Pick Your Poison

Ever since 9/11 there have been calls from various groups (including the present administration) that some scientific research should not be published as it may find its way into the hands of terrorists who would abuse it. In particular, we are talking about information related to bioterrorism. Scientists of course don't like the idea of censoring their information. Those who speak out agains censorship are called irresponsible and do not fully understand the war on terror. In a letter to the journal Nature today, D. Whitlock rightfully points out that since 2001 only 5 people have been killed through bioterrorism (the short lived anthrax scare). On the other hand, 30,000 people a year are killed by guns in the U.S. (more than the next 10 industrialized countries combind). Yet, whenver gun laws come up there is nothing but shrill protestations from the NRA about obstructing constitutional rights. So, what's worse: bioterrorism or guns? Personally, I'd feel a lot safer it the assault weapons ban were back in place. It's also worth noting that the Senate is considering a bill (which will likely be passed) that would absolve gun manufactures from any wrong doing when their guns and ammunition are used in crimes. The pretense (according to Bill Frist): manufacturers would eventually go out of business. So, is the Second Ammendment more valid than the First? Time will tell.


ac510 said...

i'm sure you have heard the truism "guns don't kill people, people kill people" according to your view, knives and cars should be banned. and car manufacturers should be sued whenever a drunk driver kills someone while driving under the influence. let's put the responsiblity and blame where it belongs --- on people acting irresponsibly!

hamsterfanny said...

Gotta agree on that one: banning guns won't get rid of crime. Someone wishing to commit a crime will just use some other weapon.

Cameron said...

I'm not advocating banning guns entirely. But can you provide a rationale explanation as to why any normal person needs to own an assault weapon? They may need a license, but you don't need training. And you are absolutely right, people do kill people, which is why we need stronger laws. There are a lot of stupid people who own guns. The number of responsible gun owners like Roger are probably outnumbered by the guys who like them because they make a loud "boom" noise. Also, from my limited experience with gun manufacturers, they don't seem to take a lot of responsibility as to where their guns are sold and shipped. How do so many end up illegally on the street? I don't see gun makers doing a lot to change that. As a last note, all of Western Europe and Japan have very tough gun laws and as a result, very few gun deaths between them. Do you think their citizens are suffering because they cannot own 20 guns? How many more school shootings are accidental deaths in the home by kids do we need before we take the issue seriously? By the way, if you haven't seen the documentary Bowling for Columbine yet, you should.