A Gun Control Thought Exercise
I want to take you through the process of finding out what happens when gun control measures are passed and what those consequences are. We have to start with an understanding of human nature and what that means to the gun control argument.
To start off, human nature is generally self serving in that everyone will always look out for number one: themselves. If you don’t believe it, then you are not really paying attention and/or delusional. Yes, there are many people that willingly sacrifice themselves for others, but that is due to learning to looking beyond themselves, whether it’s through religion, philosophy, or any number of self-enlightening lifestyles. I would submit that selflessness is the exception, not the rule. If you look at what is happening around the world, you would have to agree with that.
Then, we need to understand that there will always be a part of any society (anywhere from 1-3%) that will not follow the established laws no matter what. Whether it’s just stealing things they know they can, without getting caught, to drugs, to murder. Those people are NOT going to listen to anyone or follow your laws. So, we need to understand that those people will always be there. They are in every community and city. Some of them do not value life, and if you (or anyone else) stand in their way to something they want, they will go through you to get it, without a second thought. The weapon they use is only a matter of convenience. If you can’t understand that there are people like that in the world and in your community, then just stop reading now, and go back to sticking your head in the sand. The quicker you understand that there are people like that around, will help you see the reality of this exercise.
Now we need to look at the most “logical” gun control measures and walk through our thought exercise to see what the outcome will be. As long as you understand human nature, and the predators in society, there will be very little variation in what will happen. First, we will start off with the ban on all “assault weapons.” Since the term “assault weapon” is a term that was made up by people that don’t know what they are talking about, I will help out. It more or less defines rifles that are semi-automatic, are fed from a magazine, have a pistol grip, and maybe a few other innocuous features. Oh, and it looks scary! Assault is defined as a physical attack, which an inanimate object is unable to do. But, to continue, it looks like the rifle that the military uses, but it is not. We will not get into any more details about what they are.
So, we start this thought exercise by banning all assault weapons. OK, it was passed and signed by the President today. Now what? Well, it is estimated that there are at least 3.5 million “assault type rifles” in the U.S. There is no way to know for sure with current information available. Out of those 3.5 million rifles, how many people will turn them in? 5%? 10% 50% Let’s say for this exercise that 25% of people turn them in. Many who own those types of rifles are generally not willing to give them up, so that is, I believe, a rather high estimate, but we will go with it. That leaves about 2.6 million guns out there. How will we collect them? Well, we will have to get the police and the government to go find them and round them up. Right? There is no other way to get them. So how many gun owners will fight to keep them? Good, you say? We don’t want those type of people, so if they die, that’s a good thing. OK, well, let’s estimate that the government killed a third of all those gun owners. That is about 875,000 people killed. Still happy about killing people? You really shouldn’t be, but let’s continue.
Now that you have confiscated all those terrible, evil weapons, let’s sit back and watch gun violence disappear. Wait! Nothing is happening! That’s because rifles only account for a small percentage of homicides. According to the FBI, in 2016 all rifles, not just “assault weapons” accounted for 374 homicides. For that same year, hands, feet and fists accounted for 656 homicides. That is almost double the amount of deaths from evil rifles. In our thought exercise now, we may or may not notice a small uptick in violent crimes committed by criminals now that they are the only ones that can have semi-auto rifles. It isn’t much though to be sure. So, what do we do now?
Well, the largest number of homicides are committed with handguns, so we need to ban those. Right? How else do you stop all those murders? OK, now, all handguns are banned! The bill was just signed into law. Yay! Now we can sit back and watch the gun violence crime rate drop! Wait! We first have to confiscate all those weapons from everyone. There is no accurate number known of handguns in the U.S. It is estimated that there are over 393 million guns in the U.S. That is more than one per every person. According to the Washington Post there are about 50 million households that own guns.Let’s assume that they all have a handgun. So how do we confiscate them? Well, some will voluntarily turn them in. Lets say about 50% of them turn them in voluntarily. That leaves 25 million people that don’t. Using the same statistics from above, let’s say that the government has to forcefully remove those weapons and one third of them are killed. That’s about 8.3 million people. Still happy about killing those people? You shouldn’t be. You can now be considered among the elite of the world’s mass murderers. Over 9 million people killed (or even imprisoned) for owning a gun. It’s OK you say. We don’t want those types of people around killing others with their guns. OK, well let’s sit back and watch the gun crime drop like a rock now that those evil guns are gone. Wait! What’s going on? Nothing is changing. There are still a lot of gun deaths! That isn’t supposed to happen! There is even a rise in violent crime now that the law abiding citizens can’t defend themselves. Now criminals can freely kill and maim knowing that no one will stop them. Now the separated wife is easily killed by her estranged husband. Now the ex-girlfriend is easily raped and killed by her ex-boyfriend, because she has no way of defending herself. The female jogger can never go for a run, because she can be attacked with impunity. Criminals can walk into any store, and rob, kill and main whoever they want. Who is going to stop the criminal? The average police response time for major cities for serious crimes is anywhere from about 3.5 minutes to about 13 minutes. A lot can happen in that amount of time.
