pull the gun ploy do so
to avoid facing up to truth
Published in The Orlando
Sentinel, May 19, 1998
Orange County Chairman Linda Chapin, who seems
to think she was elected County Mother, has
finally pulled the gun ploy.
The gun ploy is a tactic politicians who are
not doing the job they were elected to do often
use to distract voters. Chapin's job is being the
top administrator of Orange County government.
Judging from the problems at the jail and from
the results of all the referenda, she's not doing
a good job.
So she comes out with the gun ploy, professing
to be outraged and concerned about the rest of us
allegedly having disinterest in saving children's
lives. And she plays the ploy according to the
First she exaggerates the problem. Accidental
firearm deaths are dead last, even counting
adults, as a cause of accidental deaths in the
United States. The big killers of children are
automobile accidents and, especially in Florida,
drowning. In 1993, of the 90,523 Americans who
died from accidents, 1,521 died in firearms
accidents, and that includes both adults (by far
the majority) and children. By contrast, 3,800
people drowned; 13,000 died in falls; 7,300 died
from poisoning; and 41,000 died in motor-vehicle
Second she trashes the National Rifle
Association, accusing it of not being interested
in keeping guns out of the hands of children and
criminals. That is pure ignorance, at best, or a
big, fat fib, at worst. The National Rifle
Association is the premier teacher of gun safety
and has been teaching gun safety and promoting
stiff penalties for criminal use of firearms
since long before Chapin even was born.
She includes 19-year-olds as ``children'' and
lumps together three separate, unrelated
categories of accidents, homicides and suicides.
She resorts to falsehood to rap the National
Rifle Association and its members, and ends up
advocating mandatory trigger locks.
Now that's a stupid sugges-tion for two
reasons. One, it is unenforceable unless she
plans to declare martial law and conduct a
house-to-house search on a daily basis. Two,
someone stupid or careless enough to leave a
loaded gun within reach of children would be
stupid or careless enough to remove the trigger
lock. You can't solve human problems with laws
regulating inanimate objects.
Finally, by blaming an inanimate object for
the pathological behavior of human beings she
reveals herself as irrational and superstitious.
Yes, Mrs. Chapin, just put on your witch-doctor
suit, shake your rattles and murmur at this
inanimate object, the gun, and suddenly, by
magic, it will give everyone a high intelligence
quotient, high morals, a sense of responsibility
and a healthy mind.
Guns no more cause crimes or suicides than
bricks cause buildings. A constant can never be
the cause of a variable. In America, the
constants are private ownership and ready access
to firearms. The variable is the crime rate.
As a matter of fact, firearms are less
available and less accessible today than they
have been at any other time in American history.
But what liberals are really trying to do with
the gun ploy is avoid facing the truth. The
violent and brutish society they complain about
is precisely the society they created. Everything
liberals wanted they got.
They wanted sexual promiscuity, dope,
disregard for the law, no censorship of
pornography, no laws against sodomy or public
profanity, abortion on demand (the single biggest
killer of children), easy divorces, acceptance of
homosexuality, civilian review boards to
second-guess police, Miranda warnings and public
defenders, a welfare system that paid women to
have illegitimate children and a tax system that
penalized marriage, work, savings and investments
and subsidized non-work and immorality. And they
got every darn bit of it.
It's called reaping what you sow, and it has
nothing to do with firearms.
[Posted 05/18/98 8:05 PM EST]