Fighting Over Guns

'I have come to believe that the debate around gun control brings out pretty much the worst of everyone in this country.

There are of course crazy people on both sides of the argument, though let's face it, people in support of gun rights sure seem to be a lot crazier. The NRA thinks we need more guns in schools, and for some reason, some people have figured out how to make the gun debate a religious issue.

And on the flip side, we liberals who are usually talking about the importance of science and data when it comes to things like climate change, poverty, education and a host of other issues apparently think data suddenly doesn't matter when it comes to the issue of gun control.

No one has said it better than the authors of Freakonomics.

When hazard is high and outrage is low, people under react. And when hazard is low and outrage is high, they overreact.

Every death is sad and tragic, but especially when it's at the hands of a violent criminal and especially when the victims are children.

But the tone regarding the debate about guns in our country has to change on both sides if we're actually going to accomplish anything. If you ask a gun rights person why anyone needs to shoot 50 rounds in a second they scream at you for hating the constitution.  But I've also dared to ask my liberal friends about certain realities about the data of gun violence (like the fact that there are more victims from drunk driving than there are from gun violence yet we have about the same number of cars and guns per capita) and am spoken back to as if I'm a crazy far right winger because maybe I might disagree about one policy.

This is a shame because the data allows us to see that the violence we experience with guns in this country are a symptom of larger issues.

Maybe if we'd take a moment to stop and look at the data, we'd see that we could probably save more lives by legalizing drugs than we could by taking away guns.

In fact, any attempt to have a discussion about gun control in this country without discussing the war on drugs is completely pointless.

Diane Feinstein is set to introduce legislation that will supposedly be a victory for gun control advocates. Oh and also, she says:

We believe we have (perfected it). We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill..

Because we'll all feel safer if a lunatic is only able to choose from 900 weapons?

And so here's really the only thing we know we can count on to come out of the debate over gun control.

First, nothing meaningful will actually happen in Washington. After all, these are the same politicians who can't figure out how to get our basic revenue and expense needs in order.

And second, politicians and pundits on both sides of the debate will eventually forget about the children of Newtown and keep fighting as if they're little children arguing over toys, trying to score their political points.

Except we aren't children fighting over toys.

We're adults fighting over guns.