If guns really were the problem we would have seen a spike in violent incidents across the US since 2008 when Obama was elected the president. Since Obama’s first term, sales of guns and ammo have been hard to keep in stock all across America. Conspicuously absent are the violent incidents that should be consequential to so many new firearms being sold into the public quarter.
If guns are the problem then why has gun violence NOT risen proportionally to gun sales? Just the opposite has occurred: violent crime rates have fallen in much of the country as gun ownership has risen. If you take some of the most heavily populated city centers out of the equation you begin to see a revealing truth: citizens uniformly conduct themselves within the law and do not use firearms to harm others. What is also clear is that a disproportionate amount of gun violence is conducted in urban areas by criminals.
Let’s Fix What’s Broken
Want to know what is really happening out there? Americans have been purchasing guns by the millions each year for the last two decades and firearm-related homicides and suicides have dramatically diminished. What slanted and biased sources am I quoting here for my statistics? One set of statistics was compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. The other was reported by the Pew Research Center.
According to DOJ statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased a staggering 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first decade of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006 and then declined again through 2011. Nonfatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004 and has since fluctuated.
On a national level, we have this hue and cry to restrict Second Amendment rights, with tremendous pressure originating in the media and along political lines—pressure to enact stricter laws around guns and gun ownership. When the federal gun control legislation failed earlier this year, Obama and those of his mindset vowed to wage a war on those who voted down his gun-control measures.
Are you taking notes? Millions of new guns sold in the last decade and millions more Americans have chosen to arm themselves. Gun violence has decreased in that same period. People, simply put, guns are NOT the problem. Let’s take a walk into Obama’s own Chicago to get a sense of what is the problem.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, was recently on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he drew attention to a study done by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a data-gathering and research organization run by Syracuse University. The 2012 TRAC study found that out of 90 federal jurisdictions, Chicago ranked dead last for prosecuting bad guys with guns. LaPierre’s question to the press was “Why is Chicago dead last in enforcement of the gun laws against gangs with guns, felons with guns, drug dealers with guns?’”
We have all of these journalists, who write institutionally for a living, and almost none of them is asking the right questions about gun control. There are laws on the books making it illegal for criminals to have guns in Chicago. Chicago leads the nation in gun violence and murders. We know who is committing these crimes. There is a striking lack of enforcement of those laws. Why?
Why are journalists choosing to lend their influence to theatrics – largely emotional reactions to tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High School and the incessant campaign to restrict gun rights and gun ownership? Why aren’t these people talking about inner city violence, which comprises as much as one-third of all gun violence? Why isn’t someone getting real about changing things in the inner cities? Start there.
The most obvious place for reformation is within the pockets of the criminally minded—felons killing other felons in a round-robin of turf wars conducted over illegal activities. Bad people who live by a creed of violence and destruction are the problem. Criminals whose methods are violent will always find access to tools of violence to conduct their business. So, again, let’s ask, “why won’t Chicago prosecute its criminals that are daily committing violent crimes?” And why do gun control advocates seek to legislate for all of America when they have put virtually no effort into solving the decadent city centers where crime is real and existing gun law violations are rampant?
In 2004, the DOJ conducted a survey of state prison inmates to find out where they got their guns to commit their crimes. Two percent of those who owned a gun at the time of their offense bought it at either a gun show or flea market. Roughly 10 percent purchased their gun from a retail shop or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.
The March Pew study (referenced earlier) uses numbers obtained from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Pew study noted a dramatic drop in gun crime over the past two decades. Their accounting shows a 49 percent decline in the homicide rate and a 75 percent decline of non-fatal violent crime victimization.
So, let me say it again: these “gun control” efforts are a lot more about control than they are about guns. Just last December the FBI recorded a record number of 2.78 million background checks for purchases that month, a nearly 40% increase from the 2.01 million conducted the month before. FBI checks for all of 2012 totaled 19.6 million, an annual record, and an increase of 19 percent over 2011.
Millions of more guns are being sold every year and LESS gun violence is the result. If we want to be real about this, if we want to talk the truth about guns and gun ownership, we are seeing that Americans opening their homes to more guns is a deterrent to the criminal element—to those who conduct violent crimes. These facts move you in the opposite direction the gun control enthusiasts are shoving you.
One of the largest and most prevalent arguments used by those who support legislation to restrict gun rights, is that these monstrous and inhuman tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine are the reason we need to start somewhere and that by passing these restrictions everyone will be safer and better off. The argument is fallacious, built upon a non sequitur. The people who do these hellish things have been and will always be unaffected by legislative fiat.
Every single time a nut job goes on a senseless rampage, killing just to kill, out scurry the legislative brigands by the dozens, insisting that more laws will prevent such senseless acts. They won’t. Guns are not the problem. Those who seek to restrict Second Amendment rights will continue to add legislative act upon legislative act until they have achieved absolute control. Gun control is not about guns – it is about control.
Brick-by-brick, those who tout gun control are building their wall. Whatever its present and public face, if you think current gun legislation is the sum of the matter, I am here to remind you that it is not. Brick by thieving legislative brick, the sum of the matter is meant to be the removal of a right guaranteed in this Nation’s Bill of Rights – the right to keep and bear arms.