why gun control does not work
An appeal to the reason, not to the emotions.
We have touched on this subject before in a few previous essays. (A couple of relevant essays from the summer of 2012 are Self Defense for Women, and Is it wise to surrender your rights in exchange for empty promises of security?)
Consider that Chicago and Washington, D.C. are 2 US cities that have some of the strictest gun control laws in place yet also have some of the highest rates of violent crime (murders, attempted murders, rapes, assaults/beatings) as compared to other American cities.
What can we conclude from this?
There are 2 sides of the coin here. On one side, we see that restricting, and in fact virtually preventing gun ownership, for many law-abiding citizens does not serve to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals. Just as there is an illegal, so-called “black market” in dangerous drugs (cocaine, heroin, meth-amphetamine, etc.) here in these United States, there is also a large black market in guns. The hardened felon, who has been in and out of the criminal justice system for many years, does not try to procure guns in the legal manner. Background checks and waiting periods prevent this where these strict gun controls are in place. No, he obtains guns in the illegal market for them. Similarly, the very violent narcotics gangs and other organized criminals in our nation’s urban areas get their guns in this illegal black market as well.
On the other side of the coin, we see that law-abiding citizens who are disarmed are more easy prey for violent criminals as they then have no effective means of deterrence or self-defense. This is important to keep in mind. What the mainstream news media rarely covers (and when it does, it usually does so obliquely or anecdotally) is that every day in this country law-abiding citizens use guns to deter or prevent crimes. (The police usually arrive on the scene after the crimes have been committed.) When the homeowner (male or female), who has suffered a violent, attempted home invasion, brings out a gun, and even when necessary fires it, assailant(s) either flee or are rendered incapable of violence as they are wounded or dead. When the woman, who has a conceal and carry permit, takes out her hand gun when a would be assailant is acting in a threatening manner, she prevents herself from becoming a crime statistic ( a rape victim, a robbery victim, and/or a murder victim).
What are we to conclude about those politicians and pressure groups that continue to aggressively push for greater, stricter gun controls that would make more cities and suburbs like Chicago and Washington? They, are in effect, calling for more innocent victims of violent crime, more needless human suffering and more injustice. We will return to them shortly.
One may rightly ask: “But, what about all these mass shooting in these United States? We are experiencing an epidemic of such mass murders at schools, theaters, shopping malls, churches/temples, etc.” Indeed, we are.
I am outraged at these wanton acts of mass murder and do not trivialize them. Yes, we need to put a stop to these killing sprees as much as possible. How best to do that?! For a start, we could take the suggestions others have offered. First, take down these signs that advertise an establishment is a “gun free zone”. (The miserable wretch, who is now hiding behind an insanity legal defense (when opting for such a defense, the burden of proving his insanity ought to be on the defendant, and not on the prosecution) in Aurora, Colorado, purposely chose the one theater in town that practically boasted about its gun free status.) Such signs serve as magnets for these cowardly miscreants with a thirst for spilling blood. Second, place armed guards in the schools (elementary, middle and high schools – colleges are supposed to already have campus police). As we have retired police officers who may be seeking part-time work, and as we have many returning military veterans from George W. Bush’s endless wars in the hellish Middle East that are seeking or will be seeking employment, why not tap this pool of qualified, trained and experienced handlers of firearms to protect our children while they are at school?!
Of course, as we all know current political correctness and liberal bias prevent these common sense steps from being widely implemented.
We see that those who are aggressively promoting and lobbying for stricter gun control regulations and laws are ignoring the fact that such restrictions only serve to make law-abiding citizens more vulnerable and less safe. That is the moral opacity of these people. These folks are at the very least intellectually dishonest. Really, they are very callous to human suffering and injustice.
But, consider, might there be another motive in play here for some of these politicians and pressure groups?
It is terribly disturbing to us what is happening in this country. As our rights and freedoms are being rapidly eroded away by out of control government (at all levels), we see the continued militarization of local police departments with federal dollars. (This was begun shortly after the terrorist attacks of September, 2001, by President Bush, but has been aggressively continued by President Obama’s administration.) This militarization of local law enforcement is far in excess of any legitimate anti-terror capabilities! As well, we hear of more and more cases of police killing those who are not offering any resistance to arrest. This is not always by shooting. There was recent publicity about a case where a non-violent schizophrenic man was effectively beaten to death over a 33 minute time period by a police officer (caught on surveillance camera film) and died of his injuries a few days later in hospital. Chilling, yes. The police departments need to purge their ranks of these murderous thugs in police uniforms! (These will not do so without public/citizen pressure to do so.)
I cannot speak for you, dear readers, but I’ll tell you this: I do not want to live in a society where only the government (with its armed agents), and violent criminals have guns. The government will become even more coercive as it will feel emboldened.
The other motive in play is the lust for greater power and thus greater control over our lives by politicians and the pressure groups that back them, mainly on the Left of the political spectrum. Neither major political party works at limiting government power.
An attorney I know once told me that (paraphrasing his words from memory) “The first amendment allows us to speak out against the government. The second amendment enables us to overthrow the government if necessary.” The last, the ultimate deterrent to the central government becoming despotic, even tyrannical, is an armed citizenry. The founders and framers had real life personal experience with a government that had become despotic and thus they did not want the new government of the former colonies to have a monopoly on the means of force. That is the real reason they put the 2nd amendment into the US Constitution (the de jure governing document of the land).
As Thomas Jefferson said:
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Sadly, many in government today do not share this value of limited government. There was an amusing sound clip from the confirmation hearings of Elena Kagan before the US Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago. A senator asked Ms. Kagan, “Do we have a right to self-defense?” (He may have phrased the question a little differently like “Do we have a right to defend ourselves?”) This completely stumped her. She hemmed and hawed and danced around the question and asked the senator what he meant, etc. She did not know of any court case that had addressed that question. Ms. Kagan now has a lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court and she will be probably still be on the high court long after I am dead. Yet, she is clueless as to where our rights come from. Ms. Kagan, our rights do not come from Supreme Court justices.
Those readers, who self identify as liberals, take note. You are free not to exercise your 2nd amendment rights. You are also free to be willing to surrender your rights to government. But, do not insist nor demand that the rest of us surrender our rights. We are not going to.
Liberals claim to value and promote personal freedom, yet we see that they are actually pushing an agenda that will enable greater government power and control over our lives. It is a zero sum game. When the government becomes more powerful, is at the expense of our rights and freedoms.