Why Everyone Should Be Concerned with Meaningless Gun Laws

“If your government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away from you everything you have.” Gerald Ford, 1954.

I. 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.” Despite the clear language, mountains of paper have been generated to try to explain it away. The Bill of Rights was not written only for a handful of pseudo-intellectuals, nor was it written in trick language. It sure doesn't say “the right of the militia” to keep and bear arms, it doesn't speak to the right of law enforcement to keep and bear arms, it does not discuss the right of the states to keep and bear arms, or the right of the Federal government to keep and bear arms. The Framers were not so reckless and clumsy that they sought to protect the rights of states or the rights of militias. There was little in the way of Federal gun law until 1934, primarily because most felt the Federal government had no authority to construct or enact any gun infringement against the people of the United States. That was precisely the idea. If you believe in the Second Amendment, no explanation is necessary. If you do not, no explanation will suffice. That the Federal government has exceeded the authority granted to it by the Constitution also needs no explanation.

II. Crime Control
For various and sundry reasons, gun “control” has been perverted to somehow mean violence control. The right to use our fists ends where someone else's nose begins. This is nothing new; those that injure other individuals or destroy property they do not own have been adjudicated and punished long before there was a United States. It takes no enlightened reading of the Constitution to see that illegal acts of violence and damage are not protected. Since the Magna Carta of 1215, we have the basics of due process: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land." We have been depriving, imprisoning, stripping rights, and imprisoning for a very long time. We do it today, aggressively, and it will continue.

It should continue, but never without Due Process. This is where the notion of the “wrong hands” fails horribly. Violent individuals, those found as being a menace to society after Due Process, should not have hands that are free to use violence against society. The wrong hands should not be available hands. Attacking, taxing, constraining, rationing of unalienable rights is antithetical to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is matter of basic morality, of rudimentary moral compass, that it is a heinous violation to deprive any citizen of fundamental rights without Due Process. We have done this, shamefully, based on religion, race, and gender throughout the development of the United States. As jealously as we guard fundamental human rights for ourselves, we need to use as much zeal to protect these rights for all Americans. Equal Protection Under the Law is not just a transient slogan. We need not encourage flag-burning or inter-racial marriage, we need not approve of it, we need not like it: but we must protect what we do not like and perhaps find personally highly offensive, for no individual can claim a life that is not found objectionable in some ways by some people. Equal protection under the law mandates that to protect our own vision of life and liberty, we must forever vigilantly protect completely different versions of life and liberty, for they are no less equal in the eyes of men and women of conscience, and no less preciously deserving of protection.

III. Facts are Facts and not Opinion
We know, through the best research from the best career criminologists in the world, that gun laws do not work. Consider Gary Kleck: . We may not like the idea that organized gun trafficking is largely irrelevant to the arming of America's criminals, that “higher general gun ownership rates reduce homicide rates, probably because the violence-reducing effects of guns among noncriminal victims and prospective victims outweigh the violence-increasing effects of guns among criminals.” Criminology is a heavily studied area, not at all some obscure subject matter. The private citizen prevents more crime than law enforcement ever has. It is a true as anything can be true. Why listen to Gary Kleck? Gary Kleck is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Independent Action, Democrats 2000, and Common Cause, among other politically liberal organizations He is a lifelong registered Democrat, as well as a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates. He is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of, or contributor to, the National Rifle Association, Handgun Control, Inc. nor any other advocacy organization, nor has he received funding for research from any such organization.

Why should anyone pay attention to Gary Kleck? Gary Kleck is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. His research centers on violence and crime control with special focus on gun control and crime deterrence. Dr. Kleck is the author of Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (Aldine de Gruyter, 1991), and Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control (Aldine de Gruyter, 1997). He is also a contributor to the major sociology journals, and in 1993 Dr. Kleck was the winner of the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology, for the book (Point Blank) which made "the most outstanding contribution to criminology" in the preceding three years. The evidence is overwhelming. Let Gary Kleck himself explain the facts:


Consider the work of Gary Mauser, Professor Emeritus, of Simon Fraser University in Canada. For over 20 years, his academic research at SFU has involved studying firearms and crime. A study he did with constitutional lawyer and criminologist Don B. Kates has been recently published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. "Politicians often think that banning guns will be a quick fix. But gun bans don’t work; if anything, they make matters worse. They disarm the law-abiding, yet are ignored by the violent and the criminal. Nations with severe violence problems tend to have severe gun laws. For example, countries as diverse as Jamaica and the Republic of Ireland banned legal civilian possession of virtually all firearms in the 1970s, but homicide and gun homicide rates have more than tripled. By the same token, the murder rates in handgun-banning US cities including New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC are far higher than in states like Pennsylvania and Connecticut, where handguns are legal and widely owned. . . research shows that banning civilian guns increases people’s vulnerability, fails to reduce violence, and merely empowers criminals and terrorists at the expense of the innocent. These research studies are available on my website,"

IV. Alright, So You Just Don't Care about Gun Laws Either Way
That well may be, but the private ownership of firearms makes your life safer, your family's life safer, and improves society as a whole. We are not guessing; for the FBI statistics show that since 1992, violence committed with guns in the U.S. has declined by over 50%. Far more guns in the hands of private citizens, far more Concealed Carry permits: an astonishing drop in gun violence. Like guns or not, use guns or not, the results are breathtakingly positive and the trend continues. If you just don't like guns, fine, but consider that private citizens with guns use them over 2,000,000 a year to make YOUR Country and YOUR Society a better place.

This is something that can not be rationally accoladed to government, to lawyers, to accountants, or to a dysfunctional Congress. The People of the United States have made the United States a better society by their own efforts, without a sprawling bureaucracy that history has shown to be non-productive and in many cases, quite destructive. On the basis of facts and actual results, firearm ownership by your family, your neighbors, in your community should be encouraged. The responsible citizen with arms offers the best promise of continuing to improve society, as proven year after year for the last two decades. We have dropped gun violence rates by over 50%. Should we not seek to drop them again by another 50%?


Copyright 2013 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


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