For someone who derides dilettantes and frequently dismisses their opinions, it is hard to understand why Jim West so frequently makes use of them when it comes to his pet political issues. Jim posts on gun control (yet again) and quotes some idiotic pundit who argues that the Fort Hood massacre is a result of lax gun control laws. Setting aside how offensive it is that some blowhard is attempting to appropriate an act of domestic terror to further his liberal political agenda contra-Constitution, he doesn’t even make sense. First of all, he describes the weapon used as a “cop killer gun” which is just absolutely stupid. Are there armor piercing rounds for this gun? Yes. Can civilians buy them? No. Did Hasan use them? No. There is nothing about the pistol that makes it any more likely to be the end of a cop than any other handgun. In fact the gun used, an FN pistol chambered in 5.7mmx28mm, is remarkable only in that the cartridge it fires essentially mimics rifle ballistics instead of typical pistol ballistics. This sounds scary on the surface, but in order to achieve this the bullet actually has to be quite small. This means that the 5.7×28 cartridge basically uses a bullet that is slightly larger than the tried and true .22LR that is popular with children. There is nothing spectacular about this handgun, but because Jim and the people he quotes do not understand firearms they propagate ridiculous myths.
Lets turn now to the idea that gun control is the reason for this shooting. That would basically mean that someone might properly be in the armed forces, but could not be trusted to own a weapon at home. This is just moronic. The real failure here was with the military screening process not with gun control. It is ridiculous to think that the military could clear a person to enter a theater of war, but some domestic law should deny them the right to own a gun. The truth is no amount of screening or gun laws can contain the depravity that resides in the hearts of humans. Laws simply are not effective at stopping gun violence. The UK which has some of the strictest anti-gun laws there are is forced to have police patrol the streets with submachine guns just to contain the gun violence.
The last thing I would like to address is the authors claims that handguns “can be bought as easily as cigarettes.” This tells me an important thing about this writer: He has never attempted to purchase a handgun, nor is he intimately familiar with the process. Laws concerning handguns and rifles are quite different. Even at gun shows background checks are often required! (I’ve personally experienced this!) The truth may be that handguns can in fact be bought as easily as cigarettes by circumventing the laws, and this is exactly the whole problem with gun control. It simply doesn’t work. In the case of Hasan, there would be no reason to screen him from owning a gun if the military okayed, but even if this wasn’t the case there is no reason to believe someone who would kill or wounds dozens of people ( also illegal) would for some reason have qualms about buying a gun off the streets. The gun control we do have is not effective, so why would we think more gun control would help.
I very much understand the appeal of pacifism, and I do respect those Christians who view it as a theological necessity. So please, Jim, make those theological arguments and don’t rely on silly dilettantes to further your views.
*edit* Thanks to Jim for his excellent editing skills. I am just thankful to have given Joel a break from Jim’s red pen.