Bullets Are Tiny and Harmless!

AR-15 roundThis photo showed up in my Facebook news feed. The accompanying caption went like this:

“Ar15 round. This is what Barbara Boxer and all Obama are raising suck a stink over. I hunt with far more powerful rounds, every handgun I own is far more powerful. This just puts some of the argument into perspective.”

Why yes, the round in the photo does seem small … compared to a quarter. It would seem smaller yet sitting on a saucer, downright tiny on a hubcap. Such is the quality of our national dialog on gun control. Right up there with “If humans came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

Rounds exactly like the one in the photo killed 6 adults and 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, just a few months ago. Rounds exactly like it killed 12 and injured 58 at a cineplex in Aurora, Colorado a few months before that.

I too have handguns that are “far more powerful,” but if the Sandy Hook and Aurora shooters had used handguns like mine they almost certainly wouldn’t have been able to kill and injure as many victims as they did. Semi-automatic weapons like the shooter’s Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, a design based on the AR-15, fire as fast as one can pull the trigger, putting out a volume and density of rounds that more than makes up for their relatively small size. Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, is said to have fired 154 rounds in 5 minutes, pumping 3 to 11 bullets into each of the children autopsied by Connecticut’s chief medical examiner.

What was the person who posted that photo and caption really saying? That we should do nothing about gun violence. Every pro-gun post I’ve seen on Facebook comes from the same place: do nothing. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! But that guy in China used a knife! When guns are outlawed only criminals will have guns! “Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss.” Bullets are tiny and harmless!

And yet, should Muslim terrorists once again start attacking people and targets in the USA (as they’re doing in Britain and France), the same people who fetishize the Second Amendment would chuck the rest of the Bill of Rights in a New York minute and start screaming for the mass deportation of Muslim citizens.

Humans are stupid (I make no exception for myself). We ignore evidence that conflicts with our beliefs. We’re ruled by spite, envy, and prejudice. We pervert religion to justify killing, enslaving, and immiserating others. Over the span of recorded history we haven’t changed one bit, and we’re not likely to anytime soon. You may have wondered why I’m not ranting about politics and morality as much as I used to, and this is why.

But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

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