Thursday, May 6, 2010

Point/Counterpointless--Gun Control

In today's installment of "Point/Counterpointless" we're going to examine the tricky subject of gun control. As you may be aware, Virginia allows anyone to own and carry a firearm so long as they have a heartbeat. The District, on the other hand, only allows you to own a firearm if you keep in locked in a room three floors from where you sleep and it must be kept in a safe guarded by a troll who will make you answer his questions three before he'll give you the key. You also have to have a breathalyzer attachment for it so you can't do neat stuff like get drunk and see if you can still hit your mailbox from your bedroom window.

Point: Gun control is a vital way to stem the flow of weaponry to our streets and into the hands of criminals. Gun violence can be curbed by reducing the number of guns in circulation and ensuring that only responsible, lawful citizens have access to them, and that this access be limited.

Counterpoint: You're forgetting that guns are just plain awesome. Have you ever held one of those things? They're cool looking and can do neat stuff too!

Point: The Second Amendment guarantees the right to own guns, but it contemplates a "well regulated militia"--this is taken to mean a National Guard, and in any event clearly doesn't mean that there can be no regulation of firearms. Gun control is entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.

Counterpoint: Second Amendment? Easy there, nerd alert! Everyone knows that the Second Amendment is really about one thing--how cool it is that we had guns to kill the British with. They still had a "post-revolution" high when they passed the Constitution.

Point: Many European countries that have strict gun control laws have had historically much lower murder rates than we have in the U.S. Clearly, gun control can reduce violence.

Counterpoint: Many European countries suffer from not being as AWESOME as us! Ask yourself this, Poindexter! Could you even imagine a Dutch or French version of Rambo? He'd be too busy swishing Chardonnay to go back to win Vietnam for us.

Point: The slight burden of a five day waiting period and background check is outweighed by the greater good of ensuring that some guns won't get into the wrong hands. Isn't society better served this way?

Counterpoint: All your talk about "society" seems to ignore one major issue. If I have to wait five days for my gun, when what do you propose I use for shooting rats at the town dump during that five day period? Because I'm not going back to the crossbow, I can tell you that.


  1. For me, gun control means proper sight alignment and trigger control.

    I disagree with your 'a "well regulated militia"--this is taken to mean a National Guard' statement. When the Constitution was written a "well-regulated militia" didn't mean the National Guard. It really meant every man and boy (and women who could pass for men) who could pull a trigger. Everyone was responsible for the defense of their and their neighbors' life and liberty. Just as we are today.

  2. I vote that we get rid of guns altogether, we don't need them at all. If people need to settle disputes, we go back to the good, old fashioned drink off. Last man (or woman) standing is the winner. Simple, fun, and vomit doesn't stain as bad as blood does. I'm just saying...

  3. Foggy, you may be confusing my opinions with those of "Point"! And Mark, those deer won't just shoot themselves you know.

    I'm fine with some levels of restriction on gun ownership, but some places are completely ridiculous (e.g., D.C.). The onerous restrictions on (lawful) gun ownership haven't done squat to curb gun violence, and basically mean that you have to count on their "competent" law enforcement system to keep you safe in the District. Which is great if you live in a secure building, but anyone without such luxuries has to protect themselves illegally.

  4. Well, I have no problem with reasonable gun control laws and, barring that, reasonable gun control (my previous definition). As it stands now, we have about 50,000 gun control laws in this country, perhaps political leaders should think about enforcing some of them before crying out for new ones.

  5. Is it wrong that I can hear you saying counterpoint #3 perfectly? Like, the rising intonation on AWESOME and everything?

  6. Hannah, you know my voice all too well...