Last week, in my effort to discuss “truth,” people’s attention was diverted to the question of the moment, which had to do with increasing taxes on the rich to avoid the fiscal cliff. Our country still teeters on that cliff, and it appears that our brave politicians decided not to decide; thereby leaving the growing multi-trillion dollar debt to our descendants.
This week: The #1 news item is the tragic, tragic story of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Instead of honestly addressing why some young men choose to make a name for themselves by killing others, most political and media talk is directed toward a quick fix. The discussion is largely driven by emotion, which is understandable, considering that twenty young lives were snuffed out.
But there is another emotion. Not compassion or grief but the emotion of excitement—excitement at the opportunity to advance whatever political agenda fits. That explains why the quick fix of the hour is gun control.
An example of the irrationality of the emotion is the Rhode Island college professor who called for “the head of the NRA president on a stick.” When pressed, he backed off, saying the NRA president should be put in prison for life. Compassionate soul, he is.
So, a few thoughts on gun control.
Most of you heard about the Portland Mall shooting last week which took the lives of two innocent people. But given the conditions, did you wonder, as I did, why more people weren’t shot? KGW reported that Nick Meli, a 22-year-old with a conceal carry permit was at Clackamas Town Center that day. He heard the commotion and positioned himself behind a structural column. During brief seconds when the shooter was working with his weapon, Meli drew his Glock 22 and had the gunman in his sights. Because of a bystander nearby, Meli didn’t shoot. But the shooter saw Meli with a firearm, and right afterward, the killer shot himself. It would appear that the presence of an armed citizen likely saved lives, simply by confronting the coward bent on killing as many unarmed people as he could.
That brings us to the practice of lawful self-defense. In his book, Buy a Gun, Chuck Baldwin reports that “most people are probably not aware of the fact that American citizens use a firearm to defend themselves more than 2.4 million times EVERY YEAR. That is more than 6,500 times EVERY DAY.”
Mass shootings are nowhere near the hysterical level the politicians are saying. The Chicago Tribune reported “…FBI and police data that counted shootings between 1980 and 2010 in which four or more people were killed: The average pace was about 20 mass murders per year, with a death toll of about 100.” Yes, that’s a hundred losses of life, but way out of proportion to the extreme infringement of liberty being tossed around.
Less might be more when it comes to gun regulation, anyway. According to the Washington Times, violent crime peaked 25 years ago when just “a handful of states” had conceal-carry laws. Gun sales have increased over the past four years, and currently 41 states have gun-carrying laws, yet violent crime has decreased according to the FBI in June. According to PJ Media, “States with the highest gun ownership have the lowest firearms homicide rates” and “States with the lowest firearms ownership average the highest firearm and non-firearm homicide rates.”
Gun control hasn’t been the panacea advertised. Since private ownership of guns became unlawful in the UK, gun deaths have gone up 89%. For three decades, Chicago banned all handguns. The crime rate skyrocketed. Murders soared. Desperate city officials considered calling the National Guard to combat out-of-control violence. The Supreme Court struck down Chicago’s individual firearms ownership prohibition in 2010, but the city’s elite rewrote the law and the city still has among the strictest gun control laws in the country. How’s it working out? I’ll tell you this: Last month, Chicago had 38 homicides. I should note one exception, brought to my attention by anti-gun friends: gun deaths have plummeted in Australia following imposition of strict gun control laws in 1996.
Where would you have our lawmakers start? Aren’t there enough gun laws as it is? Why not just enforce the laws we have?