On another column, in an article raising the laughable assertion that forms the title of this article, I was accused of "clearly not understanding the argument" when I offered that if these items are, in fact, equivalent, then the proponent of the argument shouldn't mind arming himself with a hammer to face me and my Bushmaster in a duel. And further, I suggested that refusing to do so is a tacit admission that the equivalence is indeed false and thus the argument is baseless.
But, clearly I do understand. The ONLY purpose in trotting out this canard is to establish a misleading hierarchy of the tools of murder, and of course, to use that falsity to support the time-honored gun fetishist's raison d'être: maintaining the status quo.
The real equivalence that is being established here is the intractable nature of humanity's propensity for murder and the object of gun regulation. Of course, the goal of falsely characterizing the debate is to convince the populace that since the human problem is intractable, any regulation on the means humans use to engage in the problematic behavior is pointless. Naturally, this is utter bullshit.
The intended result of binding the ultimately unpredictable and unknowable homicidal tendencies of random humans to the tools with which they engage in homicide is to transfer the presumption and difficulty of addressing the former onto the latter. In other words, since we can't predict which humans will descend into this increasingly popular madness, there's no reason to focus on the weapons they use because those efforts will be equally useless.
One of the ways that we deal with intractable problems in our society is to work around their edges. Imagine if doctors adopted the NRA doctrine.
"You have cancer and we can't guarantee you'll be alive a few years from now. I'm really sorry that you also have acute appendicitis, I know it's terrible and will likely kill you tomorrow, but what can I do? You have cancer!"
The present well-justified thrust toward sensible regulation isn't a case of "liberals" attempting to address the human problem, but rather attempting to minimize its impact by attacking the efficacy of the tools used. There is an obvious reason that spree killers don't use a sack of hammers in their undertakings, and anybody with an ounce of intellectual honesty knows it.
Sure, we have the desire to end all murder, who doesn't? But, until the barrel polishers drop their deliberate and obvious conflation in favor of adopting an honest position and stop trying to derail the discussion of the reasonable regulation of the tools of murder, I see absolutely no reason to engage them in debate. I'd prefer to just push through the legislation and let it be settled in the courts.