In the aftermath of the murders in Laguna, the gun-less society folks have started coming out of the woodwork. But honestly, what good will it do?
This morning, a guy named Nandy(?) Pacheco was ranting and raving on radio (hey! awesome alliteration!) about how his group – something called the “Gunless Society” – has been advocating a total gun ban. When he explained a little further, it turned out that it was nothing of the kind. They will still allow private gun ownership, but they won’t allow the issuance of permits to carry or PTCs.
Basically, you need two licences if you have a gun: a licence to possess the firearm, and a permit to carry it around with you. If you don’t have the first one, your possession would be illegal. If you have the first but not the second, your possession would be legal but the gun will have to stay wherever you put it first – such as your home or your office. Having both licences means your possession is legal and you can bring the gun around with you wherever you go.
So, the Gunless Society’s solution will actually still allow you to have guns, only you can’t carry it with you. According to them, that’ll cut down on gun related crimes. And that’s where it gets funny. By definition, a law (or a policy) that prohibits either the private ownership or transportation of weapons will be respected only by people who obey the law anyway. And these are the same people who don’t do things like massacre people or go Columbine on your ass for no reason at all. Criminals – those guys who don’t obey the law – will hardly feel the passage of gun control laws for the simple reason that they don’t bother with niceties like that.
Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
And so, the net effect of the Gunless Society’s proposition – or its eponymous ultimate goal – will be to deprive law-abiding citizens of their guns, while leaving law-breakers armed to the teeth. Seriously, I don’t see how that is going to make life safer for the rest of us when the threat from guns doesn’t come from accidents or such things, but from people who have made the conscious and deliberate decision to point, shoot, and kill. Guns, as they say, don’t kill people. People kill people.
The most commonly repeated argument against the “guns for defense” argument is that it’s pretty pointless when all it takes is one bullet to snuff you out. True enough. But just like seatbelts won’t do a damned thing for you if you drive your car off a cliff but will transform certain fatal crashes into survivable accidents (like if you wrapped your car around a tree or something), having a gun will help ensure your continued survival if you’re lucky enough to survive the initial blow. That is a very important thing.
My heart goes out to those who were killed in that bank robbery; and my heart bleeds for the Balisong and Pili families who were killed in Laguna just last night – but gun control won’t help them out any more than it’ll help us out. I wish people would stop using them as posthumous poster-children for a naive and wistful advocacy like a gunless society. Guns are like the demons in Pandora’s box. Once we’ve learned how to use them and profit by them, we can’t simply wish them away.
I wish I could present a solution – a better alternative to just praying for justice and agitating for gun control – but I’ve got nothing. And even if I had any proposal, I wouldn’t want to go into it just yet. Y’see, right now, I’m dancing too close to the edge of my principles and I might end up endorsing a course of action that I would – under less clouded circumstances – never even consider.