Gun control advocates like to talk about the “costs” of gun policy by citing homicide, suicide, and accidental gun death/injury statistics. Something about the concept of “costs” as it concerns issues like this doesn’t sit right with me. Why do or should we consider these horrible events to be the “costs” of gun policy? Are these horrible events a necessary component of particular gun policy? Could the gun policy not exist without the cost paid by these events? The cost of my groceries are the dollars I paid for them, and without trading those dollars I would not have been allowed to keep the groceries. I’m not sure that “costs” make sense here. In each of these horrible events, there are reasons why they happened, and I don’t believe gun policy had any direct effect on them. Calling these things “costs” of gun policy is like calling children getting hurt by running into a table a “cost” of a policy not to place a government bureaucrat as a chaperone of every child everywhere. Or to call any horrible event a “cost” of policy that allows people to exist. This seems like metaphorical thinking, and poor metaphorical thinking at that. What do you think? And that’s today’s two cents.
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