People Kill People

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook, in which 27 people were murdered by Adam Lanza with firearms, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to bring back the federal assault weapons ban. Sixty senators voted against it.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

In 2010, five Supreme Court justices voted to strike down the McCain-Feingold Act, which would have made it more difficult for organizations such as the National Rifle Association to influence elections. Since then, the NRA has spent over $100 million to support anti-gun-control candidates.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Today, politicians will continue to offer thoughts and prayers, but decline to take any earthly action.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Amadou Diallo. Philando Castille. Alton Sterling. Justine Ruszczyk. Allegedly, these people were not killed by guns, but by people. Yet, strangely, we have not held their killers to account, for they were supposedly in uncontrollable and justifiable fear of their lives and were acting only to “defend” themselves.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people (though they can’t be held responsible for doing so).

In the latter part of the 20th century, the United States, through its elected politicians, enacted a series of policies to defund and empty mental hospitals.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Behind each gun is a shooter, who is fully human. Also behind each gun are shareholders, and lobbyists, and politicians. They are, presumably, also human.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Next week, the House of Representatives votes on H.R. 3668 to deregulate gun silencers. Proponents of silencers claim that because guns still create noise when using silencers, there is no difference in the danger posed. One must suppose that such people also drive without headlights even when the sun has gone down, so long as the moon and stars are out.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

As Kentucky governor Matt Bevin said, “you can’t regulate evil.” It might seem very strange that Governor Bevin also supports the efforts of those who consider abortion evil and yet seek to regulate it, but let us judge not, for guns don’t kill people; people kill people.

And surely there are those who prioritize their right to be fearful or their right to profit from such fear over others’ right to live free from being senselessly killed. And in that, isn’t Governor Bevin right? Can such minds possibly be changed?

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

Jim An is the editor-in-chief of The Harvard Law Record and a member of the Harvard Law School Class of 2018.

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