- Posted February 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
Gun Control & Unintended Consequences
Americans are quite rightly distrustful of their government, for the promise of Congress that the “intent of the law is not to place any undue or unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens” is now a faded memory. The gun industry itself has committed several horrible missteps, missteps that were driven in part by the notion that entire industry was on the brink of ruin. The label “assault weapon” has been uncommonly effective. Assault is of course a crime, so relabeling random collections of small arms as “Crime Weapons” again and again has worked. Propaganda terms can be effective, if yelled loud enough and long enough, just like plastic guns, cop-killer bullets, Saturday Night Specials: all as mythical and as fantasy-based as our bloody search for the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in the sand that weren't there.
Crime is a very closely studied topic, hardly an unknown or obscure topic. What we know from the decade long “Assault Weapons Ban” is that it had no discernible affect on violent crime. We know that it was a huge waste of time and money. Canada found out the same thing with their expensive firearms blunder. While there were dire predictions about the streets running red, that has been disproved. Gun crime in the United States remains in a steep decline, a reduction of over 50% per capita since 1992.
We also know now that CCW, contrary to doomsday predictions, has not increased crime. To the contrary, we now know it helps reduce crime. The majority of states have “shall issue laws” for the very basic reason that they know it is in the public interest and deters crime. We have 2.1 million proper uses of firearms by civilians every year in the United States, that continually prevent crime altogether or thwart it.
Americans don't trust their government, with good reason, and as a result of this great mistrust gun sales have soared. Sales of Armalite rifles and the associated standard 30 round magazines have also soared, for the U.S. Government has proved they can interfere with the Second Amendment. Yet, violent crime rates continue to drop, confounding the gun-grabsters to no end.
At one time, the industry and George H.W. Bush plan of confiscation or registration of large capacity magazines of 1989 actually could have been workable, against law-abiding citizens anyway. Australia did just that, imposing a national sales tax and buying back some 631,000 rifles and shotguns. Australia, like the U.K., has no 2nd Amendment and self-defense is no allowable reason for firearm ownership. Firearm ownership in Australia is said to be about 5% of the population.
In the U.S., though no one really knows, self-reported firearm ownership includes up to 47% of all households (Gallup, 2011), consisting of some 400 million private guns, another 3 million or so by the military, and a million or so by police. The exact number is unknowable, for until 1968 firearms were not required to have serial numbers. On top of all this, ever since the sunset of the AWB of 1994-2004, the American public has purchased more AR-15 rifles and pistols than anything else. Magazines have no serial numbers, so the number of magazines in the United States is speculative, unknowable, but huge. The prior actions of government and the current well-known anti-gun posture of the current administration has created the exact opposite of what gun abolitionists have sought: a number of firearms and magazines so high, so profuse, so common that confiscation notions are fantastically unworkable.
The further, great barrier is the 2010 McDonald vs. Chicago Supreme Court ruling. Here is an excerpt from the majority opinion: “In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”
The Media cannot refrain from sensationalizing, if not romanticizing, most every incident involving firearms. Rather than refer to a madman as a madman or just a deranged sicko, color pictures of the perpetrator are splashed across every page. Extensive interviews are conducted with everyone and everyone who claims to have seen him, or crossed paths with him in the most casual manner. Childhood photos are published, along with every meaningless note, scrapbook doodle, or Facebook posting. If not sensationalism, it is tantamount to glorification. It begs for copycats, promising the most rare, demented elements of society that they too can make their mark and became headline news. The media promises it and oh, brother do they ever deliver. You'll have to decide for yourself how reckless and irresponsible, if not damnable, it has become.
Politicians capitalize on emotion, not facts, to ram through statues not proven to be meaningful, in some cases proven not to work, yet it allows them to claim hollow “credit” for doing something, or just advancing their “behind the scenes” under the radar agenda. In fact, proposals are made to “solve” things long before a investigation of an incident has been fully conducted, much less completed, much less thoroughly analyzed. It is not only fixing what isn't broken, it is fixing before you even know what or if something is broken. It is intellectually dishonest to float a solution before the problems are known.
Gun companies that produce products that have helped the United States win World Wars are puzzled. No only are their products legal, they are specifically protected by the United States Constitution. Guns save far more lives than they take, they protect and serve the American Citizen, the policeman, the FBI, the Secret Service, the CIA. Gun companies are astonished and bewildered that their products, part of the U.S. Constitution itself, would be targeted, boycotted, and demonized by banks, credit card companies, teacher's unions. Do not these people understand that these firearms serve and protect the general population of the United States countless times every day? When anyone dials 911 in times of emergency, do they really want to call someone that is not armed with a high-quality American firearm? If a violent situation is happening, do teachers call credit card companies, their churches, or do they call First Responders that have the ability to respond with reliable American firearms?
Gun owners are throughly puzzled as to why the governments solution is to punish people that didn't have anything to do with it. The automobile driver in Cleveland cannot believe he is being blamed for the bus crash in Denver. The family cooking burgers on the grill is amazed they are blamed for the arson in Los Angeles. The bike rider in Cincinnati is puzzled he is blamed for the train wreck in New Jersey.
The soldier returning from Afghanistan is waiting for his prosthetic legs and cannot understand why those who murder the American civilians he fought to protect are more important than him and his family. Twenty-two veterans every day commit suicide. Who cries for them and their families? They fought to defend the Constitution of the United States and their Country. Their families wonder why their lives are now so less important and less visible to the Media, Congress, and the President than some rabid maniac that decides to kill innocent soft targets.
So do I.