Dogs and Guns

There’s a small village of about 1,000 people on the mountain near where I live.  Lots of people there have dogs—they consider it their right to have a dog.  But many say there’s a dog problem in the village.  Dogs run loose, leaving their droppings everywhere.  Some people feel threatened by them, and rarely one will bite a bicyclist.  The solution to the problem is for dog owners to keep their dogs under control, most say.

What would you think if someone suggested that the solution is for everyone to get a dog?  And not just any dog, but one trained to be an attack dog.  If you go walking or bicycling, you’d have your guard dog with you.  The village could have a law that everyone will have a guard dog.  And if your guard dog when it’s with you attacks someone, that’s OK as long as you feel you were threatened by that person.

Certainly the companies that breed and train attack dogs will be behind this.  They’ll put up lots of money for the proposal, saying it’s a person’s right to have a dog and to be guarded by a dog.  They’ll help form committees throughout the country to promote ownership of attack dogs, through an organization they’ll call the National Rescue Attack Dogs, the NRA-D.  They’ll promote making a law that everyone should be allowed to take their attack dog with them everywhere, into a school, into a bar, into a court.

Of course with time people will see that the attack dogs are dangerous to everyone, that people can’t control them, and sometimes an attack dog will bite or maul a family member.  But, the NRAD says, that’s the price we have to pay to be safe.  We’ll just make a law that people who can’t control a dog can’t have an attack dog, though still anyone can buy an attack dog from a private person.

How is this different from saying that we can solve the gun problem in this country by arming everyone, by having guards at every school, every church, every synagogue, every mosque, every public building?

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Analogy

When my dog has a wound, an open cut, he licks it and it gets better, really fast compared to when I get a bad cut. So if I get a cut, which should I do?

• Let my dog lick my wound.

• Lick the wound myself.

In peace, Arf (aka Richard L. Epstein)

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