Source of firearms possessed by Federal inmates; 1997 Data source: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ffo98.pdf .
Prompting Americans to panic because of escalating fears of gun violence boggles the mind. ‘Gun killings have steadily risen since 2002.’ ‘Almost 31,236 Americans were killed by handguns, and 40,000 were injured in gun shootings.’
From these statements, one would think America was in major gun-violence throes. Once again, one needs to read between the lines.
It is known almost a million Americans own guns [Just Facts-Gun Control]. Washington, DC, faces one of the highest murder rates with guns in the country. But once handgun and trigger-lock laws became effective, killings spiked in DC. Thirty years later, when those same laws were struck down, DC’s killing rate drastically dropped.
Fear of Guns
Hoplophobia – Morbid Fear of Weapons, is very common and irrational. It should never be involved in making gun policy. Respect for firearms is a must, but a small portion of society lives in mortal fear of guns.
“Hoplophobia” [List of phobias], on the forum [www.DefensiveHandguns.com] is now recognized in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Hoplophobes Think Nobody Should Have A Gun.
All death is tragic. Greater tragedy is more children (younger than 5) drowned in bathtubs or water buckets, than died due to firearms. John R. Lott, Jr. [American Enterprise Institute], author of The Bias Against Guns, illuminates this. Per Lott, the media almost never discusses families who were defenseless in confrontations because of the lack of guns.
The Real Story on Gun Use
Lott found almost 90% of the time, people stopped criminals simply by exhibiting a gun. But the media mentioned in <1% of their stories that attacks were stopped when citizens used guns to stop them. Three academic surveys (Journal of Criminal Justice) found about two million “defensive gun uses” occur each year. Guns are used defensively 4x more frequently than for committing crimes.
Just in 2001, ABC, CBS, and NBC had 190,000 words in gun-crime stories on their national news broadcasts. But there was no story about the private citizen using a gun to crime-stop. Almost as bad, the New York Times had 50,745 words on gun crimes, but only 163 words on a robbery stopped by a police officer who used his gun. The USA Today had 5,660 words on gun crimes, but nothing on defensive uses.
Columbine High School
Who can forget that criminals purposely overlook any law controlling weapons? If law-abiding individuals cannot access firearms due to laws, only the law-breakers will have them. One can only remember Columbine (1999, 13 killed, 24 injured) from gunfire.
Columbine is the 4th deadliest school massacre in US history, after the 1927 Bath School disaster, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and the 1966 University of Texas massacre. One can wonder what an armed teacher could have done with a weapon in each circumstance, or what the parents of those students would have said had their kids not been killed.
The Constitution on Firearms
Ending arms possession is not only immoral, but unjust. Fomented by the government, it is a direct failure to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
So many deny the history of freedom is inextricably tied to the development of weapons. This 236 yr-old American right to keep and bear arms does not protect some sort of collective, assembled militias, armed force, or a right of the states. It is obvious from the Memorandum Opinion for the Attorney General, as to whether the 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms) secures an individual right.
Therefore, whether one believes it or not, disarming an innocent person can be a violent act.
Disarming the general public is a vent for fear, and a grossly distorted defiance of freedom. Hoplophobia leads many to political activism, hoping to eliminate guns for everyone. It’s irrationality becomes obvious when a total ban on guns in this country allows the rest of the world to produce as many guns as possible. Every criminal would have guns, as well as every other fully armed force, and terrorist entity in the world.
If one ever suspects she/he associates with a ‘hoplophobe’, it may be wise to occasionally ‘pack’ if legally permissible.
A free people ought not only to 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.” … George Washington
Kevin Roeten can be reached at [email protected].