I don't think it's possible to have a rational debate about guns. Yesterday, I watched a video of Soledad O'Brien interviewing John Lott. Lott was calm and collected, as always; O'Brien, who considers herself a journalist, was fanatical. She couldn't grasp the concept that more guns could be the solution to gun violence. To her, guns are animate objects. They get up and harm people at will. What she doesn't understand is that the sheer number of guns in society is irrelevant. If everyone who owned a gun were a responsible person, there would be no calls for "gun control." Unfortunately, we are human beings rather than angels. Some people will abuse guns, just as some people will abuse drugs, automobiles, authority, and power.
What we need is more guns in the hands of responsible, law-abiding people and fewer in the hands of irresponsible people. The knowledge that many law-abiding people have guns in their possession will deter criminals, or at least that subset of criminals who are deterrable. (Not everyone is deterrable; some people will commit crimes no matter what the consequences of doing so.) Had there been an armed police officer, security guard, or civilian in that school in Connecticut, the tragedy might have played out differently, with much less loss of life. I didn't hear O'Brien address this point at all. To her, there is only one solution: get rid of guns. So she vented. She even admitted that talking to Lott made her "angry." She said it was mind-boggling that his "take-away" from the mass murder was that we need more guns in the hands of the law-abiding. To her, the "take-away" is that guns are bad and should be abolished.
This shows her irrationality. She can't even imagine how Lott's solution could work. I see this sort of irrationality and dogmatism all the time among progressives. They are incapable of seeing things from any perspective but their own. When they confront someone who doesn't share their views, they leap to the conclusion that the other person is ignorant (in the sense of lacking knowledge of facts), stupid, superstitious, or evil. This is the totalitarian streak in progressivism. If we conservatives don't stand our ground, we will be overrun by the do-gooders. We must hew closely to the facts; we must make valid arguments; we must dispel confusions; and we must patiently identify the many fallacies that progressives commit. The interview of Lott by O'Brien is a microcosm of society.