by Clark Taylor
The tired refrain from gun advocates that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” pushes the wobbly claim that even without the easy availability of guns people would use other means to destroy life. Alan Gura of the Second Amendment Foundation, for example, writes in a piece for the Baltimore Sun, “The problem is that, regrettably, there are going to be criminals and crazy people ….”
Gura misses the point, and hopes others will as well. For it does not follow that violent-prone individuals like the Aurora, Colo. shooter could have used other means to commit their crimes, we should not bother to seek commonsense regulation of firearms. This is a false choice. Just because something will not perfectly solve a problem does not mean that policy makers should ignore the matter – the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.
In McDonald v. Chicago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a Second Amendment right to bear arms. What the Supreme Court did not hold, however, was that this right was an unqualified one subject to no regulation.
But the National Rifle Association however, continues to fight even existing gun regulations. It seeks to roll back existing background checks. It argues for guns to be sold at gun shows without background checks. (NRA members themselves are in favor of a certain level of regulation, suggesting that the NRA leadership is more extreme than the members they represent.)