Our government is out of bounds, out of touch, and wrong on gun control. President Obama recently enacted two more executive orders to control guns held by law abiding citizens. Chicago continues to pass laws that even federal court found unconstitutional. But even more importantly, when gun sales are up, murders are down. So why do we push forward with unconstitutional and unhelpful legislation meant to demonize law-abiding citizens who choose to defend themselves? Read on. The problem with the most restrictive gun control laws is the assumption that somehow guns kill people. And since people get killed by guns, guns are bad. Fortunately, trigger mechanisms don’t pull themselves, making it less likely that the gun is to blame.
But when the trigger is pulled by someone protecting themselves, or the gun is raised in self-defense and never fired, does that count for anything at all? Even cowardly purse snatchers preying on unsuspecting women know better than to reach for the wallet deep in the back-pocket of the local police officer on foot. Oops! He has a gun, that’s not a fair comparison. Or is it? Very recently, a concerned citizen stopped a purse-snatching in progress by putting the Texas concealed carry laws to good use.
Too often, emotions win out irrationally. Guns equal death equals bad. But gun-free zones are the location of choice for shooters. Columbine High School and Sandy Hook Elementary now have symbolic meaning for this very reason. Some writers capitalize on the controversy without moving our understanding of this issue forward and other sites fail to make appropriate sense of their own statistics. Mother Jones investigated mass shootings, finding that only 1.6 percent of recent mass shootings in the United States were stopped by armed citizens. But that’s 1.6% that actually were stopped by brave citizens who realized that firepower in the right hands is the appropriate tool to stop firepower in the wrong hands. The answer should be simple then. Encourage more sound-minded citizens to arm themselves and allow them to carry those firearms around more freely. Maybe we could stop 10.6% of them one day if the gun-scared fear-mongers would just let the facts speak for themselves.
From 1991 to 2012 the murder rate in the United States was cut in half (49% decline) while ownership of firearms had increased by over 120,000,000. You read that right, with 120 million more firearms on the loose, murder rates were cut in half nationally. John Lott, visiting professor at the University of Maryland concluded that right-to-carry laws reduce crime. Specifically, he stated that about two thirds of all the studies he has seen show a reduction in crime and the remaining third show no significant change. According to the research, more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens means less crime. When the next mass shooting happens – because it will – ask a few questions for yourself. Did it happen in a gun-free zone? Did the shooter think he was shooting armed and prepared people or unarmed people going about the business of the day? Did the shooter walk into a gun show, an NRA rally, or a police station to do their cowardly business? That’s where you will find all the good and “dangerous” guns! And since more guns means more murders there should be plenty of mass murders in those places, right? Our emotions should tell us that we want less violence, but our brains should allow our decisions about gun control to be informed by facts and history.