So, we have to change the national conversation. A basic reason for the interminable debate over gun violence in America has been the general assumption that there is a right to a gun. However, given the nature and function of rights, is it conceivable that a gun as such, regardless of any consequences, good or bad, of its use, qualifies for that status? That is the question that has been and continues to be unexamined.
As long as it does, the very absurdity of such a notion will continue to offend our common humanity. With each new mass shooting, the shooter often possesses a gun to which, he has an unqualified and inviolable right to have, including the consequences of its use. But if a gun can be used with such devastating consequences, how can its possession qualify for the status of a right? A standard response has been that it is people, not guns, who shoot people. The sophistry here should be obvious.