[intro2]The horrific Colorado and Connecticut shootings are still being processed, as I write, into the collective conscience of America.[/intro2]
Clearly the care for the wounded and survivors must be paramount for everyone. Let us all labor with one goal to that end at present. Once this is over, however, there will be time for reflection on what has caused tragedies such as these, and others. Here are some preliminary thoughts – that join my thoughts and prayers for the victims – that may be worth reflecting on in the months ahead:
Is it guns, or people, that kill? As the old saying goes, Teddy Kennedy’s cars have killed more people than all the guns of 99.999% of all gun owners in America. And this true around the world. My brother lived in ultra-safe Switzerland for years. Why is Switzerland so safe? Is it because guns are outlawed?
“If you were a Swiss man, you would be a soldier as well. Every able-bodied Swiss man must go to the army in Switzerland for 90 days (Rekrutenschule-Ecole de recrue) and then every 2 years until the age of 42, he must return for practice for 19 days. This allows the government to raise an army of 400,000 men, fully armed, within 24 hours, as every soldier has an assault gun in his house, complete with ammunition.” ; moreover, “Each individual is required to keep his army issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm SIG 550 rifle for enlisted personnel or the SIG 510 rifle and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home with a specified personal retention quantity of government issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56/48 rounds 9mm…)”
Switzerland which has had three times the gun ownership as, for example Germany has also had a much lower murder rate. Statistics like this ring true throughout the world. A short 3 minute video is here, for those that wish to see a report on the Swiss and their guns;
Thomas Sowell notes countries with stronger gun control laws than the US, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico, have much higher murder rates, while there are many countries with high rates of gun ownership but low murder rates, such as Israel, New Zealand and Finland. In fact, in Mexico, the murder rate is 22.7 murders per 100,000, whereas the global average is 7 homicides per 100,000, and the gun happy US is 4.8 murders per 100,000. (Mexico basically bans firearms completely, yet has a higher gun homicide rate than the US).
That is correct – the US, which has the widest gun ownership in the world, is below the worldwide average in homicides. Of course, in the US, approximately 90 million legal owners of guns, owning 300 million firearms; murdered zero people last year. Contrast that with the approximately 170 million, Professor. R.J. Rummel of Univ. of Hawaii, in his book Death by Government, says were killed in the last century, the majority of them after their governments disarmed them.
Or perhaps one might wish to contrast this to the 32,000 people who lost their lives – including thousands of youth – in car accidents last year. And for those of you who correctly answered the “cars are necessary, but guns are not” objection, a gold star, for indeed you are correct – an armed population, as the Founding Fathers repeatedly noted, is the sine qua none of a free country and a free population. “Free” as in – as historical records show – comparison to a country like the USSR, Cuba or China that end up murdering millions – including children (Just Google “Ukrainian Kulak” and look at the photos of millions of children who were murdered by Stalin’s government. As the saying goes, “Free men have guns; slaves do not.”
A recent interview in The State Journal of West Virginia, at d’ guns and the 2nd Amendment. Predictably, the media talking head, who is of course anti-gun, interviews Keith Morgan, president of the West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League. The reporter indicates a national debate on guns is long overdue, to which Morgan replies;
“I have to take issue with the immediate premise that we started out with… it’s a long overdue discussion. The discussion is as old as the country itself. The Framers set everything up and settled that discussion pretty well with the wording and language of the Second Amendment…”
Mr. Morgan has it 100% nailed on the head!
HOW EFFECTIVE IS GUN CONTROL?
A 2000 study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms revealed that 47% of guns used for crime are obtained via a straw purchase, while another 26% are stolen. So, how effective is firearms control in practice? The gun-controlled city of Chicago – which has banned guns for all practical purposes – has become the leading “alpha” city for gun murders in the world. 2012 ended with around five hundred murders in the city, sixty of which were children! In fact, “gun free” Chicago had more murders than the entire nation of Japan in 2012. For comparison, drug war ridden Mexico City has 8.0 murders a year per 100,000 populations, Moscow 9.6, Sao Paolo 15.6 and Chicago 19.4. Similarly, Washington DC, which has banned concealed carry since 1975, has one of the highest rates of murder in the U.S. And of course, one might also have the temerity to ask why there are no theaters, malls or school shootings in Israel, where a goodly percentage of the population is armed, including fully automatic weapons.
