I’ve confessed at least once how I’m a fan girl of a few people who regularly write comments to articles in the New York Times.
One of my favorites is a guy from Kansas City, MO, named Bruce Rozenblit. Everything he writes makes clear, deep sense. I particularly love his habit of referring to his own individual experiences from which he draws the large picture.
Yesterday, in responding to a column by Gail Collins about guns, he said all that there is to be said about them.
There is no such thing as gun safety legislation because guns can’t be made safe. They are devices that are designed to kill. Appliances like a vacuum cleaner can be made safe with insulation, grounding and overload protection. No matter what you do to it, it won’t kill anyone. Cars have been made much safer with airbags, seatbelts, crush zones, automatic brakes and warning systems. Not so with guns.
Guns are not tools. I have a basement full of tools and I can build many things with them. I can’t build anything with a gun. Guns cannot build nations. They can capture and hold land, but that’s it. Only the rule of law can build a nation. Without that, you get Afghanistan where the the guns are in charge.
There are currently over 400 million guns in circulation. These things essentially don’t ever wear out. I fear it is too late. With the saturation of guns in our society, homicide rates will only go up. The gun escalates any confrontation to a lethal level almost immediately because they deliver lethal force. It has been reported that red rural areas have gun death rates higher than blue states. Local culture is not the solution or the problem. The problem is the presence of the gun.
“I can’t build anything with a gun.”