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View Diary: We have failed a moral test. History will not judge us kindly. (95 comments)

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  •  every freedom carries a price (0+ / 0-)

    We seem to use cars as a compare/contrast with guns a lot. I will do so here, as it is a useful exercise.

    Cars kill people. Cars will continue to kill people, some of them children. We can (mostly) accept that consequence because we feel that we have "done everything we can"  to minimize the negative consequences of cars in our society. We also recognize the tremendous benefit of cars. After all, ambulances and police save lives with cars. We don't ban cars, or eliminate them, but we do regulate them. At the end of the day, however, we accept that cars will still kill people.

    We don't have the same feeling about guns. We place a different value on the usefulness of guns, with some denying any usefulness at all. We certainly don't have the feeling that "we've done everything we can" to make gun ownership safer. Even though both cars and guns will continue to kill people, we do not have the same feelings and sense of accepting the consequences.

    I personally feel that it is possible to have responsible gun ownership and use, with a decisive majority accepting the consequences to society. I'm not sure what that society will look like, but I feel that we have many changes to make to get there.

    Read. Learn. Think!

    by IndyGlenn on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 02:42:41 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  We constantly work to make cars safer (0+ / 0-)

      No one fights that, other than the obvious suspects that might fight if we try to eliminate cars completely.  Talk is that we'll take cars out of the hands of drivers and again, there is no serious opposition to the concept.

      No one is fighting to make guns safer and if anything, even the slightest attempt to bring some sanity to the Second Amendment is met with such howls that elected officials run the other way.  Or they're voted out of office.  

      Responsible gun ownership isn't even the issue here, and in fact, it's the exact opposite.  And inherently, if someone is incapable of responsible gun ownership, some third party is going to have to enforce the necessary restrictions.  How that will be done and by whom are certainly valid issues, but they're going to have to be addressed.

      •  Responsible citizenship is the issue here (1+ / 0-)
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        If everyone were a competent, responsible community member, we wouldn't need law enforcement. Everyone would take the time to craft a good set of community rules, and then follow them to the best of their understanding. We might need the occasional arbitration for imperfect understanding, but no real enforcement.

        Since the ideal is never reached, we need an enforcement mechanism so that the majority can force compliance to a set of rules. If the rules are reasonable, compassionate, and fair, this works for the community and personal freedom is maximized (for the circumstances).

        The potential for abuse should be obvious. The majority can enforce it's beliefs, right or wrong. The majority can be cruel, capricious, and horribly unfair. So we "set the bar" pretty high when it comes to depriving anyone of their rights in order to conform to the community's "morals".

        This is a fundamental belief and principle of our nation. We are always hesitant and cautious when it comes to restricting freedoms and liberties. As a guiding principle, I feel that this is a very good one.

        Beliefs and principles are not detailed enough to be good rules, however. We have to 'work down' from the principle to a regulation that we can understand and follow. As an example, "Drive Safely" is the principle, and "Speed Limit 35" is the regulation that tells us how to drive safely at the moment.

        We have two principles here that we wish to express through regulations. The first is "we need a safe community", and the second is "we need to preserve individual rights and freedoms". As a community and a nation, we can craft laws and regulations that strike the best balance between community safety through restrictions on gun ownership, and individual rights and freedoms by not unduly restricting gun ownership.

        As always, the three rules of a good law apply:
        1) the law must actually address the issue
        2) the law must address only the issue, with as few unintended consequences as we can achieve
        3) the law must be capable of realistic enforcement

        Sounds like we have work to do.........

        Read. Learn. Think!

        by IndyGlenn on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:28:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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