Monday, September 2, 2013

Things People Do

One of the most popular expressions in America these days is, "Guns don't kill people. People do." I hear it so often, it made me think about all of the other things that people do. What follows is my short list.

Knives don't cut steak, people do.

Hammers don't drive in nails, people do.

Ovens don't bake bread, people do.

Scissors don't cut hair, people do.

Baseball bats don't hit homeruns, people do.

Snow shovels don't shovel snow, people do.

Axes and chainsaws don't cut down trees, people do.

Ferraris don't win Grand Prixs, people do.

I could go on and on, but I think I've made my point. We surround ourselves with these tools, that make our lives easier, that facilitate otherwise difficult or tiresome tasks. But if you take away the people, all these useful tools become useless, inanimate objects. I can see the point people are trying so hard to make, that guns all by themselves aren't dangerous - are no more dangerous that a marshmallow.

We don't put guns in the hands of children, intentionally anyway. And we're not supposed to put guns in the hands of mentally ill people, even though we do. Guns aren't the only things people use to kill, but they greatly facilitate killing, as we all know. I would feel menaced if I were confronted by a knife-wielding man, but I would at least think I had a chance to escape if I decided to make a run for it. A gun would make me think twice. 

Guns are not so harmless - nor are all our knifes and scissors and hammers and hatchets - when a chimpanzee gets its hands on them. It would probably take a chimpanzee a few minutes to learn how to pull a trigger. But, in this case, would it be sensible to argue that guns don't kill people, chimpanzees do?

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