Nicholas Kristof Essay 2011

Nicholas Kristof Essay 2011-49
In other words, our national effort to reduce gun violence has been an extraordinary success. No serious gun-rights advocate argues that the Second Amendment protects unregulated gun ownership, of course. For example, universal background-check requirements are almost certainly constitutional.There’s work left to be done — just as there is work left to be done on automobile fatalities — but in any other context improvements like this would be cause for celebration. Perhaps because it coincided with a generation-long easing of restrictions on gun ownership. But the argument against these laws isn’t that they’re unconstitutional; it’s that they’re unenforceable and ineffective.

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As the world seeks to solve its most difficult problems, it faces conflicting visions: one where humanity is limited only by its potential, and one where it is limited by what some technocrats think that the potential will be.

Seven billion people have a rendezvous with destiny, and to place a ceiling on what that destiny could be is to fight blindly against a history of staggering human achievement and advancement.

’ Nick Kristof posted a column that purported to tell his largely progressive readership “how to win an argument about guns.” I’m interested to read good arguments from the other side, so I clicked eager to find how Kristof would best an informed gun-rights advocate in debate.

The short answer, it turns out, is that he wouldn’t.

First, Kristof fails to note that we do, in fact, already work to keep guns out of dangerous hands.

We have a background-check system that regulates the vast majority of gun sales and a labyrinth of criminal and civil laws designed to prohibit violent and unstable Americans from ownin guns.Everything from poverty to terrorism is the result of “youth bulges” and “booming populations.” To solve the growing problem of overpopulation, Kristof and his allies argue for “the birth control solution” and ensuring “the protection of reproductive rights.” The United Nations even went so far as to pressure Ireland and nations around the world to legalize abortion as a “human right.” The right to life, it seems, no longer applies when babies threaten the world.When the “solution to many of the global problems that confront us” is to reduce the number of people on the planet, the assumption is that population is the major cause of global problems.An assault-weapons ban, by contrast, is unenforceable, ineffective, and likely unconstitutional.According to the standard, the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms in “common use” for “lawful purposes.” An assault-weapons ban would violate this test (the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America; millions of Americans use it for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting), and it wouldn’t make a meaningful dent in gun crime, suicides, or mass shootings.However, the critical assumption behind their argument—that humanity is the problem—leaves them without the principles with which to defend human life from genocide and murder.When deer are overpopulated, people hunt them, yet Kristof would most likely not endorse hunting people to eliminate what he believes is the cause of so many problems. There is something intrinsically sacred and good about human life that requires humanity to respect it. In India, where 75 percent of the population lives on less than a day, he created an affordable tablet computer to empower the poorest person in the nation.If one accepts the overpopulation argument, however, babies and unborn children are far from the worst threat to the planet.The majority of world population growth comes from the increased life expectancy of the world population, yet population control advocates do not support the end of medical research or medicine.Kristof first purports to answer the “argument” (it would be helpful, by the way, if he included a link to serious people making the arguments he’s purportedly rebutting) that cars are more likely to kill a person than guns, but we don’t try to ban cars.Here’s the core of Kristof’s response: We don’t ban cars, but we do work hard to take a dangerous product and regulate it to limit the damage.


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