Monday, September 24, 2007

Responsibility-Not Rhetoric

On September the 8th, a forest fire was started in the Bald Mountains of Oregon by an idiot shooting incendiary rounds into the woods. Many of you have already read the editorial published in the Statesman Journal calling for the out and out ban of .50 BMG ammunition and the rifles that use it. This article was written by Carol McAlice Currie (with a little help from the Violence Policy Center and the ATF).

If you happened to have missed this verbal assault against an inanimate object, click the following link.

Michael Marks, the Federal Affairs Director of the Fifty Caliber Institute has published his response to Mz Currie's diatribe. And an excellent response it is.

...Rhetoric is the refuge of those who have no original thought, Ms. Currie, and if our only hope of saving our forest is by banning everything with which those who are challenged by a lack of common sense among us can make fire, we will have to ban the very sticks in the forest themselves.

The discussion that should be on the minds and lips of every American is not how to bubble-wrap the planet and idiot-proof every possible hazard. It should be instead on resurrecting the ideals of personal responsibility, of educating our citizens as to the impact of their actions. Moreover, it should focus on holding the minority who are challenged, accountable for their insipid deeds. The tools of our potential destruction lay everywhere, it is only by staying the hand that wields one that we can know peace and safety and preserve the environments that we cherish.

It is this aversion to accountability which I find most unfathomable. Can the banners of the world be so lacking in imagination that a knee jerk "ban it" is the best idea they can offer? Drunk drivers kill thousands each year, yet we do not ban alcohol, much less cars. But try to put a drunk away for a sincerely harsh sentence and the same bleeding hearts that will ban things in a second come out to embrace the poor, misunderstood drunk and cry for his next chance to take to the road, beer in hand, and kill again.

If bans worked, then we would have "drug free zone" signs plastered on every city corner. We would have "violence free zone" signs in every home and nary a wife or child would be abused. We would have law and order because each and every citizen, no matter how evil or twisted, would sigh and abandon their malicious ways lest they run afoul of a ban. One needs no well-honed sense of sarcasm to note the fallacy of that supposition, nor will the rose-colored immaturity of someone who thinks that bans achieve anything but the waste of taxpayer money.

You want to help stop fires, Ms. Currie? Petition for a change of law that says that anyone causing a fire will be responsible for full financial restitution of all costs to include firefighting, costs of replanting, and criminal responsibility for every scrap of property and personal injury, with perhaps a "double bonus round" for those whose actions meet the criteria for not acting reasonably in circumstances such as this. (and I would argue this incident qualifies.) Make the cost of causing harm so high that it causes fear, and then stick to your principals. Let society take a stand that says we are sick of this type of irresponsibility; we are tired of negligent fires no matter what was used to cause them.
That was a small part of the rebuttal by Mr. Marks. This reasoning can be used to counter any of the anti's rhetoric involving bans and controls of inanimate objects. Head on over and read the article in it's entirety

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