Ever tried to pry out a nail with a screwdriver or pave a driveway with plastic resin? No? That’s because you’re smart enough to use the right tool for the right job. Which is why the “hammers, knives and baseball bats kill more people than guns, but they’re not regulated” argument used by Second Amendment absolutists is so ridiculously laughable.
On it’s face, the argument seems plausible. Hammers, knives, and baseball bats are, in fact, used more frequently as weapons in assault and homicide cases, and are considered deadly weapons, but only when they are used IMPROPERLY. One could also throw cars and most industrial chemicals into the mix with the aforementioned tools, but they are regulated to some degree, and the rights to use them can be rescinded if a person or business is found to be using them improperly.
Guns are deadly weapons when used PROPERLY. In fact, their primary – some might say only – function is the incapacitation and killing of things.
Try slicing a canteloupe with a shotgun. You’ll wind up with a mess that can only be cleaned up by rags or a vacuum cleaner, which, by the way, could also be used as deadly weapons. The wrong tool for fruit preparation does nothing but create a mess. This has been proven ad nauseum by once popular 80’s stand-up/prop comic Gallagher.
Try hammering a nail with a handgun. Chances are the nail will have to be removed with a crowbar (the right tool). I suppose you could use your teeth (the wrong tool), but your orthodontist may advise against this. You might also have to be driven to the hospital after your ‘handgun as hammer’ experiment. I’d suggest that you use an automobile (the right tool) rather than a hot air balloon (the wrong tool).
Try hitting the game winning base hit for your weekend softball game with a gas-powered carbine rifle. You’ll probably wind up with a dribbler down the third base line that will get you picked off before you make it halfway to first. When you decide that your swing needs some work, I’d suggest a trip to the batting cages (right tool) rather than a trip to the deli (wrong tool).
I am not anti-gun. I think that reasonable, responsible adults should be allowed to own firearms, but reasonable, responsible adults should also support reasonable, responsible gun registration and regulation.
Lost in the disingenous din of debate on gun control is any talk of the responsibility of manufacturers. Reasonable gun control needs to start at the manufacturer level. How’s this for a reasonable gun control law: Firearm retailers may only carry one display/test model of any particular weapon, and if a purchase is made, the gun is only shipped to the dealer when the customer has passed a background check and mental health assessment.
With enough thought and creativity, just about anything can be used as a deadly weapon, but firearms are only useful for one thing: inflicting harm on – or causing the death of – another living thing. Let’s keep this fact in mind when we talk about regulating guns, and stop equating the intended application of firearms with the unintended application of other tools.