Let’s examine Chicago and a similar size city, Houston, which has concealed carry. How do they compare?
|Chicago , IL||Houston , TX|
|Population||2.7 million||2.15 million|
|Median HH income||$38,600||$37,000|
|% non-Hispanic White||31.7%||26%|
A reasonably similar match-up until:
|Chicago, IL||Houston, TX|
|Concealed carry gun law||No||Yes|
|# of gun stores||0||
84 dedicated gun shops,
1500 places to buy guns
|Homicides per 100k||18.4||9.6|
high temp, F
Presumably the conclusion from the above is that cold weather causes shootings!
OK, so what about New York City? Yes, there was a reduction in gun shootings in 2012, but there were still 414 homicides in 2012. Notwithstanding the fact that NYC is almost becoming a police state, a one year drop could be attributable to many things, and as Frank Zimring, professor of law at UC Berkeley told NPR, “If you’re going to make the assumption that changes in crime rates always are responding to policies then why shouldn’t we be blaming the police for the slight increases [in New York’s murder rate] in 2010 and 2011?” No word from Mr. Bloomberg on that… nor why Mr. Bloomberg has changed his tune from “al Qaeda hates us for our freedoms” to the situation today, where the NYPD conducts unconstitutional stop-and-frisk searches all over NYC. And the reality is that the general trend in NYC has been a general trend of a drop in murder rates in NYC since the 1990s.
Dr. John Lott spoke on the Piers Morgan show shortly after the Connecticut school shooting, and noted that since 1950, in almost every public mass shooting in which three or more people died, it was in a setting where guns are banned, such as schools. Of course, relative to the Sandy Hook tragedy, Connecticut already had banned “assault weapons,” and the Newtown school was already a gun free zone. There also is already a total ban on guns in the possession of mentally unstable in Connecticut. A lot of good that did. And if the shooter didn’t get it from his mother in this case, do you really think he wouldn’t have gone to the black market to get one, or turned to other tools, such as the bombs the Unabomber or Timothy McVeigh used? Were people any less dead because those two men used bombs instead of guns? On a personal level, when I was a student teacher in Illinois, a young high school student set a bomb right outside my classroom – it was found before it went off, but could have killed many students if it hadn’t been found in time. Are we next going to ban intelligence so that people can’t make bombs out of various materials? As a matter of fact, perhaps we already have banned intelligence – or at least wisdom – from our schools. But that is a story for another day…. along with some enterprising researcher conducting a study correlating the number of school shootings with the number of teachers having sex with their students.
Meanwhile, hidden from public view by media, school shootings are indeed occurring in countries with strict gun control. Former psychology professor and Army Ranger Lt. Col. David Grossman noted in Dec., 2012, on his Facebook site;
“Gun control poster child Germany has had two mass murders in their high schools that had body counts surpassing those at Columbine, while Dunblain, Scotland had a massacre in a kindergarten class, and just down the road from where I used to live in Alberta, Canada, the town of Taber experienced a school massacre. Handguns are outlawed in Canada. Finland has had three school massacres, and of course there was the Anders Breivik massacre in Norway, which also has restrictions on gun ownership. And if it isn’t guns, it’s knives. Grossman notes in gun less Belgium, a sicko dressed as the Joker from Batman got into a day care center and hacked a dozen babies in their cribs, injuring them. Two more babies were killed, as well as one daycare worker. If leftists want schools and other areas as “gun free zones,” perhaps we should make those who created gun free zones liable for the murders that occur there? And at the same time, may we ask why government buildings in Washington DC are “gun free zones” – or is it that the “let them eat cake” ruling class gets armed security everywhere they go in the town (not to mention exemption from Obama Care), while the rest of us poor, unwashed masses have to trust our safety to luck? In fact, there is a formal petition to the White House to have the Secret Service protecting the president and others in Washington made a gun free zone – remember, it is guns themselves that are the cause of crime. To read the article click here.
