On Gun Control

By: American Decency Staff

Back in 2009, Columnist and National Review Online Editor Jonah Goldbergh commented on then Obama administration's now immortalized guiding principle.

"'Rule 1: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,' White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times right after the election. 'They are opportunities to do big things… '

The real scandal is that this administration thinks crises are opportunities for governmental power-grabs…" 

True enough for the administration, but this principle has defined the anti-gun lobby's response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. But no, 'tragedy' is not the right word. Sandy Hook was shockingly heinous – an atrocity, an act of almost unimaginable evil.

It was a crisis of humanity.

And thus it was an event to be exploited for political purpose.

The days immediately following the Sandy Hook shooting saw public figures like Michael Moore, whom no one would accuse of being an objective thinker, calling for greater gun control laws.

Then, a group of A-list celebs released a video on YouTube to "Demand a Plan" for gun control.

Now the most recent champion for the gun control advocates has been CNN's host from the motherland, Piers Morgan. Morgan relies heavily on his British accent and his innate ability to interrupt any guest who won't help him make his point to articulate his dislike for "military-style assault weapons."

Anti-gun legislators have caused an uproar by introducing legislation that would regulate certain semi-automatic weapons and magazines of greater capacity than they deem necessary.

The President's own record on the 2nd Amendment, including expressed support for an assault rifle ban AND a handgun ban sent firearm enthusiasts scurrying to pick up any gun they could get their hand on.

As a budding gun hobbyist, I had my eye on one of those possessed pieces of steel known as AR15s before the panicked gun control conversations started. I then watched virtually every AR and AR part on the market dry up.

One thing is certain. No matter whether new laws controlling the purchase of semi-automatic rifles is ever passed, this panic has led to a much better armed American populace.

In the follow paragraphs, the invaluable Thomas Sowell pulls apart Mr. Morgan's favorite argument for gun control – namely, that there is less gun crime in England due to gun control laws.

"If we are serious about the role of guns and gun control as factors in differing rates of violence between countries, then we need to do what history professor Joyce Lee Malcolm does — examine the history of guns and violence. In England, as she points out, over the centuries 'violent crime continued to decline markedly at the very time that guns were becoming increasingly available.'

England's Bill of Rights in 1688 was quite unambiguous that the right of a private individual to be armed was an individual right, independently of any collective right of militias. Guns were as freely available to Englishmen as to Americans, on into the early 20th century.

Nor was gun control in England a response to any firearms murder crisis. Over a period of three years near the end of the 19th century, 'there were only 59 fatalities from handguns in a population of nearly 30 million people,' according to Professor Malcolm. 'Of these, 19 were accidents, 35 were suicides and only three were homicides — an average of one a year.'

The rise of the interventionist state in early 20th century England included efforts to restrict ownership of guns. After the First World War, gun control laws began restricting the possession of firearms. Then, after the Second World War, these restrictions grew more severe, eventually disarming the civilian population of England — or at least the law-abiding part of it.

It was during this period of severe restrictions on owning firearms that crime rates in general, and the murder rate in particular, began to rise in England. 'As the number of legal firearms have dwindled, the numbers of armed crimes have risen,' Professor Malcolm points out.

In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s, there were more than a hundred times as many. In England, as in the United States, drastic crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens were accompanied by ever greater leniency to criminals. In both countries, this turned out to be a formula for disaster.

While England has not yet reached the American level of murders, it has already surpassed the United States in rates of robbery and burglary. Moreover, in recent years the murder rate in England has been going up under still more severe gun control laws, while the murder rate in the United States has been going down as more and more states have allowed private citizens to carry concealed weapons — and have begun locking up more criminals.

In both countries, facts have no effect whatever on the dogmas of gun control zealots. The fact that most guns used to murder people in England were not legally purchased has no effect on their faith in gun control laws there, any more than faith in such laws here is affected by the fact that the gun used by the recent Beltway snipers was not purchased legally either.

In England as in America, sensational gun crimes have been seized upon and used politically to promote crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing about criminals. American zealots for the Brady bill say nothing about the fact that the man who shot James Brady and tried to assassinate President Reagan has been out walking the streets on furlough."

For Thomas Sowell's three part series which this was pulled from, click here, here, andhere.

But, the next liberal bullet point states, why does anyone need thirty round magazines?

The answer? Math.

The demonized AR15 launches a .223 caliber projectile. For the unitiated, that's closer to the size of a .177 caliber BB than it is to the size of .380 caliber pistol round which is considered by many to be the smallest desirable bullet for self defense. For the really unitiated, that is smaller in diameter than a number 2 pencil.

Of course, a.223 round has much more powder behind it and a higher velocity, than a BB or most pistol rounds, but size does matter in ballistics.

I again rely upon Sowell to make my point:

"Anyone who faces three home invaders, jeopardizing himself or his family, might find 30 bullets barely adequate. After all, not every bullet hits, even at close range, and not every hit incapacitates. You can get killed by a wounded man.

These plain life-and-death realities have been ignored for years by people who go ballistic when they hear about how many shots were fired by the police in some encounter with a criminal. As someone who once taught pistol shooting in the Marine Corps, I am not the least bit surprised by the number of shots fired. I have seen people miss a stationary target at close range, even in the safety and calm of a pistol range."

Not to get too gruesome, but one hole that small is not likely to immediately incapacitate an attacker.

I recall reading a news story of a young man who heard gun shots. As he ran away, he felt like he was punched in the shoulder, but it wasn't until he stopped running that he realized his punch in the shoulder was, in fact, a gunshot wound from a stray bullet.

We owe Hollywood for the idea that being pierced by one fast-flying, spit ball sized piece of lead immediately kills a 180 pound human being.

The fact is, the only way gun control  could ever work is if we could snap our fingers and make every firearm disappear. Of course this still wouldn't eliminate violence or murder. After all, Cain didn't use a AR15 on Abel.

Until everyone can be disarmed at once, it will be law-abiding citizens who are left defenseless, while criminals find ways around the laws to get guns. Breaking the law is, after all, the definition of criminal.

As the saying goes, "God created man. Sam Colt made them equal."


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