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Reading Into Gun Regulations

Laura Flanders

I'll give the gun-rights supporter on NPR this morning one bit of credit in his comparison of bookstores to gun stores: books can be dangerous.

Books force you to consider different perspectives from your own. They show you worlds you've never been to, create futures that don't exist, stretch and twist and test new ideas and make you consider the fact that you just might be wrong.

Books don't, of course, kill people. I suppose you could try if you dropped enough of them from enough of a height, but they normally don't. Guns are designed for killing. That's the point. And handguns and automatic weapons are designed for killing people. You don't take 'em on a hunt.

So when the Supreme Court upheld the right of individuals to bear arms, first in the Heller decision two years ago and again this week, where the Heller ruling was applied to state gun control laws in McDonald v. Chicago, they upheld an individual's right to own a killing tool.

Should anyone have that right? That's where the law suits probably go next. States and the federal government say no to the very young, or mentally disturbed. We regulate gun sellers. At least, that's currently how it works.

Why, said the source on NPR the day after the decision -- should gun sellers be singled out, when book sellers aren't?

Uh, Courts have taken up the case of books from time to time. How dangerous are parts of Ulysses, or Hustler? But really -- are we really going to argue there's no distinction between a gun and a book. Really? What next? Why guns are safer than swimming pools or gym clubs? The Illinois Rifle Association's already making that argument. Happy summer, everyone.

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The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at and Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on

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