But, in case you don’t believe Lt. Colonel Grossman or Dr. Lott, perhaps you might believe the man running lead for Obama’s gun control task force after Sandy Hook, Joe Biden? Here is Biden in his own words, explaining that gun control will not stop a potential mass shooting:
The top ten school massacres are listed here, for your reference, the worst being the Beslan school massacre in Russia, with 386 dead, and over 700 injured by Chechen militants. In the US, one of the first US school massacres occurred, as Mark Steyn notes, on July 25,1764, when “…four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days” (no assault rifles were recorded as being used in this attack); and the worst massacre in a US school occurred May 18. 1927, in Bath, Michigan, when school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe used a bomb to blow up the Bath Consolidated School, killing 44 people, including 38 children. Again, much to the chagrin of the left, no assault weapon was used.
And the comments from the left that masquerade as “fact,” such as the post-Sandy Hook Bill Clinton statement:
“Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005. Half of all of them in the history of the country.”
Leaving aside the definition of what “is” is, what are the actual facts? Unfortunately – similar to the Climate Gate revelations – someone actually did the research in a 2007 book entitled Mass Murder in the United States” A History, authored by Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections. Here’s what Duwe found, as summarized from Freedom Outpost:
In the past 100 years, there have been 156 mass killings where at least four people were killed publicly with a firearm in under 24 hours, where the killings did not include robbery, drugs or gangs. As of Jan., 2013, there have been 32 mass public shootings since Clinton’s assault weapons ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, with seven in 2012. Here is the tally by decade:
Data from Boston.com, using data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, shows mass shootings in the US over the past 30 years have not increased. (See here or as below)
Of course, the vast majority of these were not committed with semi-automatic rifles; rather, they were committed by handguns. Why no outcry handguns? Is it because they look less “scary?” Or might it really be because rifles could be used by a free people to defend themselves against totolarianism? Perhaps the left should lift all restrictions on long guns, and legislate against handguns if they honestly wanted to make a dent in the death toll. (And while they are at it, perhaps they could pass legislation against “Fast & Furious” Eric Holder being anywhere within 100 miles of any gun at all.)
On the other side of the school shooter equation, in 2008, the isolated Harrold Independent School District in Texas, noting the damage done in the Columbine shootings, among others, decided the 20 minutes it could take police to arrive could lead to a horrific disaster, trained school staff were allowed to carry firearms in school. The result? Dead students? Mayhem? Actually… nothing, except a safe school. School district superintendent David Thweatt simply stated “We’re the first responders. We have to be. We don’t have 5 minutes. We don’t have 10 minutes. We would have had 20 minutes of hell” if the school was attacked. In fact, Evan Todd – who was shot and wounded at the Columbine massacre – makes this exact point (and a few more!) in his open letter to President Obama of Feb., 2013, found at chicksontheright.com. Todd elucidated on his points in a further interview found at The Blaze.
But lurking behind the school shooting question is the issue of “never let a crisis go to waste,” per Rahm Emmanuel. Is it really guns, or is it rather the gun grabber agenda that is in the dock here? If the former, why no comment from the leftist media that every month after the Sandy Hook shooting, on average 40 juveniles will be murdered with something other than a rifle? Or doesn’t that meet with the agenda du jour? (And I’m just waiting to hear some leftist claim that rifles cause global warming!)
And finally, if gun grabbers are so “concerned for the kids,” why then this story that came out just after Sandy Hook:
“Amid all the hubbub surrounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s “assault weapons” ban, there are still everyday stories of average law-abiding citizens using firearms to defend themselves and others from evil — or in this case, serious harm. An 11-year-old boy was riding his bike in a Washington, DC, neighborhood when he came upon three pit bulls. The dogs pounced, mauling the boy. Fortunately, a neighbor saw what was happening, grabbed his handgun and rushed out to shoot one of the pit bulls. A DC police officer patrolling nearby on a bicycle heard the shot, and came to the boy’s aid as well, shooting the other two pit bulls. The boy’s injuries were severe, but he will survive, thanks to the quick action of this neighbor. However, the hero is under investigation for violating local gun laws — discharging his weapon while not on his own property. No word yet on whether charges will be filed, but DC’s gun laws are what put children at risk.” (Source for this story not retained, but published week of 21 Jan., 2013)
This story clearly illustrates that for many, it is not about the kids. It is about their agenda.