We did the dance to perfection after the most recent mass shooting in this country. Shock followed by sadness, then cries to do something about guns, then counter-cries that it’s too soon to talk about doing something about guns, then counter-counter cries that more guns would have prevented it. After that, calls for new or better laws regarding guns, with the inevitable follow-up that laws just don’t work.
As you can plainly see from the rampant anarchy that has prevailed in our country for nearly 240 years. Jails are practically empty since it’s impossible to prosecute people. Police stand around helpless to arrest anyone in the face of impotent statutes. People do whatever the hell they feel like because no working system of repercussions exists. Welcome to Thunderdome!
Of course it’s not like that. We have laws, and for the most part, laws work. The fact that some people break the law isn’t an argument that they don’t work. The fact the most people don’t break the law is an argument that they do. Every time you walk into a store and pay money for merchandise, the law works. Every time you do the speed limit, or pay your taxes, the law works.
You want more proof? Over the last few decades, we’ve enacted laws about speed limits and seat belts and safety standards for automobiles. And accident-related fatalities have gone down. We passed legislation to make cars safer. And it worked.
Yet somehow, the same thing is simply impossible when it comes to guns. No collection of minds anywhere in this country has the brainpower to come up with any kind of solution, so let’s not even try. There’s that American spirit.
The truth of it is, everyone’s a big fan of laws that don’t inconvenience them. Oh, they love laws that make someone else get in line. If you don’t ride a motorcycle, you’re fine with helmet laws. If you’re not gay, ban same-sex marriage all you want! But turn that legislative gaze your way and all of a sudden it’s, “But, but we have too many laws that don’t work already, laws don’t affect lawbreakers, only honest people follow the law anyway!” All because we don’t want someone to make it hard to play with our toys. It’s the equivalent of holding our breath to get our way. And it’s time we grew up.
“Laws don’t work” isn’t a reason. It’s an excuse. And a poor one at that.