An open letter to Utah high school students

By David Rogers

Last Friday thousands of Utah high school students walked out in memory of the Columbine and parkland shootings. A student organizer was quoted saying: “I just want people to know we’re not political puppets.” Well young friends, despite your obvious good intentions, you are not entirely informed. You are being influenced, and not by people that ultimately support your rights or your safety. You may perceive you are in a fight for your lives, but it is actually more like a fight for your rights. And you are being told only one side of that battle. Gun control is, in fact, just people control.

The Parkland incident is a convenient opportunity for those who wish to disarm America to use young people like you as an appeal mechanism to forward their agenda. The March for Our Lives event in Washington a few weeks ago was funded by radical leftists who do not have your best interests at heart. Even though they sound like they do. After all, everyone should want safety in our schools, right? But the truth is, no amount of laws can change the evil intent of a person’s heart. And by taking away the tools of self-defense, you are preventing the good and law-abiding people around you from having the right to that defense.

In 2010 the United Nations listed “gun ownership in America” as a human rights violation. You are parroting that mantra, but this in principle is not correct. In fact, your own Constitution codifies your natural right to self-defense. It states that the greater danger is in not being able to wield a gun in your own defense. So you need to consider, is gun ownership a natural right or a human rights violation?

Here are a few facts about “common sense gun laws”. We already have numerous gun laws on the books. Piling more laws on top of those laws will change little. They rarely affect criminals. Places in America with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime rates. Places like New York City or Chicago, where it almost impossible to own a gun, have horrific gun crime rates. Areas with the highest gun ownership, like Plano, Texas have almost no gun crime at all. Fewer guns does not equal less crime.

In fact, the U.S is number one in the world in gun ownership, but only number 112 in per capita gun homicides. Take out about half a dozen high crime cities and we are in the bottom 5% in such crimes. These numbers suggest that the problem is not with the guns, but something deeper in the psyche of our society that we need to address.

And those “assault rifles” that your mentors are screaming about…they are used in less than two percent of all gun crimes. Police and military professionals recommend the AR-15 frequently as the preferred tool for home defense. And those are the experts speaking, the ones trained and dedicated to the proper use of firearms.

In 2013 President Obama funded a study with the Center for Disease Control on gun violence in America. That study discovered that guns prevented crime ten to twenty times more than they were used in crimes. The old NRA maxim holds true, the way to stop a bad man with a gun is by a good man with a gun. In fact, this past March was the highest gun sale month in history in the U.S. This public response should be noted for its sentiments among your fellow citizens.

Speaking of the NRA, they are the ones actually on your side. Those background checks only exist as a result of NRA lobbying in Congress years ago. They exist to defend your rights. It is tighter gun control that will seek to restrict or eliminate those very rights if you allow it.

As a father of five, I want everyone to be safe just like you. But the cures you are being told will work simply will not. There are no new laws that could have prevented Columbine or Parkland. At least not short of taking away all gun rights. And even then criminals would still find ways to obtain a gun. That is another tough reality.

Until you can guarantee that criminals will never again have a gun (an unobtainable, utopian delusion) it might help to have well-armed people around. If you could learn anything from Parkland, you learned that the cops are not always on time or effective. Any politician that promises they can change things but ignores these facts is just playing you for a fool.

If you want to make real change insist lawmakers start enforcing existing laws. Make the punishment fit the crime. Talk to people of experience with firearms and you might get a complete picture. And those folks might take you a bit more seriously. I hope you will consider these points carefully as your perspective matures.

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