We often talk about how the anti-Rights cultists* – and specifically the ones who oppose the Right to Keep and Bear Arms – continually push the idea that banning firearms in a location (parks, schools, libraries, post offices, banks, etc.) will prevent criminals from shooting people in those places. Those of us with a grasp of logic, human behaviour, and science like to call this viewpoint “magical thinking.” It is the irrational idea that passing a law – in other words, putting words on paper – will control the behaviour of those who are already willing to violate other laws against murder, rape, assault, or robbery.
We see a particularly egregious** example of this in this article about the recent murder of a National Park Ranger in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.
The shooting renewed debate about a federal law that made it legal for people to take loaded weapons into Mount Rainier. The 2010 law made possession of firearms in national parks subject to state gun laws.
Bill Wade, the outgoing chair of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, said Congress should be regretting its decision to allow loaded weapons in national parks.
He called Sunday’s fatal shooting a tragedy that could have been prevented. He hopes Congress will reconsider the law that took effect in early 2010, but doubts that will happen in today’s political climate. [emphasis mine – Jake]
He believes (or claims to) that somehow a law against possessing a gun in national parks would have stopped someone on the run from the police after shooting multiple people from bringing his gun into the park, so that it would have been impossible for him to shoot the ranger. And he expects other people to believe this irrational assertion, too.
Shooting people (outside of certain specific circumstances such as self-defense) is illegal. Fleeing from the police is illegal. There is some (currently unconfirmed) speculation that it may have been illegal for him to possess a firearm at all. None of these laws prevented him from doing any of those things, some more than once. How would one more law have stopped him?
Laws prohibiting the possession of guns (or alcohol, or drugs, or anything else) only stop the law abiding. They do nothing to stop those who ignore the law, they only provide a basis for punishment after the fact. A law against carrying guns in national parks would have done nothing to prevent this murder, and anyone who claims otherwise is simply denying reality.
END OF LINE
* Yes, it is a cult.
** Made even more egregious by the timing – just one day after her death, which is in itself an example of the common anti-Rights cultists’ practice of “blood-dancing” – and by the AP’s bias-induced failure to provide an opposing viewpoint.
[Source: AP article on FoxNews.com, retrieved 1/3/12]
(h/t Sean Sorrentino)