Hardly a day passes at the Ministry of Propaganda without yet another useful idiot spewing a tirade of fact-free anti-gun bull crap. A reasoned response to Washington's media apparatchik is wanting:
Do guns cause crime? While the number of firearms in the U.S. has increased, the number of firearm-related homicides has steadily decreased. FBI statistics show that total firearm-attributed homicides are in decline. In fact, homicides committed with a "rifle" are less than those committed with a "blunt object" such as a baseball bat, club, hammer, etc. Shall we restrict or ban Louisville sluggers, Wilson putters and Stanley hammers? Should we demand that baseball players, golfers and carpenters be licensed to use these "assault" weapons? With the exception of Texas, those states having the toughest restrictions on firearms possession -- California, New York (and District of Columbia) -- each have high murder rates by firearms:
Homicide Data for 2011 (Source: FBI)
Illinois ........................ 452 total, 377 by firearms (83 percent) ¼ percent by rifle
District of Columbia ........ 108 total, 77 by firearms (77 percent) 0 percent by rifle
Pennsylvania ................. 636 total, 470 by firearms (74 percent) 2 percent by rifle
Connecticut .................. 128 total, 94 by firearms (73 percent) 1 percent by rifle
Michigan ..................... 613 total, 450 by firearms (73 percent) 6 percent by rifle
California ..................... 1790 total, 1220 by firearms (68 percent) Less than 4 percent by rifle
Massachusetts ............... 183 total, 122 by firearms (67 percent) 0 percent by rifle
Nebraska ..................... 65 total, 42 by firearms (64 percent) 5 percent by rifle
Texas .......................... 1089 total, 699 by firearms (64 percent) 5 percent by rifle
New York .................... 774 total, 445 by firearms (57 percent) 1 percent by rifle
Alaska ........................ 29 total, 16 by firearms (55 percent) 0 percent by rifle
Vermont ...................... 8 total, 4 by firearms (50 percent) 0 percent by rifle
New Hampshire ............. 16 total, 6 by firearms (38 percent) 33 percent by rifle
The weapon anti-gun zealots most want to ban is the rifle; but, if we consider their contribution as a percentage of homicides committed using firearms, then rifles play no major role. The issue is not whether possession of "assault" weapons causes higher crime rates -- a bogus description and a false claim; but rather the issue is the government's motive to deprive Americans of their most effective tool against tyranny.
Wherever citizens are deprived of their right to keep and bear arms, crime rates increase. With the exception of the Gabriel Giffords shooting, all mass-shooting incidents since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens were prevented from defending themselves. Connecticut has an "assault weapons" ban, and yet the law did not stop the Newtown shooter. Laws do not stop criminals -- well-armed citizens do.
According to a study conducted by Florida criminalist Gary Kleck, 2.5 million Americans use a firearm for self-defense each year; and 400,000 believe that, if not for the gun they used, they would otherwise be dead. Pro-gun-control law professor and criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, of Northwestern University, examined Kleck's data and methodology. His conclusion: "What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz ... [T]hey have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator ... I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well."
Lawful gun owners prevent crime. Readers are perhaps unaware of the attempted mass-shooting incident inside an Oregon shopping mall, which occurred prior to the shootings in Connecticut. The assailant killed two people. Then, a licensed concealed-carry gun owner, drawing his 0.22 caliber semi-auto pistol, confronted the assailant; however, he did not fire his weapon for fear of hitting innocents standing behind the shooter. The outcome was that the assailant shot himself, rather than continue his plan. Such confrontations happen over 4,000 times per day in the U.S., where citizens use firearms to prevent a crime from starting, or stop one in progress.
Recall the riots in South Central LA. Korean proprietors were un-assailed by the mobs. Shop owners took up their pump shotguns, their bolt-action and semi-auto rifles; and then took positions on their store roofs to protect their property, themselves and their rights. Police were nowhere in sight.
The fact is that the police are not required to defend anybody -- a ruling upheld by U.S. Supreme Court in 2005. The citizen is reasonably expected and morally obligated to: 1) Defend his own life and those of his family; and 2) Where possible, defend the lives of his neighbors. The corporate aspect includes defense of the nation from attack by enemies foreign and domestic -- including unconstitutional aggression prosecuted by government upon its own citizens. This truth is borne out in the philosophical principles the founders of our Republic relied upon for their provision of the Right to keep and bear arms. Moreover, the philosophy they rejected proves the primary purpose for the Right was to provide 'We the People' the final check on government power.
Thomas Jefferson said, "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants." At no time did the Founding Fathers attempt to clarify or restrict the type of firearm people could possess.
We must consider the Second Amendment is the only Right for which the founders thought it wise to spell out "shall not be infringed." Americans do well to reflect on the reason for this phrase, and why the present brood of political servants is frantic to subvert it. History's objective lesson is that when the people are disarmed, government-prosecuted genocide follows. Thus it is better to ban the anti-gun politicians -- not our guns.
For further reading on this subject, I recommend: That Every Man be Armed by Stephen Halbrook, Esq., Ph.D. (The Independent Institute, 1984, 1994, 2000). It is an easily-understood and well-footnoted book that thoroughly explains the philosophy and history of the Right to keep and bear arms.