I understand your concerns, and they’re pretty similar to the arguments that have been coming from the anti-gun activist crowd. I have, much to the dismay of everyone around me, been obsessed over looking at the facts and as many aspects of the matter as possible. My conclusion, based on all evidence that is available to me, is that none of the controls suggested hitherto will have any positive impact on the murder/violence rate. Not only that, but they may possibly increase the murder/violence rate while at the same time stripping the people of their last line of defense against tyranny (more on that later).
To put things into perspective, guns kill fewer people (both intentionally and accidentally) than bath tubs, alcohol, traffic accidents, prescription drugs, and obesity. I am in no way saying that these gun deaths are okay, I am simply saying that this is not the epidemic that Piers Morgan is trying to fool the left into thinking it is. Of the guns used in homicides, only about 3% involve rifles; the percentage that are “assault rifles” are far, far less.
A major point of confusion for those who’ve never fired a gun is the misuse of terminology by the anti-gun media. For example, the term “semi-automatic” is made out to be some sort of vicious, bloody, modern-day invention. That’s not true; semi-automatics have been around since the 19th century. Most non-shutguns tend to be semi-automatic (lest we forget the Tommy Gun used during alcohol prohibition). The term “assault rifle” is the most confusing; it’s a subjective term, and there is no real definition for it. If one were to use a .22 in an assault, wouldn’t it then be considered an “assault rifle”? What it comes down to for that term is the glorification of guns (more on that later).
What I personally find sickening is how quickly the Obama administration exploited the Newtown incident to push an agenda that he has been loudly hinting at since 2008. Aurora wasn’t gruesome enough at the time, and going into an election, Obama felt it wouldn’t be wise to push the gun issue at the time, knowing that he wouldn’t get re-elected on a platform to ban guns. Oddly, at the same time of both incidents, the United Nations is quietly voting on the Arms Trade Treaty to stop the flow of weapons, such that only “good governments” can exchange weapons with other “good governments” and so that the supply of weapons to the people (not governments) will end. I am in no way suggesting there is some conspiracy here, what I am saying is that the timing of all of this is enough to send up red flags for lawful gun owners.
We are just now approaching 4 weeks from the Newtown massacre, and gun laws are about to be proposed in Congress. Oddly though, Senator Feinstein had most of her bill written a year ago, so in reality, it could have been introduced on 15 December. We’ve yet to see the results of the investigation; we’ve yet to see toxicology reports on Adam Lanza (although his body was quietly given to his father and then buried in a secret location). Technically, based on standards of U.S. Law, we don’t even know if Adam Lanza was the killer (or if he was the only killer). All we know is that he was found dead with guns. If he were still alive, he would be considered the “alleged killer” (like James Holmes) and he would stand trial for the charges; but since he’s dead, we’ll just declare him the only killer, and move on. Right? Convenient. Beyond this, there were so many conflicting news reports about the types of guns that some actually said an assault weapon wasn’t even used (link to video from NBC News), that it was found in the trunk later. We’ve never seen pictures of the guns themselves, just pictures of similar models. My point is this: If we are trying to prevent another Sandy Hook, then wouldn’t it be prudent to have the full details of the investigation so that we are fully informed with the information necessary to make wise policy decisions?
None of the gun control proposals I’ve seen have any historical precedent for effectiveness. Even the previous assault ban was proven ineffective (remember Columbine?). Gun buybacks, for example have never historically worked (it’s normally senior citizens who turn in guns, or the guns are non-functioning anyway, like the used, one-time-use rocket launcher in LA along with a similar one that was for training and non-functional). We can look at the UK’s gun homicide rate as low, yet their violent crime rate is 4x higher than ours. Canada’s violent crime rate is nearly twice as high as ours. After Australia essentially banned most private weapons, their violent crime rate increased. Extensive interviews with prison populations confirm that criminals do all they can to avoid homes where they know the owners are armed (this was from a Harvard study, in case the credentials are necessary for the point). That same study comprehensively looked at numbers internationally and discovered no correlation between gun control and violent crime.
Nothing that has been proposed so far would have stopped Adam Lanza. The only thing that may have reduced the carnage would be if some of the teachers were carrying concealed weapons, but that is not something that is palatable for many people, so it seems to not be an option.
A national gun registry is just ludicrous, and it’s going to backfire on the liberals just like many of the Weimar Republic’s policies backfired on the Jews in Germany. First, a national gun registry will prevent no crime. Lawful gun owners do not commit crimes. I am completely okay with criminal background checks, 100% (along with a free service to private transfers, funded with a small tax on the sale), so long as there are regular reviews of what “criminal” means to ensure that nobody is being discriminated against (frankly, such laws will hurt blacks and hispanics who’ve been unfairly pursued and imprisoned for victimless drug crimes). However, records of the checks themselves should only be kept by the seller, NOT by the ATF/FBI. I say this because it goes back to protection from government tyranny, and it’s an infringement on states’ rights. The government should not have a convenient database of where all the guns are.
The most insane thing I’ve seen so far is the “registered gun owner maps.” Have the anti-gun activists lost their minds on that one? That doesn’t hurt gun owners, it’s quite the opposite! These are landmine maps for criminals, “Don’t go to these houses, because they’ll kill you…go to other houses, because they’re defenseless.” There are some liberals who say, “Well, it’s like knowing where pedophiles are…”, so they’re using it as some sort of way to embarrass these people. What purpose does that serve? Frankly, I think that many people would be surprised to know how many good, sane people own guns. That’s neither here nor there though, when such maps would require registration. In Maryland, for example, registration of most firearms is not required…so such maps would be highly inaccurate. If the liberals are so concerned, why don’t they just take the time to meet their neighbors and build a strong community with them? That would be FAR more effective than anything government will ever achieve…it’s called voluntary cooperation, and it’s the bedrock of Libertarianism. Or, they could just put up a sign in front of their house saying, “Proudly a Gun-Free Home.”
Since I feel that none of these measures work, what do I think would? Major changes to society, government, and our overall health. It’s a complex, long-term solution, but it’s the only one. Our communities grow weaker every year. When we have societal breakdown at the community level, people become more depressed, they become less cooperative with each other, and crime starts to rise. I feel that the problem is related to big government. Furthermore, crime is highest in urban areas, where the War on Drugs is most concentrated. Black males have been disproportionately targeted for drug possession, as exhibited by the incredibly high ratio of black-to-white prisoners (don’t forget the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world…in sheer number and in per-capita). When the father is taken out of the family, it leaves the mother and the children in a position where they require welfare and life becomes difficult. The children often spend too much time on the streets, thus exacerbating the problem because they often turn to crime…it’s a vicious cycle. The War on Drugs is a miserable failure of misguided government, driven by private interests of crony capitalists. It must end. Portugal did it, and their crime rates, STD rates, and even drug use rates went down. Go figure.
With regards to the mental health problem, this area is the only area that can be focused on at the federal level (namely, less federal government). There is a new study that shows drastic correlation between lead (mostly from leaded gasoline) and crime rates around the world (link to one of many articles on it). High levels of lead essentially destroy certain areas of gray matter in the brain, increasing the propensity for crime. It’s a fascinating study, but it’s just one chemical. My belief is that all of these pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs that are plaguing our food supply are also poisoning our brains and throwing our brain chemical balance out of whack. At that point, when we’re depressed and mentally sick, we don’t try to find a solution to the cause, we try to find a cure for the symptom: psychotropic drugs. Every single one of these mass murders involved some form of prescription (i.e. legal) drugs that caused pyschosis. When a drug has the warning, “May cause thoughts of suicide”, shouldn’t we possibly think twice before using it? Isn’t suicide just one step from homicide? What about all of the ritalin that we foist up on our young boys because they’re “hyper”? I’ll say it again, Keegan has all of the signs of ADD…the cause? Milk…the kind approved by the FDA and forced down the throats of students by the USDA. Once we removed milk, Keegan’s ADD went away. A doctor’s answer would have been ritalin. I’ve never taken ritalin or other drugs for the brain, but I did take prednisone once. Being on the prednisone wasn’t so bad, it was when I came off it that things were awful…the withdrawal was a bear, and I was on a low does. A psychiatrist on twitter recently told me that predisone causes psychosis in 3% of patients when they come off of it. So, eliminating farm subsidies and eliminating the FDA/USDA (which are really just corrupt gangs loyal to BigPharma and BigAg) may actually help.
