RSoak wrote:My mother's favorite saying is: The enemy of good is perfect.
This is unfortunately ignored by Americans. The people who govern this nation (and most) are doing one thing constantly - trying to get re-elected. Well, when you run a very prosperous nation, you run out of things to promise. So you make promises of perfection, or at least striving for perfection, which people then come to expect.
This is, of course, ludicrous. You cannot save every life. People will die, and some very tragically. This is life. Trying to legislate perfection is an effort in futility. People will talk endlessly about the attempt that must be made to save every posible life. The problem is, we don't really mean it.
The number of drinking & driving fatalities in the US alone is over 10,000 per year. Ten thousand! Nearly everyone would argue that those are needless deaths. We legislate like crazy and impose tougher laws on this crime. However if we are truly serious about saving every life, why waste time with punishing in the aftermath? I can think of two laws that would cut that number drastically by ending the causes.
The first one is to outlaw alcohol. No drinking means no drinking & driving. The number of alcohol related deaths should be cut by well over 50% at least. At 5,000 lives per year saved how can we not take that step? The problem here is that this was tried somewhat recently and it failed miserably. People still made, obtained and drank alcohol.
So better still is the other half of our problem - driving. If we simply outlawed driving, the number of drinking and driving deaths would approach zero. On top of that would be the other 30,000+ deaths that would be prevented from non-alcohol related accidents. And unlike drinking, it's readily apparent when someone is driving.
As we can see, the problem is really that those aren't needless deaths. Those deaths enable us to have a great amount of freedom. Those deaths provide for the massive pulse that drives a thriving economy and makes the nation prosper. What this demonstrates is that we are willing to tolerate a certain number of innocent human deaths for the comfort and functionality of the nation as a whole. This is a fact.
You have sort of got a point there. It's inevitable that if you let fallible human beings drive motor vehicles, some of them will screw up and kill people in the process. We do make a trade off as a society between these inevitable deaths and the benefits to our society.
But when we look at those fatality figures, we know
that not every single one of them needed to die in order for us to have our thriving economy etc, so governments do their best to ensure that the number of deaths is as low as possible by preventative measures in addition to punishment.
Driving tests, restrictions on young drivers, vehicle roadworthiness inspections, traffic police patrols etc etc.
So when we see a tragedy like this in Newton, I understand the frustration with some insanely stupid mom loading her house with guns in the presence of an unstable young man. I get the desire to lash out at something for the senseless deaths. However I also understand that, as an outsider, the lifespan of that emotion should last no more than a few minutes.
We live in an imperfect world and no silly little thing like humankind is ever going to change that.
Perfection is impossible, right, but that doesn't mean that it isn't possible to reduce the number of people who die. Each life saved is a good thing, and the US has an extremely high firearms death rate in comparison with countries like the UK and Australia. Extremely. More can be done.
Admittedly, America is a special case due to the sheer number of guns already in circulation and the stubbornness many people appear to have about this issue, but I'm sure making it harder to buy a gun legally (and high capacity magazines etc) would have an effect.
Whether it will prove possible politically is another matter, but change seems more likely now than it has in the past.