Why can’t we just ban guns?
But: Mentally ill and violent people will harm others with whatever they can. If we ban guns why not ban knives?
Well, knives have a regular routine use aside from harming others. We need them to cut our food and for a variety of other routine, mundane, purposes.
But: Guns also have a use aside from shooting human beings. For hunting. Shooting other animals beside humans.
Hunting is a specific, exceptional, non-routine activity. Dynamite also has its uses but would anyone truly argue that we should let people walk around with dynamite strapped to their bodies?
These are different classes of items—those that are used routinely—a bicycle chain for example—that could be used to harm someone—even a belt could be wrapped around someone’s throat to asphyxiate them.
But there are other objects whose use is so destructive that it would be absurd to suggest that we should all just have them in our homes, our cars, our handbags— grenades for example.
Guns belong to a second class of objects—those whose intended, prescribed use is non-routine and destructive.
Yes, a deranged person can hurt others with their bare hands but who would ever make this trade: An insane, violent, person with a semiautomatic weapon in a classroom for an unarmed, insane, violent person in a classroom?
You will also hear that if teachers were armed they could take a shooter out. Really? Think about some of the teachers you have had. Now imagine them with rifles, engaging in a shootout in a kindergarten classroom…