Snarky Malarky

Shelly Strauss Rollison seems like a nice lady. Usually, her views on Alternet.org are reasoned and reasonable. But the first sentence of her March 23 blog, "Another Reason for Gun Control," demonstrates Ms. Rollison --like so many Americans--does not have a reasoned and reasonable view on gun owners' rights since she has no clue what the Second Amendment is.

"There's still a lot of debate over what the second amendment (sic) of the US Constitution means with respect to gun ownership," she writes. "I'm of the opinion that the 2nd Amendment (sic) allowed for the formation of armed citizen militias because one of the issues presented in the Declaration of Independence was the billeting of soldiers in the homes of private citizens without their consent. I don't believe that the founding fathers ever intended for citizens to be privately armed (except for perhaps a hunting rifle) and they certainly never foresaw a period of time when guns would shoot bullets at more than 10-20 per sec as some automatic weapons do."

There is no "opinion" here. There is no debate, no discussion, about what the Second Amendment "means with respect to gun ownership." Any confusion regarding that was cleared away by the Supreme Court's Heller decision in 2008.

"I'm a strong advocate of banning handguns because the purpose of a handgun is simply to shoot another human being," Rollison writes, adding that if people weren't allowed to own handguns, there would be no handgun crime.

Obviously, Rollison needs to catch up on her reading--and reality. The fact is, gun violence is highest in places where handgun ownership is banned or tightly restricted. And that is a well-documented, well-publicized fact that even the anti-gun zealots grudgingly acknowledge.

This is not a new revelation: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

Thomas Jefferson wrote that, quoting criminologist Cesare Beccaria, more than 220 years ago.