“The only thing that protects us from a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”
–US National Rifle Association’s (in response to the Newtown shootings)
I have to say this article rang bells like those Christmas Carols STILL stuck in my head. How I love Science Blogs :)
The National Rifle Association’s argument is that if many people are armed with deadly projectile shooting weapons, there would be less violence because the social dynamics of violence would change. In a society of archaic Homo sapiens or Neanderthals, this argument may work very well. The available evidence for modern humans living in Western society, however, is that more guns generally means more injury, not less. What may have been a good argument during the Paleolithic does not seem to apply today. However, even though the NRA’s argument is not valid, the principle underlying it may have been a major force in the transition of Homo sapiens away from a nasty, brutish, and short-lived species to one where death is more a product of disease than damage inflicted by enemies and frenimes, a species more heavily engaged in the food quest (made harder without projectiles) and more often engaged in the more leisurely and artistic pursuits.
The irony is this: The very thing that may have shepherded the human lineage to a state where diplomacy is an option, and even a good option, has seemingly stopped us from moving forward to the next potential state of being. We are on the verge of being a peace-loving species. But we’re stuck. We’re stuck with all these damn guns and this gun loving culture.
–Greg Laden in his blog posting titled, “The Irony of the Projectile”
Bottom line, the use, and the need, for guns (the eye for and eye principle) is an archaic inkling that actually inhibits evolutionary progress. There may have been a time where it was necessary, but that time is long since passed.
Check out the blog posting here: