Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Folly Of Failed Gun Control Polices

One of the great myths of this world is that gun control laws actually work. Time and time again the uninformed and weak rally against gun ownership as if it is the sin of the world and the lack of gun control has damned us all to hell on Earth. Now after 30 years of studies about the effects of gun control laws, the verdict is finally in. You will not hear about this in the MSM, mainly because they are firmly anti-gun as are most of the left and blatantly ignorant of the benefits of gun ownership. I know that is a pretty broad comment but unfortunately it’s pretty much true.

I am lucky to live in a state that has both an open-carry law and a shall-issue law. A quick definition of both: open-carry means that anyone who means the state’s basic requirements may carry a firearm in the open and clearly visible to all, as long as the gun is not carried in a threatening manner. Shall-issue means that the state will issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who means the state’s requirements rather then “may-issue” which states the permit is only issued upon a determination of need.

The Centers for Disease Control has just released a study in the effectiveness of gun control laws and the data proves that gun control laws do not work to reduce crime as the proponents of such laws claim. The full report is here. The study examined data from various sources over a period from 1976-2002. In fact over the last 10 years firearms deaths in this country have declined according to the study. The reason is not surmised in the report but in my humble opinion, education and proper training of firearms is the biggest reason.

The spectrum of gun laws in this great country of ours runs the gambit of no registration or restrictions to an absolute ban on handgun ownership. I want to focus on the out right ban of handgun ownership and use Chicago and Washington D.C. as examples why that form of gun control will never work. Chicago’s ban on handgun ownership has been in place since 1982 and just last year the city suffered 676 homicides, three-quarters of which were handgun related. (Source 1) The worst part about the Chicago handgun ban is that it has exceptions for the Mayor and City Council members. (Source 2)

Washington D.C. which has had its handgun law since 1976 provides an even starker example of the laws failure; they have had a murder rate of 69.3 per 100,000 as recently as 1998 according to this article and just last year had 248 homicides. When compared to the most dangerous European city, Moscow at 18.1 murders per 100,000, Washington with its snub of 2nd Amendment rights fails completely.

Now we have San Francisco considering not only a ban on handguns but if you already own one, you will have to surrender it if the law passes. One San Franciscan, Declan McCullagh has taken upon himself to educate his fellow citizens as to exactly what the potential law would entail; the information can be found here. The fact is that even if the law is passed in San Francisco, there is no data to support its intent which is to decrease crime. Now the law as I have read it seems to be in violation of every citizens 2nd Amendment right and is sure to be struck down as such. In fact the Department of Justice has recently released an affirmation of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right. You can read about it here and here.

The simple fact is that banning handguns as San Francisco wants to do and as Chicago and Washington D.C. have done only takes guns out of the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens not criminals. Criminals have always found a way to procure handguns. The Department of Justice also has some interesting statistics regarding gun related crime rate. It seems that even with a steady rise in gun ownership and gun production, gun related crimes have fallen across the board for the last ten years (1993-2003). (Source 3) If your curious about the guns laws of your state there are many good resources available, such as here and here. It seems that education and training are finally making an impact on young gun-owners as well. In the period from 1994-1997 among the U.S. population as a whole, 30,708 people died from gunshot wounds, a 22 percent decrease from 1994. (Source 4) Of that number of gunshot wounds resulting in death, only 3.5 percent were attributed to accidents. The NRA gets a bad rap from many organizations in this country but they are on the forefront of responsible gun ownership by providing training and education to the public.

But what about gun control laws in other countries you ask, well let me give you two examples of countries with failed gun laws, Australia and England. In the late 80’s and continuing through the 90’s the various states of Australia passed even increasingly restrictive gun ownership laws. Now without exception, every time a new law was passed, shortly thereafter a horrific crime was committed with a firearm. The local governments mistook the “sudden” rise in gun related deaths as a sign that the laws were not restrictive enough and continued to pass tougher and tougher laws. The fact is that criminals feel emboldened if they know that no one has a gun but them. We can see this in the crime statistics of any U.S. state or country where gun ownership is common place.

England is a prime example of higher crime due to lack of gun ownership. Take a look at these crime rate charts comparing English crime rates to those of the United States. Shocking is it not? Not really when you look at it from a rational point of view without any preconceived notions about gun ownership. Consider this information, according to a recent survey of industrialized nations and their suicide/homicide rates; Israel is the clear winner in the gun control debate due to their greater availability of guns to law-abiding citizens. Consider how Israel does this by reading their “basic” gun laws:

Israeli law requires that a person have a license in order to own any kind of firearm, but the license is readily available to any law-abiding adult who can show he or she has had firearms training. (Israel has universal military training for Jews of both sexes). And if you legally possess a gun, Israel allows--indeed encourages--carrying it. In effect, Israeli law nearly parallels that of Florida, Pennsylvania and 28 other U.S. states where licenses to carry a concealed firearm are available on application and passing a background check. (Vermonters have the right to carry without obtaining a license).”

Now many will say that’s great but it does not really prevent terrorism, maybe but consider this. The Israeli policy of having armed citizens everywhere certainly can not prevent a suicide bomber but in attacks of a more conventional nature where a terrorist attempts to spray an area with fire from an AK-47, the terrorist is almost always killed or disarmed immediately by handgun carrying citizens thus limiting the tragedy. In one such instance, the terrorist survived his wounds and when placed on trial, he complained that an armed populace just wasn’t “fair”. Incidentally, that event I quote from happened within 3 weeks of the McDonalds massacre in San Ysidro, California where 21 unarmed people died before the gunman was subdued. Draw you’re own conclusion from the information.

While the perception of the general public is that Europe is firmly anti-gun, the facts state otherwise. With the exception of England most of the Western European countries do in fact allow hand gun ownership although France, Belgium and Germany have much more restrictive laws then the United States. Switzerland is the one shining example of what a proactive gun ownership policy can accomplish. The Swiss have combined the best of Israel and the U.S. when it comes to guns. Their laws are similar to Israel and the availability of guns is on par with the United States. In fact every military aged male with a clean criminal record is issued a gun and required to keep it in his home in order to satisfy his mandatory militia obligation.

Ponder this, why do you suppose the terrorists have not tried a mass killing with one of their AK-47’s at a crowded public place here in the Unites States? Could it be that they fear an armed populace like they encountered in Israel? Maybe, maybe not, who can say for sure. But I will say this, if you take a second and think like a criminal or a terrorist, where and who would you rather assault or steal from? If I am a terrorist or a criminal, I am headed to the city or state with the most restrictive gun laws in the country. Why would a thief break into a home to steal if he stands a chance of being killed? Nope, he goes down to the non-gun owner’s house to steal from them, why get killed over a television? The terrorist, he’s headed to Chicago, Washington D.C. or even San Francisco to kill lots of people, because he does not have to worry about John Q. Public shooting him and preventing him from causing carnage. Why go to a city like Phoenix or Dallas where not only do you have a large number of gun owners but ones that carry concealed, that’s just suicide.

The fact is that disarming the public through ever increasingly restrictive gun control laws do not serve this country in any manner but to weaken it. Just the mere threat of an armed public serves to decrease crime and prevent certain types of terrorist attacks. As a trained, law abiding gun owner, I have a duty and responsibility to my family, my community, and my country to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights and stand ready to defend our nation if needed. And that my friends and fellow citizens is the true intention of the 2nd Amendment. Have a great day.

The Mad Tech

“Dishing Truth Like It’s Going Out Of Style”

Cross-posted at Wide Awakes


Anonymous said...

I just want to congratulate you for your excellent treatise about guns, I also like the fact that you listed all of your sources, so that I can use these arguments against any anti-gun whackos who come into my midst.

Flu-Bird said...

If all these stupid gun control laws worked as these stupid liberal panty wads have claimed we would have no crime at all but liberal panty wads are too darn stupid because their brains no longer even function anymore