The latest gun-related tragedy, the shooting in a Parkland, Florida High School, has kicked the gun control debate back into overdrive. The emotions around such awful occurrences often obscure the facts and principles. And feelings run strong on both sides of the debate. But an incontrovertible fact stands: guns are not criminals, they are tools.
A gun in the hands of some defends life, liberty, and property. A gun in the hands of another provides food for their table. In others’ hands, guns are used in some of the highest levels of national and international competition. But in the hands of nefarious minded people, a gun is a tool of destruction. As emotions run raw, and debate ensues, the questions must be asked: Do we curtail the rights of the many to attempt to curtail the acts of a few? Is it really guns that are at issue?
A tough fact is we already have numerous gun laws on the books that, when properly enforced, should curtail a majority of gun crime, though not all. Another tough fact to face, most gun crime occurs in areas with the highest gun control. Areas of high gun ownership have very little gun crime. This says more about people holding a gun than it does about guns themselves.
Another tough fact, so-called “assault weapons” are very under-represented in gun crime, accounting for less than 3% of all homicides. The dialog on the issue is driven by a left-wing press with an agenda. That agenda is a United Nations and leftist funded effort to disarm America. Repeal of the Second Amendment and gun confiscation is the ultimate agenda, make no mistake. The U.N. is on record listing gun ownership in America as a “significant human rights violation”. To the contrary, the Constitution defines the right to self-defense as one of the most basic human rights.
The Parkland incident is a reflection of the state of our society, not a referendum on guns. In pursuit of a “solution” we must realize that to legislate away guns is really an attempt to legislate away crime. While the first is possible, the second is not. America stands with few remaining industrialized countries in allowing its citizenry to exercise rights of self-defense. Most other countries have succumbed to an elusive socialist ideology that somehow the state can protect everyone equally. Also an impossible delusion. Remember that every genocide committed by a native government (think Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot) began with a disarming of the population.
The fact remains there is no law that will keep a previously obedient citizen from turning psychopathic and preying on others. A gun is an effective tool in such a situation. But the rate of homicides committed by guns in America is only five ten thousandths of the population. This places America (the number one gun ownership country per capita) far down the list in terms of per capita gun crime. Switzerland, a country where gun ownership is similar to the US, has nearly non-existent gun crime.
Further, many more crimes are averted each year by “good guys with guns” than are committed with guns. At the outset of World War Two, American soldiers from farms and towns far and wide waded into conflict with vastly superior marksmanship than our enemies. This came from a lifelong familiarity with guns as a tool. And that in an era, outside of gangland Chicago and New York, that knew little of gun crime. Maybe it is not the guns at all. Maybe it is the changing culture and the minds of our people.
The mental health argument is also a slippery slope when it comes to rights. Americans are already prevented from ownership due to a myriad of background issues. During the Obama administration, fundamentalist Christians, military veterans and “Mormon extremists” were all considered individuals to be put on watch lists. How would that play out (in a likely Stalinist manner) if former astronaut and gun control advocate Mark Kelly had his way with additional neighborhood reporting? As seen here on Fox News:
Parkland students and mainstream media can express their noble but emotional wishes and demand an end to gun violence all they want. While we feel their pain, the fact remains there is no way to legislate gun violence out of existence. Just as there is no way to legislate crime out of existence, even with a sacrifice of individual rights in the toughest police state. Even if you trample American’s rights into the ground, such violence will continue without a change in society itself. A gun is not a criminal. It is a tool often wielded by criminals. But that does not make the gun guilty.
America needs to look at the root cause of crime in society, not hysteria surrounding the tools of criminals. Only then will true change come about. And that change must occur in the hearts of individuals, not through agenda driven legislators. The rights of our honest citizens must be preserved, while causes of crime are more acutely addressed.