Piers Morgan has become the authentic voice of Europeans on gun control. It’s not that he’s particularly eloquent – he comes off like a haughty English tourist demanding his way to the airport in pidgin French. But he does articulate common liberal concerns on the issue, wrapped up in assumptions that suggest he doesn’t quite get the country that he’s living in. Piers provided a rare moment of insight when he recently admitted that banning assault weapons “will not solve the gun crime problem in America” – and he captured the myopic authoritarianism of his breed perfectly when he immediately added that Americans should do it anyway. Why? Because they can and they must. It’s the right thing to do. Better than that, it’s what the British would do.
The gun control debate is as much about culture as policy. Neither side can adequately understand the other’s worldview and neither side particularly wants to. Both deal in myths and fallacies and, for the record, it's healthy to be sceptical of both. But part of being a visitor to a foreign land is making an effort to comprehend the alien culture that you find yourself in. While it’s understandable that Europeans should regard the horror of Sandy Hook as a case for swift federal action against easy access to weapons, it’s still incumbent upon us to at least try to understand why there might be some resistance to that idea among ordinary Americans.
For the sake of Piers and other European tourists, here’s the conservative take on guns in three simple points:
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