Why aren’t prescription drugs being talked about? Because the government wants its population drugged. Because politicians like the kickbacks from BigPharma. Americans consume 60% of the world’s psychotropic drug supply…where are those statistics in the gun debate? Why don’t liberals care about the mental health of our children? No, I not really implying that, I’m throwing that back at those who attempt to say the same thing against gun owners…which is a sick statement.
Now, regarding the 2nd Amendment. We have a major problem with public school education, which was created by progressivists hell-bent on convincing the people that the Constitution is pointless. Those who complain about those of us who “cling” to the Constitution seem to be quite mad (in the crazy sense). The Constitution is the only thing that gives our government any legitimate power; it is a contract between the PEOPLE (as it clearly states) and the government that it is employing (it’s not the other way around). There were intentional limits to power, and far-reaching protections of rights. The right to bear arms, the words of which are very very clear (I still can’t understand confusion here), was granted to prevent exactly what happens time and again throughout the world. Anyone who believes that “our government wouldn’t do that” is either a fool, or they are in collusion with the government. I work for the government myself, and the people I work with are fantastic; however, there are private, powerful interests who hold great control over our puppet politicians (think Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, etc). It does not take much for them to create “crises” (either through action, or through perception by controlling the mass media) that allow them to take more freedoms from the people. Americans have been relatively “free” from the government for 230+ years, and I guarantee you, without a doubt, it’s because of the 2nd Amendment. The Swiss have been at peace since 1815, yet they are the only other country with a truly armed citizenry; the difference for them though is that they are not war hawks, and they have taken the route of armed neutrality. However, they have one of the lowest crime rates in all of Europe.
I do not think that our government will “do that”..so long as we have the 2nd Amendment. Should those rights be infringed in the way that Senator Feinstein wants, then I personally do see a trend that causes concern for me, because it fits historical patterns and what the President himself has said is his agenda. We like to think of ourselves as “civilized”, as though we’ve somehow finally found the keys for overcoming human nature, that we can create laws which turn us into machines that run like clockwork. Not true; we are fallible. Look back thousands of years, there were civilizations just as “advanced” (governmentally) as ours, and they failed. It’s because humans were not meant to live in societies with disproportionately centralized government. Our government is on the brink of economic collapse and societal collapse; history has shown that the #1 outcome of our current situation is a world war, usually used to A) kill off excess population, B) clear foreign debts, and C) secure additional resources. (we are at this point because of big government, not in spite of it)
Every few years we see incidents were unarmed populations are oppressed by heavily armed dictatorships. Recent history: Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. In all four cases, the people rose up; oddly, in the case of Yemen (arguably the poorest), it was the most “peaceful”. Yemen is 2nd to only the United States in guns-per-capita; their gun ownership kept a balance of power between government and people, thus forcing both sides to agree to a peaceful transition. Were it not for their guns, it could have been very bloody, like it was in Syria and Libya, and like it’s threatening to be again in Egypt. When we look at Libya and Syria, what did/do the people lack? Weapons. So, the international community then arms militant groups, whose loyalties are completely unknown. We can only hope that the groups overthrowing the dictator will be friendly, peaceful regimes…not surprisingly though, that doesn’t appear to be the case in any of those countries (except possibly Yemen). If the people had been armed, their dictators wouldn’t have become dictators. Why don’t the Iranian people rise up? Because Iran ranks 79th in in the rate of private gun ownership. Why didn’t the people of Iraq rise up? Same thing. Yet look what happened when we invaded Iraq: law-abiding citizens were unarmed, and the criminals/terrorists depended on a flow of illicit weapons from governments like Iran.