Now that we’ve chosen to remove firearms people are defenseless against attacks. Home invasions increase, as do robberies and carjackings, etc. What is going on? We’ve forgotten about human nature! If you think that removing firearms will stop crime, then you are quite delusional. There will always be murderers and rapists. Always! Removing guns from the law abiding do not make the criminals rethink their ways. It only serves to make things worse. A quote from Cesare Beccaria in 1764 says “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” Again, we need to understand that human nature dictates that some will always break the law. Always!
Now that we’ve gone through this thought exercise, what are the results? Well, crime is up. Yes, there are fewer gun homicides, but there are actually more homicides committed. There is more violent crime because the criminal will not turn in his gun. Do you think that someone who is willing to murder another would not do it just because there is a lesser law to turn in his gun? If you think yes, then you are delusional. He can kill with his fists, a bat, a golf club, a knife, a rock. Do we ban those also? England’s leaders and doctors are asking for a ban on knives over 3 inches without “good reason.” Really? How are people so blind to human nature? People will find a way to murder someone no matter the laws. So, now we are worse off than before.
Congratulations! Some of you didn’t realize that you just created a police state where only the police and government own the guns. Now, freedom of speech is subjected to the whims of the elite. Now, the government can take whatever it wants from you. Now, the government can do whatever it wants because the government by the people, for the people, is gone. But, pay no attention to all of that. Just continue to watch your TV shows, and eat your junk food. Everything is fine. If you are happy with the outcome, then you are really part of the problem. Gun owners aren’t the problem. Those that are happy to take freedoms away from others is where the root of the problem is at. Gun owners are the ones who are willing to protect their families and others from the criminals, and mass murders. Which side are you on? With freedom, there are risks; but without freedom there is only despair, and a government boot stomping you in the face. Which will you choose?
That idea is an extremely important one to consider and remember. In other words, if you are willing to give up your freedoms to have more safety then you don’t deserve to have freedom or safety.
Why would one of our founding fathers say such a thing? It starts by understanding the price the founding fathers paid (and all those who fought for our freedoms since then) for us to have the most free country in the world.
Hundreds of thousands of people have given their lives so we can enjoy the freedom we have. They all understood that to have freedom there has to be risks. Life is full of risks and we obviously want to minimize those risks, but at what cost are you willing to give up freedoms for a little temporary safety?
You can’t be free and not have risks and dangers and uncertainty (name me a single country without crime). Yes, some countries have more crime than others, and many like to point out the high crime rate in America as a reason to take away freedoms.
But we must understand that a common weapon of crime, the gun, is only an inanimate object, and can’t make a person kill another. Before there were guns, it was swords and clubs that were used to kill (and rocks before that).
The emotional and illogical response is to ban those weapons, but that still ignores the root cause of the violence: human nature. We ignore the fact that some people will always be willing to kill and maim and hurt others. We ignore the fact that there will always be wolves (evil people) that are willing to harm us and our loved ones.
No matter how “civilized” we become, wolves will hurt and kill others regardless of any laws or ethics. When we disregard personal responsibility and blame an object for the actions of the person who used it, we diminish our value as human beings to choose our actions.
A byproduct of that illogical thought process created our lame and inconsequential judicial system that doesn’t deter the wolves from doing what they do. I believe (based on my experience with law enforcement and the judicial system) that if we quadrupled the sentences given, used the death penalty more often (remembering that wolves could care less about our society and anyone else’s safety), and stopped the plea bargains; we would see an impressive reduction in crime.
I found the same wolves that were put in jail would immediately commit more crimes once released from their minimal sentences. Hence, it is the same wolves committing the vast majority of crimes that make America look like the proverbial Wild West.
Remember that wolves don’t care one bit about America, you, me, or our families. They would rather kill you than have to mess with you to get what they want. No amount of education or training will change their attitudes.
Let me say that again: “No amount of education or training will change their attitudes.” They simply don’t care. I have seen them. They exist in every city. It’s the people ignoring the wolves that have created the mess we are in.
We need to once again make people responsible for their own actions (remembering that all actions have consequences – both good and bad), and then crime rates will fall.
What does this all have to do with our safety? We need to teach everyone that the only way you and I can be as safe as possible is when we are responsible for our own safety and we don’t expect it from anyone else (including the police). When we take responsibility for our own safety (which includes arming ourselves), the wolves are quickly eliminated and therefore society becomes much safer than if we took away freedoms and created more laws.
This entails fighting back against the wolves. Which brings us to the next point of this discussion: is it worth it to fight back? We can understand that question by applying the words of John Stuart Mill:
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
There is always something to fight for. If you don’t think so, then you don’t deserve to live in America. To live in America and to be an American means that you take personal responsibility seriously and you are willing to fight for what is right and to defend yourself and your families.
Move to many of the countries than ban private ownership of firearms and live your lives there without concern for freedom or gun violence. I will fight to my last breath to stop someone from hurting my sweet family. I may use a gun (my first choice), or a knife, or even my bare hands if that is all I have to fight with, but rest assured (to paraphrase Clint Smith) that if someone kills me, I’ll have to be beat with my empty weapon, because I’ll have a pile of brass and dead wolves at my feet.
