The correlation between gun ownership and gun violence in the USA isn’t up for debate. It’s proven. The question is, what to do about it? And the answer, so far, has been absolutely anything but gun reform. Which, clearly, is absurd.
I completely understand that enacting gun reform in this country is never going to be easy. I also assert that it’s necessary. The trivialization of the possibility by articles such as that you linked to on reason.com has no place in a well-reasoned argument. It’s not a genuine enquiry into the possibility of gun reform, but a gross oversimplification that suggest that those calling for reform are actually seeking a gun free America. They’re not the same thing. Australia, for reference, is not gun free — it’s just fucking hard to get your hands on a gun without a license. And good luck getting your hands on an assault rifle without a shit ton of cash.
The second article you link to is a well articulated — and in some circles, well-respected— piece. It’s worthy of investigation, and I’m going to take the time to read it through before responding. I believe in being intellectually rigorous, after all, and while at first blush it looks like frontiersman bullshit that is rooted in an 18th Century reaction to feudal society and deep suspicion of government, I’m going to reserve judgement until I’ve read it and considered what it lays out. I note, however, that the author himself has this to say on Amazon:
Unlike most books on the subject of gun control, this book is not about whether gun control works (i.e., prevents crime and suicide, reduces the severity of injuries from violent assault, and saves more lives). Nor is it about whether the right to keep and bear arms works (i.e., prevents crime, saves more lives, etc.). Instead, the essays in this book examine the ethics of gun control, and what the gun control debate reveals about our character. Along the way it also examines the nature of modern American law and government, civil disobedience and revolution, and the relationship of freedom and responsibility.
Regarding ‘civilised’ nations, this is a new inclusion. I never made any claims as to Australia (or any other nation’s) civility compared to the USA. Australia is, in some regards, patently uncivilized, but we do have far less deaths by firearms than in the USA. If we can’t draw a correlation between that fact and how difficult it is to get your hands on a gun, then there’s something wrong with our critical thinking skills.
I linked to an Australian comedian’s conversation about guns in another response to this post. He makes a pretty compelling case. And the bit that I think is worth calling attention to is that he doesn’t have a problem with responsible gun owners. They’re not the problem. It’s the rest of the nuts you need to be concerned about.
And from where I sit, the belief that the 2nd Amendment is core to the Constitution and not up for debate (it isn’t, that’s why it’s called an amendment) is the sort of irrational and crazy belief that would knock most American gun owners out of contention for a gun license if you ask me.
Because this isn’t the 18th century. Because you have a well regulated militia in the form of the National Guard and because, well, there is no substantive and rational argument for maintaining free access to firearms as a constitutional right that can’t be summed up in the argument Jim Jeffries makes:
Fuck off! I like guns!