How Is it Possible That Seat Belt Laws Make More Sense Than Gun Control
To the Editor:
One of my students [at the Hun School] participated in a debate last week in which she argued in favor of gun control. Although she had the stronger argument, she lost to a more experienced debater. In the wake of the events at Newtown I sent her the following message: “Given what happened at Newtown yesterday, I think your debate should be revisited. All you need to say is ‘Twenty babies in Newtown.’”
How terribly sad: how utterly unnecessary. I can’t even imagine.
There comes a time when an argument against rational good sense must run into a wall of public indignation. Vietnam was one such case: this is another. By allowing themselves to be held captive by a minority, our elected officials are working at cross-purposes with the public good. There is a difference between firearms for sport and machines developed for no better purpose than to kill human beings. There is a reason for background checks and extended waiting periods. That is, firearms kill 10,000 Americans every year.
It is estimated that in any given year, seat belt laws save the same number of lives that firearms take. The states and federal government justify curbing our personal right to be stupid because doing so benefits the greater public. How can the same people who pass seat belt laws continue to ignore the systemic violence, which they effectively endorse by not passing laws: laws, which restrict gun ownership as well as the kinds of guns available to the public? By continuing to elect these people, we are no less guilty.
Look into the eyes of the mothers who lost their children yesterday and explain to them how seat belt laws make more sense than gun control.
The time for debate is over.