Guns are not the problem, and gun control Is not the answer

Michael Filozof
As if on cue, the hounds of gun control began baying as soon as the news of the murders in Tucson became public. Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe opined that our tolerance for guns is "senseless." Richard Cohen of the Washington Post wrote that our handgun policy is "insane" -- then admitted that he would personally appreciate the protection of a handgun after having been the victim of two burglaries, one of which was a home invasion.

Lawmakers and politicians followed suit. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik publicly criticized the Arizona gun laws he is sworn to uphold. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called for reinstating the "assault weapons ban." Rep. Peter King, R-NY, teamed up with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (an opportunist with an authoritarian personality if ever there was one) to call for legislation prohibiting guns within 1,000 feet of a Federal official.

All of this is nothing more than Machiavellian opportunism taking advantage of the high media profile generated by the Tucson shootings. Crime has dropped while gun sales have soared in the past decade. While mass shootings perpetrated by the mentally ill are too frequent, they are extremely atypical. Such incidents represent a tiny fraction of the criminal homicides in the United States. Urban violence among minority populations is the norm. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, black males perpetrate 50% of the homicides in the U.S. despite the fact that they comprise less than 7% of the population. What could explain this fact? Perhaps it is an urban subculture in which 70% of young blacks are born out of wedlock, and are marinated from the earliest youth in a toxic brew of rap music and videos glorifying, "gats," "pimps," "ho's," niggas," slapping "bitches" and killing "da po-leece."

In a free society, there will always be the criminal use and negligent misuse of various objects resulting in tragic deaths. But every time people die in a bus crash, lawmakers do not cry out for a bus ban. Every time someone falls off a ladder, no one calls for a ladder ban. Left-wingers bear a particular animus toward guns because guns are a symbol of self-reliance and independence from government. It has nothing to do with the actual effectiveness (or lack thereof) of gun control.

Those who argue that we need to ban guns in the wake of the Tucson shootings should be reminded that the largest mass homicide in U.S. took place with box cutters and jetliners, not guns. The second-largest mass murder utilized fertilizer and diesel fuel as weapons. In Great Britain, handguns were banned and confiscated after a mentally-ill man killed 16 schoolchildren. That did not stop Muslim terrorists from killing 52 people on the London subway system in 2005.

When people believe that God "created man in his own image" and believe that murder will result in eternal damnation, they will be less inclined to shoot each other. But no one seems to believe that any more, and it has been illegal to teach it in schools for decades. Meanwhile, adolescents without parents have had 24-7 access to Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, movies like "Natural Born Killers," and unlimited pornography. The end result is entirely predictable, with or without guns.
As if on cue, the hounds of gun control began baying as soon as the news of the murders in Tucson became public. Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe opined that our tolerance for guns is "senseless." Richard Cohen of the Washington Post wrote that our handgun policy is "insane" -- then admitted that he would personally appreciate the protection of a handgun after having been the victim of two burglaries, one of which was a home invasion.

Lawmakers and politicians followed suit. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik publicly criticized the Arizona gun laws he is sworn to uphold. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, called for reinstating the "assault weapons ban." Rep. Peter King, R-NY, teamed up with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (an opportunist with an authoritarian personality if ever there was one) to call for legislation prohibiting guns within 1,000 feet of a Federal official.

All of this is nothing more than Machiavellian opportunism taking advantage of the high media profile generated by the Tucson shootings. Crime has dropped while gun sales have soared in the past decade. While mass shootings perpetrated by the mentally ill are too frequent, they are extremely atypical. Such incidents represent a tiny fraction of the criminal homicides in the United States. Urban violence among minority populations is the norm. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, black males perpetrate 50% of the homicides in the U.S. despite the fact that they comprise less than 7% of the population. What could explain this fact? Perhaps it is an urban subculture in which 70% of young blacks are born out of wedlock, and are marinated from the earliest youth in a toxic brew of rap music and videos glorifying, "gats," "pimps," "ho's," niggas," slapping "bitches" and killing "da po-leece."

In a free society, there will always be the criminal use and negligent misuse of various objects resulting in tragic deaths. But every time people die in a bus crash, lawmakers do not cry out for a bus ban. Every time someone falls off a ladder, no one calls for a ladder ban. Left-wingers bear a particular animus toward guns because guns are a symbol of self-reliance and independence from government. It has nothing to do with the actual effectiveness (or lack thereof) of gun control.

Those who argue that we need to ban guns in the wake of the Tucson shootings should be reminded that the largest mass homicide in U.S. took place with box cutters and jetliners, not guns. The second-largest mass murder utilized fertilizer and diesel fuel as weapons. In Great Britain, handguns were banned and confiscated after a mentally-ill man killed 16 schoolchildren. That did not stop Muslim terrorists from killing 52 people on the London subway system in 2005.

When people believe that God "created man in his own image" and believe that murder will result in eternal damnation, they will be less inclined to shoot each other. But no one seems to believe that any more, and it has been illegal to teach it in schools for decades. Meanwhile, adolescents without parents have had 24-7 access to Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, movies like "Natural Born Killers," and unlimited pornography. The end result is entirely predictable, with or without guns.