Bob Costas has shown once again that the fastest way to fire up conservatives isn’t taxes, healthcare or even gays or abortions. It’s guns. Costas, speaking on NBC after the terrible murder-suicide of Kansas City Cheif Jovan Belcher, quoted from an article advocating for better gun regulation.
Within one hot twitter minute, conservatives fired tweet after tweet back at Costas. A small sampling:
Good point Mr. Nugent. If we didn't have spoons and forks, we would just use chopsticks, knives and our hands to eat! And if we didn't have guns, we would just...um...punch people! Hit them with stuff! Call them nasty names. Yeah. Airtight comparison.
From the more sober mind of Fox News commentator Judge Napolitano, the standard gun advocate line that gun-related tragedies are not related to gun-related policies. The Judge elaborated on Fox Business:
“We all use steak knives to help us enjoy our meals, but they can also be a dangerous weapon. So is the government going to ban them? They’re far more easily attainable than guns.”
Ah, never mind. We're back to the slippery-slope argument. That if you can regulate guns, clearly that's a small step from regulating all pointy objects. Conservatives brought up knives, bow and arrows, and Belcher's hulking body as equally lethal weapons. Lethal sure, but all of those take more physical and will power to actually kill someone. With a gun, you just pull the trigger. And also notice the standard quick leap from "it's too bad Person X was able to get a gun," to "we should ban all guns." That's not what Costas said.
This one is less common than "so now you want to take away all dangerous objects," but another key component of the conservative defense of gun rights: gun ownership is a right, gun use is up to the individual. Right, it's just that certain individuals, are, to put it in callous terms, not responsible with how they use their guns. It's one thing to give people the freedom to make their own mistakes. It's another to allow those mistakes to end other people's lives.