biometric guns that can only be fired by their owner. It would cut way down on youth suicide, gun theft for use in crime, even murder in some cases.
Biometric guns are typically unlocked with a fingerprint. Biofire, a . 40 caliber gun that reads the shooter's middle print, can open a gun in 0.5 seconds. The argument against biometric guns is that too many things can go wrong.
But let’s look history once more.
Remember the Harqebus?
They managed to improve on that didn’t they?
Remember that time before the harquebus was invented? Recall the common name for it? The Dark Ages? The time of feudalism? Might makes right? Lords and serfs?
Firearms were the great equalizer. They allowed a barely trained merchant to wield the same destructive power as an armored man-at-arms who had been training his entire life. Guns empowered the merchant cities of Amsterdam, Florence, and Venice. Guns enabled the Enlightenment.
Snapping your fingers and “disappearing” guns is a reversion to the Hobbesian society that is “nasty, brutish, and short”.
No thank you.
It’s really sad hunting and fishing has become a rich man’s sport with guns like that working people like me will never be able to afford them or even borrow one never been arrested in my life and I am 56 years old
The second amendment is not a holy relic. It was written at a time when public safety was its goal and guns were single shot and a skilled user could only manage three shots per minute. Perhaps the wording should be revisited?