Guns don’t kill Shinzo Abe
People kill Shinzo Abe.
People offer flowers to late former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo on July 11, 2022. Photo by Philip Fong / AFP via Getty Images
Our friends on the left like to remind us that, “When the Founding Fathers talked about the right to bear arms, they meant Brown Bess muskets–not AR-15s.” And speaking as a certified gun nut, they have a point.
We don’t know what the founders thought about high-capacity magazines. Modern rifles can carry up to 100 rounds. Meanwhile, just 450 Americans died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was impossible for the men responsible for the Second Amendment to have imagined the possibility of being able to execute such a large scale killing operation.
But here’s what it means. But, gun control opponents don’t believe that high-capacity magazines can be a blessing for the human race. Our argument is that if guns are made illegal, criminals can have them. The Bad Guys will get these weapons regardless of whether or not we want it. It is not clear whether or not the Good Guys can defend themselves.
Technology advances mean that we need to reconsider the law surrounding this technology.
That’s perfectly fair. What if the laws don’t have enough strength? But what if laws aren’t strong enough to contain new technology’s harmful effects? The so-called assault rifles are just the tip of the iceberg. We also need to consider the home-made firearm.
On the 8th of July, Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan was gunned down at a rally. Tetsuya Yamagami was his assassin. He fits the description of an American mass-shooter. A loner, he comes from troubled families and has no plans for his life. There is one key distinction. American gun owners usually buy their guns at a gun show or from their parents. Handguns in Japan are illegal. Yamagami made his own ..
Handguns made at home are almost impossible to regulate. A few pipes and duct tape were used to build the weapon that killed Mr. Abe. Even in the United States, where factory-made handguns are widely available, gun enthusiasts are using 3D printers to fabricate their own. They love them. This is part of DIY trends like making your own bread or beer.
For those who don’t know, 3D printers are like the Replicators from Star Trek. You can use them to create everything, from prosthetic limbs to pizza. They are used by some companies to make “3D selfies”, which can be personalized figurines that you place on top of your wedding cake. These devices have the potential of improving the quality of life for all men. These people also look like lots of fun.
This leaves governments in real trouble. Are they making 3D printers illegal to stop 3D-printed gun crime? Do they make 3D printers illegal to prevent people from using it and penalize those who do?
There is another option. It could be passed laws that make it illegal to manufacture weapons with 3D printers. However, this is a symbolic gesture. This won’t stop crime, it only allows district attorneys to add additional charges once a serious felony is committed. Yamagami, who was sentenced to life for the first degree murder of Mr. Yamagami, will serve five years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm.
American Law will always choose option 3. We always do. We refuse to stop the advancement of Science on the one hand. Imagine what the future historians will say about us. We don’t believe our fellow citizens will use Science with responsibility. We split the baby. While we make it difficult for law-abiding citizens, we do nothing to stop criminals plying their trade.
As these technologies advance, so do our attempts to regulate them. Our liberal friends say that after every mass shooting they have done something !”– or, even better, “We cannot do nothing.” But what happens if we don’t know how to regulate?
This mood is prevalent in the modern world. It’s characterized by a sense of helplessness that we attempt to alleviate through a lot of wasteful activity.
It all started with the invention of the Atom Bomb. The A-bomb was not wanted by anyone on Earth, except for some Nazi scientists and generals from the USA. It wasn’t built by us. They didn’t have permission to use the site either. For eighty-years, we have carried the guilt of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. During the Cold War, we lived under the shadow of the bomb for eighty years. Today, nuclear holocaust is still a thought that we have when North Korea shakes its saber, or Russia invades one its neighboring countries.
Man invents the bomb. It was still the bomb in the cradle that made the noises.
Or, take a simpler example: Smartphones. According to a recent poll, over half of Americans say they use their smartphone too much. People say, “I hate my stupid phone.” It’s so annoying. It’s essential for my work. My entire life is on my calendar. And I don’t want to lug around a dumbphone and a digital camera and a GPS…”
In 2011, just 35 percent of Americans had smartphones. That number is up to 85 percent today. They have made life virtually impossible in a decade. It was not something that anyone asked for. It was not designed to fix a specific problem. It did not fill a gap in our lives. It did the exact opposite. But we were all forced to own the iPhone as soon as it was released on the marketplace.
We don’t have this technology. We are the technology.
This feeling of helplessness, however, is a lie. It is a kind of comfort blanket. It allows us to outsource our moral choices–usually to the government. If that were possible, it would work for me! Believe me, I’m no libertarian.
The trouble is that it doesn’t work. Our lefty friends have it right. We have to do something–not Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi, or Mitch McConnell, but you and me.
This is because moral outsourcing is part and parcel of the problem. This weakens the resistance. We could easily pass legislation banning Americans owning smartphones tomorrow. But they would just look for something to do. If men like Mr. Yamagami are looking for a better life, there will be a way.
We don’t need better laws. Better men are needed. It is important to choose the right technologies for us. Once we do, it’s crucial to have more control over how we use them.
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It seems so obvious because it is. Yet, we have never heard anyone mention it. Why? It would be a way to dispel our comfortable illusions. This would make us take responsibility for our actions. It will become more difficult to recover strength from this moral weakness if we continue to tolerate it.
” Man is born free,” stated Rousseau. “And everywhere he’s in chains.” But that’s wishful thinking. Man wraps himself in chains, the way a child wraps himself in his special blanket. He feels at ease. He feels a sense of security and unrestricted freedom.
The truth is man can be free no matter what he wants. Nothing will ever be better until we accept this beautiful and terrible reality. There is nothing.