The Argument Is Loaded

By Siebold, Steve | USA TODAY, May 2013 | Go to article overview

The Argument Is Loaded


Siebold, Steve, USA TODAY


GUN CONTROL always has been a controversial subject in the U.S., but it should not be. The Second Amendment clearly states we have the right to bear arms. Founding Father George Washington said, "A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."

This is not surprising given the Founders' independent spirit and inherent mistrust of government after living under the British crown. Firearms are the ultimate leveling of the playing field. "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good," Washington added.

Our first President clearly was pro-gun, but so were other chief executives. "They 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," declared Thomas Jefferson. No one ever would accuse Jefferson of being a war monger. If there was a pacifist among the Founders, it was he.

Jefferson's logic is hard to dispute and has nothing to do with the fact he said this more than 230 years ago. Human nature has not changed. Bad people always will have guns and good people should have the right to protect themselves. Banning guns only punishes the innocent and leaves them unable to fight back.

Even Mahatma Ghandi, who helped India gain independence through passive resistance, agreed. "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

The only people who win when gun control laws are enacted are the criminals. All these laws do is motivate robbers, muggers, and thieves. The world has a long history of leaders banning firearms for the purpose of weakening public resistance. Psychopaths like Germany's Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union's Joseph Stalin, and China's Chairman Mao all disarmed their citizens before they destroyed them. It is the old saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely. A gun-toting public evens things out, and that is why guns should stay legal and readily available.

The delusion is rooted in linear thinking that leads people to believe banning guns reduces violence and crime. This has been tried again and again and always fails. In 1996, Australia publicly destroyed more than 600,000 firearms in an attempt at gun control. In 1997, armed robberies increased 44%. A very similar scenario played out in London in the mid 20th century. When it was legal to buy a shotgun, the rate of armed robberies was fairly low. British gun control laws changed everything and the rate of robberies rose dramatically.

Critical thinking suggests that reducing violent crime requires a nonlinear solution, which starts with firearms training, education, and stricter laws for criminals who use guns and fewer laws for people who fire in self-defense. If a burglar enters your home, you should be able to shoot first and ask questions later.

A 20-year-old single mother recently sat in her home holding her baby in one arm and gun in the other while an armed robber was attempting to break in. Knowing she could be charged with murder ff she killed him, she called 911 and asked the operator if it was okay to shoot him. The police were on their way, but she knew they would not make it in time. The robber finally broke into the house and she shot him dead. While this was illegal in her state, no charges were filed. What jury in their right mind would convict this woman of anything outside of heroism? Someone brandishing a weapon was threatening her life and child and luckily she was armed and calm enough to pull the trigger. The real question: why did she have to call 911 and ask for permission to defend her life? The current gun laws in some states protect criminals more than victims. …

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