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Guns-in-Trunks Legistlation

Jerry Askew, SVP Governmental Relations, Tennova Healthcare
"Given the increasing violence against health care workers that we see across the nation, particularly in emergency rooms, I don't think we have any choice but to maintain our position against the introduction of more weapons at our hospitals."

Bill Ozier, Chairman, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(Referencing recent shootings in Colorado, etc.) "I'm not sure having more people armed is the answer to all of that."

As a libertarian the entire debate on whether the Tennessee legislature should or should not "allow" individuals who "lawfully" posses firearms to store their arms in private automobiles whilst on private property doesn't make sense.

To me, the entire premiss of the proposed legislation requires government usurpation upon the rights of sovereign individuals. The Tennessee legislature doesn't have the authority to do this; case closed; nothing further to debate here. However, for the sake of having something to write about, I'll ignore my libertarian objections to "allow" and "lawfully" and discuss the secondary issue, the insane fear of an inanimate object.

I find it interesting how many people in modern-day America hold the belief that firearms posses an innate ability to through some invisible, mystical force compel people towards violent acts. In the quotes above from the Tennessean, Mr. Askew and Mr. Ozier both seem to hold this belief. Mr. Askew appears to think that firearms sitting in parked vehicles at his hospitals will increase violence against his nurses and doctors. Mr. Ozier thinks that an increase in the number of victims carrying a firearm would not be a preventative measure against violent acts as those we've seen in Colorado and Wisconsin.

What would society's reaction be to these two men if, for example, Mr. Ozier and Mr. Askew had provided statements implying that the legislature should require people to keep photos of smiling babies in their vehicles so as to decrease violence at work? I would think both men would be lauded as crazies and asked to resign from their positions of leadership, and rightfully so. Why then, is society's reaction to an equally insane belief so different? What makes the idea of one inanimate object having an effect on violence within a certain radius so different from thinking that another object has the same, but opposite, effect?

Guns, in and of themselves, do not cause violence or influence people towards it. Violent people use guns to commit violent acts just as before the advent of the gun they used clubs, fire, bill hooks, and blades. How do these people become inclined towards violence? Butler Shaffer has a theory I tend to agree with. (Spoiler: it doesn't involve Mr. Smith seeing a gun lying in a car and realizing that Cindy just went too far with her comment about his cat and needs to die.)

My main argument here is for us to stop debating the insane secondary issues and focus on the main issues.

There are no easy answers to acts of mass violence. There will always be disturbed people. Instead of going on a wild goose chase to hunt down and regulate a tool used by these violent people why don't we discuss what we can do as a society to prevent any tool of violence from being used in the first place?

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