Rob Myers: Erbe off base on gun control


Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.

Bonnie Erbe’s column “Shooting shows need for improved gun control” was full of factual and logical errors, and plenty of straw men to keep them company.

Following the Arizona shooting she claims “It has once again left the world puzzled, looking at us and wondering why our so-called democratic principles do not protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness any better than say, the government of Sudan protects its citizens’ basic rights.” This statement makes 3 assertions which are all preposterous:

1. The world is under the assumption that our Constitution (democratic principles) protects us from crazed individuals hell bent on murder.

2. That our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are to be protected from others to the point where the government may violate our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in order to insure others don’t violate them

3. That the Sudan does a better job (or at least an equal one) of securing its citizens’ basic rights.

These are all laughable with the exception of the 3rd where In fact, the Sudan doesn’t even recognize many of the basic rights (ethnic cleansing, slavery, child soldiers) of its citizenry.

Erbe goes on to list massacres that occurred over the last 11 years and later states that no one was ever able to act quickly enough to prevent these attacks. Of course not! If they’d been avoided they wouldn’t have made the list of massacres in the first place. She easily could have cited numerous instances where a private citizen stopped a slaughter before it could begin (Colorado church in 2007 for one) though this runs counter to her argument which is…. Actually, what is her argument?

More than halfway through the column we get this: “If any good comes of the Tucson incident, it may be that Congress will pass some gun control laws, as feckless as they may be.” How does this line up with the rest of her points?

Erbe states that it could take centuries for officials to seize every gun in the U.S. and that there are plenty of gun laws on the books already, the police just need to enforce them. She also concurs correctly that Rep King’s proposed legislation banning guns from being within 1,000 feet of Federal officials wouldn’t protect provide a “shield” at all. She seems to realize the sad fact that no government, organization, or populace can keep highly motivated, deranged and murderous individual from attacking innocent people, no matter the law. After all, these events all share one common theme (murder) and I’m confident murder has been illegal everywhere in the U.S. for quite some time.

And she wonders why polling shows support for gun control on the decline – she’s making the case against it the whole time.

Rob Myers,

Gainesville

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