What is the price of freedom? It is risk!
People who think there is no reason for war do not understand what freedom means. We can’t be truly free by ignoring the past and hoping things will get better. Freedom isn’t free, it has cost the lives of those good people who have gone before us, willing to visit violence upon those that wish to do us harm. Those people that think there is never a reason to go to war can never be trusted to stand up for what is right, for they have neither the spine nor the wisdom to realize that the precious freedom which they hold so dear, cannot be held indefinitely without defending and protecting it. If our enemies see that we will not fight for anything then we are no longer safe. John Stuart Mill (writing on the U.S. Civil War in 1862) said:
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
Being unwilling to fight for anything shows that you have neither the intelligence nor the wisdom to know when your freedoms that you hold so dear are in jeopardy. Only by exercising the right of a sovereign nation to protect itself from threats both foreign and domestic can a nation remain free and its citizens happy. The constant threat that harm may fall upon the citizen allows the terrorist’s wishes to be imposed upon society with
cunning. Many are willing to give up some freedoms to be safe. Benjamin Franklin stated: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Only by maintaining our freedoms and liberties can we prevent the terrorist from forcing his will upon us by eroding those rights which make our nation great, namely the Bill of Rights, and The Constitution. In a way the terrorist wins when we change our laws and restrict our freedoms in the name of safety (such as the Patriot Act). Thomas Jefferson said: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” Which means that we as a nation should be free to do what we want as long as we don’t impose upon the rights of others. All our laws are essentially set up to protect us, and give us a course of action for those who wish to violate the rights of others. Some laws succeed, others fail. Robert F. Kennedy stated:
“Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws - but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Each time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted - when we tolerate what we know to be wrong - when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened - when we fail to speak up and speak out - we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”
Ronald Reagan also stated:
“There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution.”
The main difference between a conservative and a liberal, in my perspective, is that the liberals want us to rely on the government for all our needs and safety. Whereas the conservative wishes for us to rely on ourselves for most things. It’s a dying thing called personal responsibility. Our society is trying to change the way people see the world. Society is trying to take the responsibility for an individual’s actions and place them anywhere but where it should be: squarely on the shoulders of the person! It’s easier for our society to blame the neighborhood they grew up in, or violent video games, or music, or violent movies, or alcohol, or a gun, for the problem instead of the person that committed the actions. Violent media can influence people’s actions, but it is ultimately up to the person to actually do something. Millions of people watch violent movies and play violent video games, and they don’t commit any crimes. Equally important is the fact that a gun is a piece of metal and plastic, and has no will of it’s own, yet it’s common to see the news stations blame a gun for a death and not the person who pulled the trigger. The gun can not force it’s trigger back on it’s own, it takes a living, breathing human being to do that. You can fantasize that if there were no guns then it would be so much harder to kill someone, but remember this statement from Jeffery R Snyder:
“The handgun is the only weapon that would give a lone female jogger a chance of prevailing against a gang of thugs intent on rape, a teacher a chance of protecting children at recess from a madman intent on massacring them, a family of tourists waiting at a mid-town subway station the means to protect themselves from a gang of teens armed with razors and knives.”
The gun control crowd wants us to rely on the government for our safety and well being, as though dialing 911 will immediately allow us protection from an aggressor. The pro gun groups wish to allow the common citizen the choice to defend themselves, if they wish, or to sit back and hope that the police are faster than the criminal is. John F. Kennedy stated: “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”
In Professor John Lott’s groundbreaking book “More Guns, Less Crime,” he found that “Research consistently shows that having a gun (and usually just showing it) is the safest way to respond to any type of criminal assault.” Some other interesting data collected during his research indicate:
Something that the average person loses sight of is the fact that there are people in every society who do not care about laws, rules, or anyone else but themselves.
“The odds are, any criminal who is intent on killing you has probably killed men before, knows how to do it, knows how it feels and likes it. You’re not going to talk him out of it, scare him out of it, or wound him out of it. You’re going to have to kill him.” (Robert Boatman)
I will reiterate that you can’t talk him out of it! We will ALWAYS need guns, police, laws, courts and prisons. While most people can “evolve” to the point that they don’t need those things, there will always be 1-3% of the population that will need those things to be kept in line. And because of that criminal 1-3%, the rest of the population will need guns, police, laws, courts and prisons, to protect themselves and their loved ones.
If we choose to do nothing to preserve and protect our freedoms and our country, then we will eventually lose all of it. The only way to preserve and protect freedom is by taking upon ourselves the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. Once we give up that responsibility to the government, we will never get it back.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" - Samuel Adams
Especially in our current national and world situation we need to be ever vigilant. May we guard freedom closely!
I'm a pretty average guy. I've put a lot of years into learning about guns and emergency preparedness. I worked almost 4 years full time with the local Sheriff's Office and currently have another 8 years working part time with them. I love my family and would do anything for them.