Posted by: Brad Nixon | January 9, 2011

Fewer Guns for a Civil Society

We can’t make people less stupid or hateful, or instill a sense of civil responsibility into demagogues who incite the ignorant, the fearful and the unbalanced to acts of violence.

We can decide to limit the availability of guns and the ways in which they can be used in a civil society. Yes, we can. And, I would say, we must. Otherwise, we probably don’t qualify as a civilized democracy of citizen-equals.

We have rules for what kinds of vehicles can operate on the street, and who can drive them. If gun owners tell you that their gun has never killed anyone, perhaps it’s because they use it responsibly. Just as we can’t guarantee that everyone will drive carefully, we can’t guarantee that everyone who currently has access to a gun will do so, either. It is reasonable to establish better limits.

The answer is to have fewer guns, especially guns that have no purpose other than wreaking mayhem against humans, and to control who can have them and how and where they can be carried. That won’t eliminate every risk, and it won’t stop every shooting, but it is a start. We owe it to our society to urge this sort of action on our leadership.

We can act. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence represents a useful, practical way to take collective action as concerned and responsible citizens. You may know that James Brady is the former White House press secretary who was critically wounded during an assassination attempt against President Reagan.

I encourage you to visit their Web site, where you can learn about their programs and find ways to join a reasoned, responsible effort against the enabling of senseless violence:

In a democracy, all may speak. In a group in which some carry concealed weapons, there is no true democracy.

Thank you.


  1. WOW. I have always held your position on guns, but I never felt empowered to do something about it. Defeated before I started. But now, thanks to you, I will do my part at Many thanks, Brad, for the kick in the pants.


  2. Our society is possibly unique in the history of the world in having in its original founding instrument (to wit: the U.S. Constitution, Amendment II), an express statement on the right of its citizens to bear arms. Undoubtedly, the Founding Fathers had no idea that their original intent in drafting this instrument to PROTECT our nation’s citizens would be perverted a couple of centuries later into an instrument to kill them.

    I believe it is unlikely in our lifetime that we will be able to overcome the broad sweep of the Second Amendment (and the moneyed interests that use it to their advantage) so as to ban or nearly ban all guns in the U.S. However, the Second Amendment says nothing about AMMUNITION. So fine, buy your guns, boys. But let’s work to BAN THE AMMO!


  3. Well said. I’ve never permitted a gun in the house, or bought toy guns as play things. As the violence continues to increase on T.V. and in movies, and especially in the video games, we will see more violence acted out in homes and in public. In our area we had a 16 yr. old shoot his father in the face and kill his mother because they didn’t want a violent video game in their house. What a waste of human lives.


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