Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gun Control Lies, Truths, and the False Presumption of Ethnically-Based Wisdom

Gun Control Lies, Truths, and the False Presumption of Ethnically-Based Wisdom

Forces within our nation appear to be on two simultaneous and radically divergent paths. On the one hand, a number of states are passing laws that expand citizen gun-ownership and carry rights, such as the one in Texas that gives the go-ahead for concealed-carry permit holders to tote their weapons on colleges. Similarly, on the national level, a recent Senate measure would allow loaded guns in national parks. On the other hand, “progressives” continue to push to limit gun-ownership and increase the difficulty of the average law-abiding citizen to own guns.

In my previous articles I have discussed the illogical opinions and laws about assault weapons bans, and the second amendment rights that afford all (non-criminal) citizens the right to keep and bear arms. I continue to be interested in this topic and educate myself because the “Progressives” continue to try to find ways to end-run around the constitution. I believe the nomination of Judge Sotomayor is yet another covert attempt to accomplish that goal.

So I decided to take on the Progressives’ primary excuse why guns should be banned: Civilized societies that ban guns experience fewer homicides, less violence and enjoy a lower crime rate.

But is that true?

I found a fascinating and enlightening study published by bepress Legal Series, entitled: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence” by Gary Mauser and Don B. Kates.

In this 117 page, highly researched and cited article, the two authors undertook the exact analysis I had wanted to perform and their findings cut the Progressives off at the knees.

For example, Progressive often cite the low crime rate in England and praise the strict gun bans in place in that country. Kates and Mauser document that this is not the case at all.

“The peacefulness England used to enjoy was not the result of strict gun laws.
When it had no firearms restrictions [19th and early 20th Century] England had little violent crime, while the present extraordinarily stringent gun controls have not stopped the increase in violence or even the increase in armed violence.... Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now become one. Handguns are banned but the kingdom has millions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the decade after 1957 the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold.”

They continue:
“In the late 1990s England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban on handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands were confiscated from owners law abiding enough to turn them in. Without suggesting this caused violence, the bans' ineffectiveness was such that by year 2000 violent crime had so increased that England had the developed world’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the U.S.”

Let that soak in a moment: Despite the strict gun bans in England, the violent crime rate in England actually surpassed that of the United States in 2000!

The authors extended their research to cover thirty six countries and found that, in the countries with the strictest gun ban laws, violence did not decrease. To the contrary, violent crimes were lowest in countries where gun ownership was highest.

“Nations with higher gun ownership rates do not have higher murder (or suicide) rates than do those with lower gun ownership…Consider the wide divergence in murder rates among Continental European nations with widely divergent gun ownership rates. (Actually, those nations with least gun ownership generally seem to have the highest murder rates.)”

“The non-correlation between gun ownership and murder is reinforced by examination of
statistics from larger numbers of nations across the developed world. Comparison of ‘homicide and suicide mortality data for thirty-six nations (including the United States) for the period 1990- 1995’ to gun ownership levels showed ‘no significant (at the 5% level) association between gun ownership and the total homicide rate.’ Consistent with this is a later European study of data from 21 nations in which ‘no significant correlations [of gun ownership levels] with total suicide or homicide rates were found.’…Thus it is not just the murder rate in gun-less Russia that is four times higher than the American rate; the Russian suicide rate is also about four times higher than the American.”

Instead, they came to the conclusion that violence is determined by a number of social factors, and that a society that is prone to violent expression will have higher rates of violent crimes, and that tools—or weapons—chosen by the criminal are irrelevant. “As the respective examples of Luxembourg and Russia suggest, the kinds of people who murder will either find guns despite severe controls or will find other weapons with which to kill.”

They then come to the conclusion that “one reason the extent of gun ownership in a society does not spur the murder rate is that murderers are not spread evenly throughout the population. Analysis of perpetrator studies shows that violent criminals, (and this is especially true of murderers) ‘almost always have a long history of involvement in criminal behavior.’ So it would not appreciably raise violence if all law abiding, responsible people had firearms because they are not the ones who rape, rob or murder. By the same token violent crime would not fall if guns were totally banned to civilians.”

