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think first

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 29745981
United States
12/19/2012 09:27 AM
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think first
Do Something
I can truly understand the cries of those calling for greater gun control after the horrific elementary school shooting last week. Faced with so much pain, there is a natural desire to do something to ensure that such an incident can never happen again.

The impulse is a good one; unfortunately, on a large scale, emotional reactions aren’t well suited to being effective. The clarion call, “Do something” frequently leads to implementation of policies whose consequence are quite different from what was intended. Other times it leads to a vast waste of resources that are now no longer available for other important purposes. (For an example of this phenomenon, see New York Times columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof’s article revealing how some expensive programs meant to help poor children are instead harming them.)

How can we know if politicians who call for more gun control are reacting emotionally or, worse, exploiting a tragedy? How can we know if instead they are acting both wisely and in good conscience? My own litmus test is whether gun control is the sole item on the agenda. If the administration and Congress want to exploit this tragedy, gun control will be the only issue targeted via legislation even if others are addressed with verbal platitudes. Politicians who truly seek to make America safer will need to put aside political considerations and personal proclivities. Clearly, it is too simplistic to believe that if only there was sweeping gun control legislation mass murder in America would end. Is the goal to lessen violence (stopping all violence is impossible and anyone who promises that it is possible is lying) or to get rid of guns? These two goals are not automatically linked. Are we ready to have a mature conversation where all of us admit that the results might not fit our cherished pre-conceived notions?

from Susan Lapin


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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1266452
Canada
12/19/2012 09:48 AM
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Re: think first
ARM EVERY CITIZEN!

...We don't hear about the citizen that stopped the mall shooting, did we?
Why?

...THINK FIRST!

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