Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
…has to be the one of the most lampooned slogans ever, coming just behind Chairman Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ (which killed a mere twenty million people and was one of the few periods when China failed to achieve economic growth) and only slightly ahead of when Colin Powell went to the UN, explaining how Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that…
…every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.
If gun lovers feel that guns do not influence the individual’s capacity to wield deadly force, surely it follows that the second amendment of the US constitution is irrelevant (people could overthrow a tyrannical government by, for example, throwing stale breadsticks at them) and guns are unnecessary for defending the home (just decide to kill your assailant using an alternative mechanism, such as playing recordings of Rush Limbaugh until the assailant’s brain implodes). Using tools is what sets human beings apart from animals, so anyone thinking the tool is irrelevant to the end result might want to contemplate the benefits of giving flamethrowing technology to an arsonist, or WMD technology to Saddam Hussein.
Nevertheless, no matter how much you make fun of people, some people deserve very much more. So here is my top ten list of slogans the gun lobby somehow never uses.
- Video games and violent films don’t kill people… oh wait, video games and violent films DO kill people!
- The internet doesn’t kill people… except when it’s used to watch films or play games.
- Nuclear weapons don’t kill people… Iranians do, if we let them have the chance.
- Assault rifles don’t kill people… because there’s no such thing as ‘assault rifles’. The phrase was invented by lying politicians, just to give them something new to ban.
- The American Civil War didn’t kill people… it was the tyranny of Abraham Lincoln that killed all those innocent slaveowners who were just exercising their constitutional right to escape federal government overreach.
- Nothing I like kills people… people only get killed by things I don’t like… such as gangsters and the mentally ill.
- Jumping out of a plane without a parachute doesn’t kill people… it’s the ground that kills people.
- Terrorism doesn’t kill people… terrorists kill people. Sloppy language doesn’t kill people either, but that’s no excuse.
- Rational and civilized public debate that draws upon objective empirical data and which intends to identify the causes for the high number of gun murders that occur in the USA doesn’t kill people… so maybe we should give it a try?
- The gun lobby doesn’t kill people… it just makes you sick and depressed.