The most dangerous guns are those in a government's hands

Tucker Carlson made a great point last night: There are about 70 million more guns in America than there are citizens, and gun owners have billions of rounds. If guns were inherently dangerous, America would be in a perpetual state of Armageddon-like warfare, but it’s not. That’s because most Americans are good people. But there is a group of people that should never be allowed sole possession of guns because when they go bad, they go very, very bad, and that’s government employees—and I’ve got the numbers to prove it.

According to a DOJ report from 2011, the highest murder rate in recent American history was in 1980, when “the U.S. homicide rate hovered at 10.2 per 100,000 residents.” As the population grew, the number of murders went up, but the rate has never again gone up that high. A MacroTrends chart shows the 2022 murder rate at 6.52 per 100,000. It would be better if it were lower, but it’s not as bad as it was in recent history.

Of course, not all those murders were committed with guns. But even if they were, it’s a remarkably low rate considering the number of guns in private hands. In other words, when it comes to killing each other, despite the hysteria from the left, we Americans (thankfully) aren’t very good at it.

But if you want to know who’s really good at killing fellow citizens, you just need to look at a government facing off against an unarmed population. Rudolph Rummel (1932-2014) was a political scientist who worked at Indiana University, Yale University, and the University of Hawaii. He devoted much of his career to studying what he called “democide”—or murder by government. The University of Hawaii continues to maintain his website with the “Statistics of Democide.” It makes for illuminating reading.

Image: Some of the dead from Pol Pot’s Killing Fields by Adam Jones. CC BY-SA 3.0.

With help from Rummel’s data and from other readily available (and uncontested) information on the internet, I was able to compile a short list showing what happens when just a few governments turn on their citizens—and all the numbers far exceed anything American citizens do to each other.

Turkey: In 1915, the Turkish government murdered an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

Soviet Union: In the 1920s through mid-1930s, Stalin went to war against the Kulaks, Ukraine’s independent farmers (the Holodomor). The government starved, executed, and deported the Kulaks, killing an estimated 7 million in less than a decade.

While that was a targeted mass murder, the Soviet Union generally attacked its own citizens, starving them, executing them, or sending them to gulags. Estimates range from 7 million to 20 million people dying from the Soviet government’s policies and purges.

China in the 1960s through 1970s: Mao made Stalin look like an amateur. We don’t know how many people died from executions, starvation, and slave labor during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, but estimates range from 23 million to 46 million Chinese.  Outlying estimates are that 50 million or more Chinese died for Mao’s statist vision.

Nazi Germany, from 1933-1945: Any disfavored civilians not already unarmed before the Nazis gained power were disarmed when the Nazis achieved power. The Nazis then executed 6 million Jews; 250,000 gypsies; 220,000 homosexuals, and, through slave labor, executions, and starvation, as many as 10 million Slavic people. The number of handicapped people killed is unknown. Another 19,000,000 European civilians were estimated to have died because they found themselves in the path of Hitler’s war.

Cambodia: Between 1975 and 1979, under Pol Pot, the government killed between 1.7 and 2.2 million of its own citizens, out of a population of around 8 million people. That’s a lot more than 10.2 murders per 100,000.

There are countless other examples, both historic and current, that make an incontestable point: Governments kill on an industrial scale, not an individual scale. The only bulwark against a murderous government is an armed citizenry, as our Founders well knew.

We’ve already seen the current government and its media allies menacing those American citizens it views as a threat to its power (e.g., January 6, which increasingly looks like a Reichstag Fire event; the unending, unconstitutional pretrial internment of the J6 prisoners; Democrat leaders who encourage violence; the purging of the historic record about attacks on Republican politicians; the weaponization of the IRS; etc.). I don’t like to think what it could do if it felt there were no barriers to action.  

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