MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

The Fox 5366
Comments: 19
Article views: 634
Latest Badges:

View all The Fox 5366's badges.

Stop changing the goal-posts

24 December 2012, 13:59

If there's one thing which every debate here proves, it is that there is no such thing as a conclusive victory.

You can start out debating the origins of the Universe, but that debate will turn into one on religion, then morals, then politics, then maybe racism, and finally the humour behind the Simpsons. You're just not going to win.

Here's a comment on my recent article proposing a new type of 'smart' gun to reduce gun crimes which just takes the cake: "And thirdly most people are fighting exactly to defend against those legacy weapons being lost. It is one of the alures of the sport of shooting ...... you are not a shooter are you mate ?"

This is perfect, isn't it? You note there is a dire need to control guns, because gun crime is a serious problem and the solution of just taking guns out of private individuals hands is going to leave them vulnerable. Then somebody comes up and says 'Yes, we do want guns after all, but not smart guns. What about the old guns? We like those ones [even though supporting those ones will ultimately contribute to senseless school shootings like those in the US]. Oh, and you wouldn't understand anyway because you're not a shooter ... mate."

This reminds me about the debate about car accidents, the role of excess speed and the possibility of just limiting all cars' top speed. A columnist for a local Johannesburg newspaper recently defended fast cars by saying that "Even though I don't want to drive it over the speed limit, it feels good to know that it can drive fast, and that knowledge alone sets me apart from all the other people driving their tiny breadboxes on wheels."

Well, it's the same sort of thing, isn't it? One of those tangents which ultimately deflects a debate away from its intended purpose, and leaves the core problem apparently unsolveable. That's where you need leadership: somebody with political will and influence to act as the judge, and to make a decision.

While we collectively sit around with our thumbs up our ... you get the picture ... 'stupid' guns are still being mass-manufactured which are being used to murder innocents, and cars with top speeds 'limited' to top speeds of 250km/h are still being sold in countries with national speed limits of 120km/h.

To the defenders of 'legacy' guns purely on the grounds of 'Oh gee they look real nice and there's a real heritage there', if I had to choose between you enjoying your heritage and that kid in the US not stealing his mom's guns to murder 26 innocents,  my choice is easy.

For the people who want fast cars because 'slow cars are boring', I want to ask you whether it was purely a coincidence whether the pedestrian who was run over while returning to pick up a shopping bag she'd dropped happened to be run over by a Mercedes-Benz ... or whether she was statistically more likely to be because cars which can drive faster will be driven faster and result in more accidents?

Between all of your collective enjoyment you get from speed and living dangerously and turning into every corner as if you're a racecar driver, I'd choose that pedestrian's life, thanks.

It is only when we remain focused on the initial problems and their costs that we can make the correct judgement calls without being mired in a sludge of irrelevant defences. Unfortunately, without a judge to appeal to, there's no winning ... there's only the hope of building a critical mass of agreement.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Thandolwethu Mene
South African ICC exit a step in ...

What is the International Criminal Court and what is its purpose? Read more...

0 comments 1206 views
Submitted by
Michael Mondli Hlophe
Defeating Privilege

Many sceptics will probably read the topic and move on to the next without giving the article the time of day. Privilege is however something that needs to be addressed. Read more...

0 comments 1536 views
Submitted by
Mark Nancarrow
Why I love Cambodia’s capital

There are so many reasons to hate Cambodia’s bite sized capital of Phnom Penh. Open sewers, naked children, piles of burning garbage on every street. Its a dirty, smelly, noisy amalgam. But Phnom Penh grows on you and by the time you leave it will occupy a special place in your heart. Read more...

0 comments 334 views
Submitted by
Nkanyiso Land Tumi
Fees must fall movement is unforg...

I am very shocked to see students protesting in the presence of police as if they're criminals. Read more...

0 comments 4566 views
Submitted by
De Wet Ferreira
Put the 'heal' Back into Mental H...

We all know what do when we cut or scratch ourselves, right? Our first response, without even thinking about it, is to go for the medicine cabinet – grabbing the antiseptic ointment and a plaster or two.  Read more...

0 comments 281 views
Submitted by
Colin Harding
Western cape dams are 30% lower t...

Not to understate the seriousness of the drought that South Africa is caught up in, I am a little concerned when local government state one statistic and the DWA have a different statistic. Read more...

0 comments 1130 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2016 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.