The founders originally envisioned that we would not have a standing army, that we would be a neutral country with an armed citizenry (i.e. militia). Life would have been much better for the U.S., in my opinion, if it would have remained that way. As for “the military will protect us”: I am confident that should the President go rogue and start clearly violating the Constitution, the armed forces likely would rebel (all Marines, at least, clearly know that their loyalty is to the Constitution, not any one politician). But you need to understand that life service (military, politician, civil servant) eventually leads to a group-think mentality where they begin to distinguish themselves from the people. They are no longer the people, they are the government, and by human nature, they feel compelled to exercise control; even if it’s for “good”, there are always unintended consequences. The government has taken on a life of its own, and those in power want to stay there, which is why vote-buying is so common (term limits, anyone?). Should the military NOT rebel and defend the Constitution, I am even more confident that they wouldn’t stand a chance against the citizenry. The military is roughly 1,000,000 strong. Fighting on foreign battle fields (think “shock and awe”) where they don’t care about killing innocent people, it’s much different in domestic conflict. Here it would turn into guerrilla warfare, and the military would be forced to reduce its use of weapons to rifles and crew-served guns…perhaps some drones and helicopters. Using anything greater than that risks too much damage to their own resources (food, water, land, people). Keeping that in mind, there are roughly 80,000,000 private gun owners in the United States, who are armed with roughly 300,000,000 guns. Nobody knows the real statistics…which is how it should remain. I would say that this make the American “militia” the most well-armed fighting force in all of human history. What liberals may want to consider is this: most of those people are Republicans and Libertarians. I’m not saying that as any sort of threat…I’m merely saying that it’s pretty obvious which side would win.
Most industrialized nations (except US and Switzerland) have been disarmed…if those in power (the billionaires who really control the world) were able to disarm Americans, they’d have a much easier time of controlling things and getting around that pesky, inconvenient Constitution.
Lastly, regarding the “Wild West” mentality: that’s a cultural, societal issue that won’t be solved with gun control. Frankly, the government should always fear the people…that’s the only way to keep them from going too far (they’ve gone far enough as it is). However, guns should not be glorified; they are dangerous, powerful weapons that should be respected and used as a means of last resort. If I were a gun owner, I’d be concerned about safety; the vast majority of lawful gun owners go above and beyond to keep their weapons secure (Lanza had to kill his mom to get hers). Those hypocrites in Hollywood with that “Enough, Demand a Plan” video who make millions off of violent films may play a role…but what happens to Hollywood? The Obama administration gives them a $250+ million tax break…at the same time they produce their anti-gun video. Convenient. (perhaps this will help keep movie stars off of food stamps)
All of that doesn’t matter though: if the anti-gun groups would like to reduce guns or ban them, the legal course of action, as prescribed by the only document giving the government legitimate authority, would be to amend the Constitution. I would not want that personally, but that’s the proper course for such action. Would that amendment pass House/Senate and the several states? No. Our Constitution was constructed to prevent emotion-based decisions of the majority which result in infringement of the rights of the minority. Were such an amendment proposed, it may very well be the catalyst for turning the words of those infamous secession petitions into actions. Again, I am in no way advocating any of that; I am simply saying all of this as an observer, in attempts to answer your questions about the situation. I have wasted far too much of my time researching this to find out the truth, not just what CNN and MSNBC want me to think the truth might be.
I promise you, I wish my eyes weren’t wide open right now, because I’d much rather spend my time focused on “American Idol” and football games like normal people.