Recently I did that which every cellphone user has feared doing, or has actually done: I submerged my phone in water. Mind you, I didn’t intend to leave it in the pocket of my swim trunks as I took a dip in the lake, and surely there are myriad ways to accidentally dampen one’s cellphone. Luckily the old dry-it-out-in-a-bag-of-rice trick worked, and my phone is now no worse for the wear. But as I contemplated the loss of all my contacts and stored data, I really got to thinking.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the NSA offered a free backup service for everyone’s phone data? It couldn’t be that much more work for them, and I think it would greatly improve customer/citizen relations. Of course, we know from liberalism’s paternalist conceit that big government is there to help us when we need it. Does it not stand to reason that Big Brother, too, is there to lend a hand, rather than to spy? And what could be more American than allowing us to escape the consequences of our own boneheaded actions?
As the snoops are sure to discover this letter in its digitized form, may it be known that I am open to trading this intellectual property for some reasonable subsidy-sharing plan from this new government program. After all, everything that is “free” must first come from Congress.
Creating the market
Gun manufacturers make assault rifles and high-capacity magazine clips because people buy these items. The majority of assault rifles and high-capacity clips end up in the hands of mentally healthy, law-abiding citizens, but not all do. Some end up in the possession of individuals who for a variety of reasons use them to inflict horrific damage on innocent people. The availability of assault rifles and high-capacity clips to such people would be significantly reduced if gun manufacturers were to stop making them. And gun manufacturers will stop making them if there is no demand. This demand comes from the people who buy assault rifles and high-capacity clips for perfectly legitimate purposes.
By creating a market for such items, each person who buys an assault rifle or high-capacity clip must acknowledge that they are contributing in some part to the gun violence in this country. This contribution may be small, but it is not nonexistent. The cessation of buying assault rifles or high-capacity clips will not completely reduce gun violence in the United States, but it will reduce it. And any reduction in gun violence, even the saving of only one life, is a goal everyone should seek.
Robbie H. Scott Jr.
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