I have spent a fair amount of time recently talking to reporters.
“Where do you stand on gun control?” is a variation on a question I get asked a lot.
My answer is usually nuanced, but I often will turn the question around. My counter is: “What problem are we trying to solve?”
I read this article on HuffPo today, and it struck me that this is one of the few times where the “reporter” (or is it an editorial?) actually manages not only to admit that new rules will do little or nothing to prevent the likes of the recent publicity murder in Roanoke, but also comes closest to identifying a problem statement we can discuss:
The vast majority of killings, which usually take place in the home and are twice as likely to be acts of suicide than murder, barely register. Yet it’s on these routine killings, which happen by the dozens every week, that stronger gun legislation is most likely to have an effect.
Ok, let’s talk about that, please. Please! And let’s talk about which new rule is going to address it, and how. Capacity limits? Not going to do much for the suicide rate, only need one bullet… Background checks? Until we have Minority Report pre-crime capability, probably also less useful. Maybe you will catch some who already have been diagnosed, but hardly the majority of them, I would guess (not to mentioned the existing issues with the NICS)? “Assault weapon” bans? Seems the majority of firearm deaths are not committed with long arms, according to the FBI…
Liberals are often a data-driven lot when it comes to many things: marijuana legalization (they seem mostly a peaceful lot, the gateway effect is questionable, and the drug apparently actually has benefits), Muslims in society (they are not defined by their radical outliers, duh), voter fraud (it doesn’t happen with any real regularity, at least not by the “usual suspects”), or any other cause du jour. But we toss all that rational thinking out the window with guns.
Why are people killing themselves? That’s a good problem statement, and a good question to ask and answer.
I have theories. Let’s hear yours. Let’s stop letting politics get in the way of actually saving some lives and start figuring out some real solutions. Please?