I am an American. I love being an American; while I admire and harbor good will toward many other nations, this is my home. As an American, I was heartbroken over the twenty children who died last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But I was also angry. Outraged. Furious enough to break the political silence I have maintained through countless political elections and hot button debates.
America is on the verge of political meltdown. Whether it happens in our lifetime or our children’s lifetime remains to be seen, but it’s inevitable. Too many standards, too many core values have been swallowed by political correctness and liberalism that is every bit as rabid as the extreme right. Common sense is out the window, and a generation of people who have never been oppressed, never tasted war on our own soil, and never known true hardship is now making decisions for the rest of us. It’s frightening how reckless some of them can be with our Constitution and the principles this country was founded upon.
I am not against sensible gun control. I support background checks and waiting periods, concealed carry permits and required training. But the buzz about stricter gun laws scares me to death. Nowhere, at any time, has a ban on guns produced a drop in violent crime. In the past few days, I’ve probably reviewed every statistic on this issue that has ever been published. What I’ve discovered is that even statistics appearing to support gun control fall apart when you start pulling at the seams.
TNT online magazine reported today that: “The rate for murder by gunfire is 100 times that of the United Kingdom and only Colombia has a worse record for gun violence than the US. Every year, 17,000 people are killed in America, 70 per cent of them with guns, and nearly 20,000 people commit suicide by shooting themselves.” Read article here.
But what about other statistics that TNT Magazine—and every other news outlet I know of—have failed to report? The statistics I have never seen are numbers that reveal how many of those crimes were committed by people who legally owned the weapon they used, versus how many were committed by those in possession of the weapon illegally. If they were committed by a person in illegal possession, then even the strictest gun laws would have been useless in preventing those crimes.
Guns are never going away. You can outlaw them, crush them, smelt them—no matter what measures we take within our borders, other countries will make sure our black market dealers and criminals have a never ending supply. Then, with criminals armed to the teeth and law abiding citizens empty handed, violent crime will skyrocket. Don’t believe me? Take a few minutes to watch the following video:
In contrast, the Georgia city of Kennesaw (a suburb of Atlanta) put a law on the books in 1982 that requires every head of household to be a registered gun owner. Despite dire predictions that the town would become the stage for a “Wild West Showdown,” crime rate plummeted, and for twenty-five years Kennesaw has reported zero fatal gun-related incidents. Read about it HERE.
To up the ante and study this phenomenon on a larger scale, one has only to consider Switzerland. Male residents are not only required to own guns (and females highly encouraged,) but are trained by the government to use them. Yet the gun-related crime rate is so low there that statistics are not even kept. “. . .despite the wide ownership and availability of guns, violent crime is extremely rare. There are only minimal controls at public buildings and politicians rarely have police protection.” (BBC article)
I am baffled at how so many intelligent, educated Americans can overlook facts as clearly presented as these. Are they blinded by fear? Addled by a Dr. Spock upbringing? Hypnotized? Brainwashed? Infected with the Walking Dead Zombie Disease? There is simply no argument any rational person can make in the face of such overwhelming evidence.
A comment exchange about the following picture illustrates the same lack of functional intelligence I speak of.
Lovely image, very artistic and suggestive. But here is where the line is drawn between grass roots common sense and idealistic delusion:
One person commented: “SCARY, scary image! (My own cat, a Maine Coon, scratched me today on his way down from my arms – his accidental power in a bigger cat would be fatal.)”
An idealistic dreamer commented: “look at the tiger….there is no violence in this moment…only love.”
I commented: “Thank God for glass!”
But what I really wanted to say was: “What planet are you on, moron? ‘Love?!’ You really believe that? Then why don’t you take your own kid and plop it down in front of a live tiger with no glass between them, and see how much ‘love’ comes out of THAT encounter!”
Have some people’s brains turned to oatmeal? All I can say is I sincerely hope that person’s comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
This brings me to the Second Amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” How many of us realize—I mean, truly, deep down at the gut level understand—that this was written to keep our nation from being overthrown by tyranny? How many of us even know the true definition of tyranny? And how many can relate the concept to us—spoiled Americans—who become outraged if something as trivial as our “right” to spit on our own driveway is infringed?
Some readers will scoff at the idea of foreign invasion. But leave us defenseless and see how long it takes before some nutty third world leader tries. Or worse—a nation with a stronger military force than ours. Think we are such a superpower that no other military would dare challenge us? Between military budget cuts and a nationwide ban on guns, that scenario is not only possible, but likely.
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is often credited (perhaps erroneously) as having said, “You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.” Whether or not he actually said this is no real matter; somebody said it, and proper accreditation doesn’t dilute or strengthen the meaning. This is the same concept behind a statement I saw posted elsewhere on the Internet: “The anti-gun folks won’t like to admit this, but there is a reason why these mass shootings occur in schools and malls but not police stations …. and you know what that reason is.”
It bothers me that our government would consider disarming all U.S. citizens, or severely restricting our right to own and carry weapons. What bothers me more is how many U.S. citizens are so eager to hand over a constitutional right, as if it does not exist to protect the very freedoms they exercise when speaking out against current laws. Even more worrisome is that once we start chipping away at the Constitution, where will we stop? There are so many layers of concern in this gun control issue that one blog post can’t begin to explore them all. But I hope I’ve at least covered the basics.
I’ll leave you with this: in a perfect world, maybe guns would never have been invented in the first place. Who knows. But this world is far from perfect, and intelligent people deal with a situation the way it is, not the way they wish it could be. I wish we could all be pacifists. I wish we could all see tigers and babies playing peacefully together without three-inch glass between them. But that is not the world we live in, nor will it ever be no matter how many of our freedoms we surrender to idealism.
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