"Guns don't kill people, people kill people!" This is the oft quoted mantra of the gun lobby, and those who see guns as a good thing to have in society, that allows then to wring their hands in anguish over the deaths by shooting of children in a school, but still advocate that guns are a good thing.
I have spent some time, this week, thinking about this, and my conclusion is that I just can't agree.
To my mind, there is a major difference between killing sombady with a gun and any other method, and that difference is the degree and level of subjectivity in the killing.
Guns allow for a degree of distance between shooter and victim. The shooter only has to point a gun and pull a trigger. There is a degree of seperation between the method and the victim. The death, for the shooter, is less personal, easier and convenient. All that is required is to squeeze a trigger. Other forms of violent death, generally require the killer to get up close and personal with the victim. Requires a certain degree of physical activity, and the ever present danger that the victim could turn the tables on the killer. Stabbing, strangling and beating all provide dangers for the killer which means that the gun makes a much more tempting tool to use.
This is why, I believe, that countries that have strong levels of gun control and have less guns, legitimate or illegitimate, in circulation appear to have less gun crime and death per capita than America.
I am left with the thought that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people and those people are choosing guns because it is easier!"