If you cannot stomach the opinions of these two American lawyers, consider the opinion of a retired English Police Officer who helped pen one of the premier studies of English gun control. “Done by a senior English police official as his thesis at the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology and later published as a book, it found (as of the early 1970s): Half a century of strict controls has ended, perversely, with a far greater use of [handguns] in crime than ever before. No matter how one approaches the figures, one is forced to the rather startling conclusion that the use of firearms in crime was very much less [in England before 1920] when there were no controls of any sort and when anyone, convicted criminal or lunatic, could buy any type of firearm without restriction.”

Here in America, the bias of opinion by primarily liberal journalists and editors results in a bias in published articles. Gun crime receives inordinate attention by the media, while violent crime committed by other means is often overlooked. But the headlines are everywhere, if we choose to look: Man murders wife and kids with Bush-Axe. Woman suffocates her own son. Spider Man 3 actress hangs herself. Parents of 9 year old boy stabbed to death in front of him.

In a more recent article published in 2009, Mr. Kates writes that “Gun Control Restricts Those Least Likely to Commit Violent Crimes.” Kates reviews the March 21st murder of four Oakland police officers by Lovelle Mixon. Mixon was “a convicted felon wanted for a recent parole violation”, who “epitomizes the futility of ‘gun control,’ or the banning and restricting of gun ownership for law-abiding adults.” Kates points out that, while Progressive organizations such as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns allege that “most murders are committed by previously law-abiding citizens,” the Mixon murders were “not an anomaly.”

To the contrary, “felons commit over 90 percent of murders, with the remainder carried out primarily by juveniles and the mentally unbalanced.” Restricting the access to guns for law-abiding citizens will not significantly reduce crime. As Kates illustrates, “the United States already has laws forbidding all three groups from owning guns, which, by definition, are ineffective against the lawless. ‘Gun control,’ therefore, only ‘controls’ those who have done nothing to merit such regulations. Arguments for gun control rest on deceptive claims such as Americans are deluged by literally dozens of supposedly scholarly articles asserting such falsehoods—but with no supporting references. For there are none.”

It is important to spread this information at this time, as President Obama attempts to get Judge Sotomayor confirmed for the supreme court, because while she was on the Second Circuit Appeals Court—and she has publicly admitted to thinking that appeals courts are “where policy is made”—she opined that the Second Amendment is not a “Fundamental Right”, and therefore “does not apply to the states”. In other words, in keeping with Obama’s support of gun control laws, states can individually restrict gun ownership.

This same judge was also recorded stating that, as a Latina woman, she would probably have greater wisdom than her white, male counterparts. Overlooking the overt racist content of that statement, we find that her activist interpretation of the constitution puts in question that presumed “wisdom”. As was pointed out in a Washington Times article about Sotomayer’s opinions, The ‘Empathy’ Nominee; “The danger inherent in this judicial view is that the law isn't what the Constitution says but whatever the judge in the ‘richness’ of her experience comes to believe it should be.”

We are able to turn the tables on Judge Sotomayor in this particular instance. Being the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants to the country, perhaps she is not fully steeped in the history of our nation. It may be important to note that she is also a member of the "radical" political group called La Raza, which has connections with groups advocating for the separation of several South Western states from the United States. It's difficult to see how membership to that organization could be considered "wise".

Maybe she lacks a deep understanding of the reasoning behind the second amendment, and dismisses the wisdom of our white male founding fathers. These same intellectual giants, who clearly enumerated the Second Amendment to protect our individual right to keep and bear arms, feared that in the distant future, activist judges might interpret the existence of a list of “Fundamental Rights” enumerated in the Bill of Rights to mean that any “rights” not contained therein could be considered to be something other than “Fundamental”, and thus to be abridged.

For this reason, they included the Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
In other words, Judge:

The Second Amendment is not up for dispute, cannot be abridged or limited, and your arrogant presumption that you were gifted extraordinary wisdom based upon your color and anatomy is false.

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