Sunday, February 3, 2013

Irony of Ironies in the Gun Control Debate

"American Sniper" author Chris Kyle shot dead in Texas

(STORY: 3 Feb 2013 -- Iraq veteran and ex-US Navy seal Chris Kyle, known as the deadliest sniper in US history, has been shot dead on a Texas shooting range, reports say. His body was found at Rough Creek Lodge range on Saturday with that of another man. Mr. Kyle, 38, wrote the 2012 bestseller "American Sniper," about the psychology of a sniper, in which he said that he had killed more than 250 people.)

I find this story ironic (and apropos) because I'm currently in a fairly intense FB "discussion" on the topic of gun control (not your discussion, Lawrence Ross, another one). My friend's point is--guns, themselves, are not inherently evil (I agree), they have a constructive utility and they shouldn't be demonized as merely tools of destruction (I disagree). One of the ironies of this story is Mr. Kyle, the victim, made a prolific, unashamed living with a gun, justifiably killing people (a LOT of people) in
combat, and while in the act of using his gun, presumably for recreation (on a shooting range), he's murdered by a man using that same recreational "tool."

The opponents of my viewpoint will likely NOW argue that the perpetrator was a criminal--an example that more gun control is superfluous and doesn't prevent any kind of crime...or rage, or suicide, or accidents. Maybe he's right, but I'd give you 10 to 1 odds that before Chris Kyle's killer pulled the trigger and made himself a murderer, he was an otherwise law-abiding, accountable, licensed, and trained gun owner--the model of the kind of responsible owner that we paranoid "gun controlist" shouldn't be concerned about. It's the "other guy"--the criminal, that should worry us.
It's ironic (and perhaps convenient to the "right's" argument) that the people who commit these kinds of gun crimes aren't themselves criminals UNTIL they unlawfully pull the trigger! This guy became the "other guy!"

I was once told that gun control is not about the gun, it's about the "control." (Uh, yeah--isn't that the point?) It's perpetually argued that we (America) need [more] guns to protect us from the kind of people who murdered Mr. Kyle. I find it disconcertingly tragic that Chris, finding himself on a shooting range, presumably armed with his own gun, wasn't able to prove that theory right. I wonder if they'll now hire armed guards to guard shooting ranges! How ironic!

I agree with the NRA: Guns don't kill people; people kill people....with guns!