The Muslim Gun Paradox

Trump wants to ban Muslims from coming to the USA. Many other Republicans have called for similar shifts, though only applied to refugees. In general, there is a right-wing consensus that Islam is a problem.

Meanwhile, many on the left want more gun control (or gun safety as they are wont to say). The New York Times even came darn close to the watchword of confiscation, saying some guns should be given up by lawful owners as part of a gun control platform.

The right wing says we either need super screening of incoming Muslim refugees, or maybe we should ban them all from coming. The left says we need super screening of gun owners, or maybe we should ban (at least some) gun ownership.

There’s some sort of pattern there. Something about needing to feel safe, being able to trust people. And both sides seem to agree that it’s needed. And yet they’re arguing as though they are living on different planets.

Why shouldn’t the right-wing admit that screening is a tool, whether it’s for immigration or gun ownership? Why shouldn’t the left-wing admit that, for the same reasons that anti-immigration agendas from the right won’t really do much, gun control isn’t a magic bullet?

Thing is, most of the people support a good screening. You don’t want to go to the doctor and she half-asses the prostate check. Get up in there. Make sure it’s nice and smooth. Maybe get a picture taken, for your social feed. You don’t want to go to the mechanic and she doesn’t change the oil filter, making the new oil just get cruddy double-time. And you don’t want people who aren’t thinking straight just going out and getting guns. You don’t want disturbed refugees to come in and spoil things.

It seems sensible to admit the irony. We need to screen, wherever someone comes from, but with greater scrutiny when they come from a warzone populated by people who might be part of a death cult. And certainly, when someone wants to buy a lethal implement, they should be given a good once-over. If someone wants to borrow your car, you tend to want to know who they are and a few more details like if they can drive, have a license, etc.

Thing is, as far as I can tell the Democrats want to screen refugees, and at least some Republicans want to have better background checks for gun sales. The fact that there are loud arguments seem to be the result of a bunch of idiots. So maybe the real screening needs to be in who we choose to listen to in arguments such as these.