Gun Violence, Gun control and Politically Correct Placebo Solutions

by DAVID SAYERS April 23, 2013

In the months following the horrific, senseless and tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora Colorado and Clackamas, Oregon we have seen a profusion of emotionally and politically driven calls for more gun control. Obama and numerous politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and others, have seen this as an opportunity - too good to waste - in their never ending attempt to impose their ideas of gun control on the public issue. The issue of the Second Amendment rights guaranteed by our Constitution seems to have been overlooked in their zest to gain political capitol with the liberal left.

What seems to have gotten lost in this highly contentious uproar over gun control is a desire to search for real, sensible and workable solutions that will truly help prevent more of these events from occurring. Instead, we are subjected to a barrage of emotionally driven, "placebo" solutions that at best, only superficially address the problems caused by guns in the wrong hands. Here are some examples:

Ban "Scary"Assualt  Weapon cosmetics: Calling a weapon an assault weapon because it has certain cosmetic appearances -e.g., it has a pistol grip, including a thumb-hole grip in the stock, it has a folding, collapsible or adjustable stock, it has a pistol grip on the forearm, it has a flash suppressor, muzzle brake or threaded barrel. Putting a pistol grip or a collapsible stock on a rifle, doesn't make it dangerous per se, any more than a short skirt on a woman makes her a slut.

Ban High capacity magazines: There are already tens of thousands of high capacity magazines out there should someone choose to use them for unlawful purposes. Furthermore, it only takes 3-4 seconds for someone to change magazines.

Esablish Gun Free Zones  These are in reality nothing more than "free fire zones" that are an open invitation to anyone that wants a quick and easy way to create deadly mayhem before law enforcement can arrive. We have seen it all to often.

Been there, done that. There was a federal assault weapons ban in place from 1994 to 2004. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms says the ban did not reduce crime nationally. Criminals who wanted to obtain such weapons found easy ways to get them in spite of the ban. Moreover, law enforcement research shows these guns are used in only about 1% of violent crimes.

In reality, gun deaths in the U.S. have been declining over all and mass shooting deaths, while attention getting, represent a very small percentage of gun deaths. In comparison, the city of Chicago (Obama's home town), which has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, has had more than 5,000 people been killed by gun fire in Chicago since 2001 during. That's more than the 2,000 U.S. troops that have been killed in Afghanistan in that same time. Based on Department of Defense and FBI data.  NOTE: The morning after Friday's killings in Newtown, a headline in the Chicago Tribune read, "10 shot, including 4 teens, Friday afternoon and night." 270 school aged children to be killed in Chicago in just three years.

When Democrats passed the assault weapons ban in 1994 it didn't prevent further gun-related crime or stop the Columbine massacre. Connecticut's own assault weapons ban, still in place, did nothing to prevent Adam Lanza from committing theft (another crime) to illegally posses a gun that he used illegally.

So just how many people have been proven (or pled) guilty for violations of the Brady Act? There were five reports on the NCJRS website for 2006, '07, '08, '09 and '10  The number of convictions for those years amounted  to amounted to a whopping 209 convictions (and no, that 209 number is not a typo).

In those five years there were a total of 347,455 denials which gives us a conviction rate of 0.060%. When we apply that across the decade and a half of NICS checks, we find that a mammoth 594 "dangerous people" who were kept from getting guns, which boils down to a whopping 3.5 people a year.

Law-abiding U.S. citizens use guns about 2.5 million times a year in self-defense. In all these discussions about people killed by guns in the hands of "bad guys," one important element, under represented for the most, part are all the lives that have been saved by law abiding citizens with legally owned weapons. Here are some interesting statistics taken from various Government studies and statistics such as FBI Data, as well as other well documented sources.

  • Law-abiding U.S. citizens use guns about 2.5 million times a year in self-defense (that's 6850/day)!
  • Guns are used about three to five times as often for defensive purposes as for criminal purposes.
  • Most often the mere sight of a gun prevents a crime from occurring or getting worse.
  • As many as 200,000 women use a gun every year to defend themselves against sexual abuse.
  • Each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives
  • The overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker.3
  • Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of "Guns in America" -- a study which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.5
  • Armed citizens kill more crooks than do the police. Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606).6 Monday, April 15, 2013
  • Readers of Newsweek learned that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The 'error rate' for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high."7
  • Evidence that shows CCW permit holders are, by and large, responsible and law-abiding citizens
  • Gun related murder is extremely rare, about .005% of all deaths in the country last year. Even rarer are murders committed with so called "assault rifles," which pans out to about .0002% of all murders in 2011. (Note: these numbers are based on mathematical analysis of FBI Uniform Crime statistics, and statistics from the U.S. Center for Disease Control.)
  • A recent survey of over 15,000 police officers, 80 percent say "legally armed" civilians would have reduced casualties in the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings. Growing List of Sheriffs (414) , Associations and Police Chiefs Saying ‘NO' to Obama Gun Control

These statistics certainly run counter to the fear mongering, misinformation being spread by the anti gun zealots who must depend on hyperbole to get support for their cause. What is truly unfortunate (and dangerous), is the fact that their anti gun crusade seems to be an end in itself. It has taken precedence over finding effective ways to protect our citizens (and especially our children) from the senseless and wanton acts of violence perpetrated against us every day.        

When seconds count police are only minutes away: This is unfortunately very true. It is not meant as a negative comment against the dedicated men and women of law enforcement, who risk their lives every day confronting the bad guys. They just can't be everywhere at once and are more likely to arrive at a crime scene after the crime has been committed rather than in time to prevent it. In too many cases that can be a deadly occurrence.                                                                       

Gun ownership is not only a fundamental constitutional right, it is a proven way to reduce crime and save lives. Law abiding citizens have a constitutional right, and a need, to defend themselves and others from criminal activity that poses a direct threat to them Thomas Jefferson said, "No free man shall ever been debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"Those of criminal bent disobey laws as a basic modus operandi, gun control laws tend to serve as a concerted attack on the innocent, not the guilty." 

Let's Face it. Gun Control is not Crime Control!                                                   

Reason and critical analysis is needed more than emotionally based tirades. Punishing law abiding citizens for crimes they didn't commit is wrong. Worse is passing legislation that makes criminals out of law abiding citizens and deprives them not only of their constitutional rights but also the right to defend themselves. Let's save some lives with real solutions not emotionally based hysterics and cheap political pandering to get votes and face time on the news.

David Sayers is a Viet Nam Veteran that served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, is airborne qualified. He Served with 82nd Airborne and 101st.  David is a graduate of Southern Oregon University and is a  small business owner for the past 30 years specializing in marketing and telecommunications.     

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