Guns Make It Really Easy for People to Kill People

by Mark Wilson

After last week’s shooting in Aurora, Colo., the National Rifle Association has wisely remained mum. Someone must be holding on to Wayne LaPierre’s leash, which is good for the NRA and for everyone else. Speaking out about the necessity of guns after a horrendous, gun-facilitated massacre is not the wisest thing the NRA could have done.

There is truth to the NRA’s bumper sticker slogan that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” but guns make it a whole lot easier for people to kill people. The NRA’s slogan works for nuclear bombs, too: sure, it was people who built and deployed the atomic bomb that killed 70,000 people in a few seconds. But the only way to kill 70,000 in the timespan of a few seconds is with an atomic bomb. How about a new slogan? “Guns don’t kill people, but it sure helps when you want to kill people.”

An AR-15 — the civilian version of the Army’s M-16 — took out 12 people and injured dozens more in a few minutes. Reportedly, it was only because his AR-15 jammed and he had to resort to a handgun that there weren’t more deaths. Certainly even the NRA knows that their slogan is intellectually dishonest: if James Holmes had been armed with a knife, 12 people wouldn’t be dead. At least the NRA has the intelligence to keep its trap shut right now.