Maybe it’s not the guns

The incident in San Bernardino, California, yesterday adds to a recent wave of shootings has sparked the leftist dialog demanding more gun control. Liberal thinkers everywhere fall into the lemming-like line of thought stating more gun laws will somehow stop this madness. The story line is increasing in volume and frequency that America is a dangerous place with all of those guns out there. And President Obama and Hillary Clinton lead the charge in demanding something be done about it.

By David Rogers
By David Rogers

But do what? Impose more laws in a state like California that already has some of the most restrictive laws in the country? Can you pass a law that prevents a law-abiding citizen from suddenly turning psychotic, or in the case of the San Bernardino shooters, turning terrorist? Do more and restrictive gun laws address the real issues? But what are the real issues? Is it an issue with guns, or the people holding the guns?

A recent posting by internet pundit Bill Whittle, with his typical no-nonsense approach to the issue, sheds some light on the real statistics of gun violence in the United States. Whittle published a six-minute video study, entitled “Number One with a Bullet,” comparing gun ownership to gun homicide rates in America and other countries. The results are very interesting.

It turns out that America is far and away the number one gun-owning country in the world, with a whopping 90 guns per 100 people in the country. That is a gun for almost every man, woman, and child. Serbia came in second with 58 guns per 100 people, and the numbers only trend downward from there. But when it comes to gun homicides per 100,000 people, the U.S is not even in the top 100 of 218 countries in which statistics are kept. We are number 111 with 4.7 gun homicides per 100,000 people. That puts us right in the midst of countries like Latvia, Micronesia, Cuba, Fiji, Yemen, Albania and Estonia. These are all countries where private gun ownership is outlawed or simply not part of the culture at all. Our homicide rates are actually among the lowest in the world, yet we have by far the most guns. How does that compute?

What is even more revealing are the cities in America with the highest gun homicide rates: Detroit, New Orleans, St. Louis, Baltimore, Oakland, Miami and Chicago. Take away these leading cities, the majority of which make it difficult or impossible to legally own a gun, and the homicide rate for America plummets to the bottom of the list. Large cities with liberal Democrat leadership and the most stringent gun laws have the worst statistics. This flies in the face of any restrictive gun control argument as well as the Obama rhetoric that no other nation has such problems as ours.

In fact the lowest surveyed homicide rate in the country, with only 0.4 homicides per 100,000 is Plano, Texas. Right in the heart of good-ol-boy gun country. All of those gun-toting, brush hunting, fun-loving, truck driving Texas yahoos, smack dab in the middle of one of the most heavily armed areas on the planet, have the absolute lowest homicide rates among any city polled. How can that be? Plano’s homicide rate, taken individually, would be at the very bottom of the list of countries, next to the gun owning but peace-loving Swiss at a rate of 0.6 per 100,000. What do the Swiss and Texans know that Washington finger pointers do not?

The facts simply do not fit the liberal narrative. It is obviously not the guns that are the problem, it is an underlying social system and its inherent problems that leads to gun violence in certain limited areas that are enhancing otherwise ultra conservative homicide statistics. This may now be joined with the recent terrorist initiatives that are popping up in Europe and now apparently here. But that is a category that might be worthy of its own unique considerations. These are closer to acts of war than a civil breakdown. What is most relevant is that in areas where liberal gun restricting policies are applied the most, the homicide rates are the worst. Some coincidence.

And to further erode the politically correct leftist assertions, those awful “assault rifles” as used in San Bernardino and that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other gun-control nuts vilify are represented in less than 3% of all gun crimes. That makes these “evil guns” responsible for a homicide rate around 0.14 per 100,000, which would be the lowest in the world by far. So where is the real problem? Is it the guns, or the issues surrounding criminals and psychopaths that get hold of guns, often illegally?

To create further restrictions, executive orders or bans on legal gun owning citizens in light of this information is absurd. It does not address the real problem at all. It is, if you will pardon the macabre pun, putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It does little to address any underlying cause to the problem. It is clearly not guns themselves that are the problem, it is a social breakdown in America that is the larger problem. And that problem may be compounded by actual designs to attack and disrupt America violently if these early neo-terrorist trends begin to play out further. But law-abiding, gun owning citizens should not be the ones who are targeted by more restrictions.

Until our politicians get their facts straight and stop trying to capitalize on their political agendas, no real solutions will be found. Only hot rhetoric and emotional appeals to those who refuse to look at the hard numbers and real facts. Or worse, we may end up with more restrictive laws that only have an effect on those who wish to legally possess and use firearms. To infringe upon law-abiding citizens to appear to be addressing the actions of the illegal few seems counter to the ideas of liberty that underpin the very fabric of America. As usual, the real issues are pushed aside in the light of rhetorical political opportunity. I wonder how the folks in Plano, Texas, feel about all this?


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