Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know that a bit over a week ago a lunatic waltzed into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on the crowd that was attending the premiere of the latest Batman movie, killing a dozen and wounding scores more. And as predictably as the sun rising in the east, the lunatic fringe of gun-haters – always circling like buzzards while waiting for bodies to pounce on – immediately exploited the tragedy to try to advance their gun-ban agenda.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg, always the calm voice of reason (that’s sarcasm, in case you missed it), called for cops to walk off the job until “lawmakers get guns off the streets” (Link). Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) also swooped down to dig into some of the carrion (Link). The New York Times, LA Times and Washington Post have been running foaming-at-the-mouth editorials almost daily screaming for more gun control.
But let’s take a look at the reality of the situation. I’m not going to debate the Second Amendment; that ship has sailed. In the Heller and McDonald decisions, the Supreme Court held that the amendment means exactly what it says in its simplest interpretation, and that people have the right to own guns. Period.
First of all, if the mere presence of guns is what causes violent crime, then the streets of Switzerland should be ankle-deep in blood. Private gun ownership there is mandatory. Every citizen of military age is required by law to own – and keep in their homes – military firearms including full-auto submachine guns, along with appropriate ammunition, and to maintain proficiency in their use. Even once they’re past military age, they’re given the option to retain those guns. A similar situation exists in Israel. Yet both nations have very low crime rates in spite of the fact that almost everyone’s armed, Switzerland’s being among the lowest in the world.
Blaming guns for gun violence is like blaming forks for overeating. They’re both simply inanimate objects.
As a matter of fact, peer-reviewed studies have shown that there’s a positive correlation between gun ownership and lower crime rates, most notably those by Professor John Lott and Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. Privately-owned guns are successfully used somewhere between 750,000 – 1.2 million times annually by potential victims to prevent victimization. Since Florida started the parade of states that have loosened restrictions on concealed carry licenses back in 1987, 36 other states have done the same and the experience has been a reduction in the rates of violent crimes in every one of those states. Contrary to the anti-gun-hysterics’ assertions, an armed society is a polite society.
The reality of life is that when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. You are your own “first responder”. There were cops right outside that Aurora theater doing crowd control duties; the Virgina Tech cops waited 45 minutes before going in. If you’re counting on the cops to protect you, you’re probably out of luck.
Nor is that their duty. According to the Supreme Court, they owe no duty to individuals. Their duty is to society as a whole.
If more people were legally able to arm themselves and carry their weapons, there’d be fewer of us taking knives to a gun fight. And as the statistics have shown, more guns equal less crime.
There’s also the reality of the political scene to consider. Gun control has almost always been a huge political loser for its backers. Clinton owes his 1994 loss of congressional majorities at least in part to the “assault weapon” ban passed and enacted earlier that year by the Democrats. Gore and Kerry both credited the gun issue as being a significant factor in their losses. Who can forget the image of Kerry in brand-spanking-new cammies and carrying a borrowed shotgun for a photo op in a futile effort to convince voters he wasn’t anti-gun? Look at the accompanying picture; those cammies aren’t even wrinkled! How did he do that, if he actually hunted in them? Was there a dry cleaner out there in the woods? Pathetic…
I think the majority of Democrats wish the gun issue would just go away, and that they viewed the recent Supreme Court decisions as a blessing that got them off the hook for it. Greeceifornia Senator Dianne Feinstein – the rabid anti-gun attack-dog who said in 1995, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out-right ban, picking up every one of them… ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in,’ I would have done it.” – has backed away from the issue, saying on “Fox News Sunday” that she doesn’t believe the middle of an election year is a good time to renew the issue. “It’s a bad time to embrace a new subject,” she said. Especially in an election year, I’ll bet, and if that “subject” is guns. The ObaMessiah himself wants nothing to do with it, coming out with a mealy-mouthed and tepid endorsement of gun rights in the wake of Aurora.
According to a Reuters article dated 24 July 2012 (Link), “Gallup polls over the past two decades show the percentage of Americans who favor making gun control laws ‘more strict’ fell from 78 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2010.”. Further, “A Reuters-Ipsos poll in April found two of every three respondents had a favorable view of the NRA…”
Anti-gunners can read polls as easily as I can, and I think most Democrats nowadays look at gun control in the same way Superman looks at kryptonite: deadly toxic.
Let’s keep it that way.
© Brian Baker 2012