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Gun Control

Multiple-victim shootings are always big news to the major media outlets. No matter where in the world they take place, the story will be “big news” for days. That is, unless the shooters are government agents.

Once again the gun control arguments come out. Time to trot out the dream of a society where there are no guns and everybody is nice to each other. Yawn. Who keeps stealing the “new” out of our news… leaves us with “S”, doesn’t it?

Human nature includes mean people. Bullies exist. Human cruelty exists. Those nice people who don’t have guns can only dream that taking away guns will make everybody nice. It won’t happen.

Brutes will pick on weaker people. That’s what they do. They do not choose to lose. They typically are so risk averse that they will not only pick weaker appearing victims, but make double sure by outnumbering them and/or using tools like clubs, knives, rocks and so on. Guns are an amazingly compact and effective tool for preventing or stopping the brutes.

Estimates vary between 800,000 to 2.5 million violent crimes are prevented or stopped in the USA annually by the presence or use of firearms (20 to 1 where no shots are fired).

The recent church shooting is a good example. The brute came prepared to kill 100 people. His shooting spree abruptly ended when a woman of the parish shot him with her handgun. He and both of his victims will be firearm death statistics, but there would have been a lot more if she hadn’t acted with courage AND with a gun.

In the anti-gun dream world, he would have wielded a machete and left a bloody trail through the church. Not my idea of a pretty dream.

These USA cause-of-death numbers are from a few years ago, but probably quite current percentage-wise:

733, 361 heart disease
539,533 cancer
159,942 stroke
106,027 chronic pulmonary disease
98,000 medical mistakes
94,948 accidents
83,727 pneumonia & flu
61,767 diabetes
43,649 motor vehicle
33,750 firearms

Using the lowest number for violent crimes prevented by the use of firearms and the irrational assumption that none of the 34,000 firearm deaths would have occurred in some other way, 800,000 violent crimes stopped weighs heavily in favor of an armed society being far less violent than it would be were it unarmed.

A lot of your personal view is what you are accustomed to and comfortable with. I live in a society among some truly nice people who are also rifle, pistol and shotgun shooters. Though I have spent time with several hundred shooters and many times more guns, I don’t know a single one who has shot a human – not a person or a gun.

On the other hand, I can’t imagine spending even a moment in England where violent people go unchecked, where burglars are as comfortable entering occupied as unoccupied homes, where everyone knows several victims of violent crime. It is incomprehensible to me that people could become comfortable knowing that at any moment a man with a club could beat them senseless and have no effective means of self-protection.

I am not particularly big or strong. I don’t practice any martial arts. I am kind, thoughtful and generous of spirit. But I am not disposed to be an unresistant victim of a senseless bully. I carry a Glock .357 that I fully intend to never use for anything more violent than making noise and punching holes in paper targets… and that, by the way, is a great deal of fun.

Then there is the really ugly side of gun control.

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

The next time a politician talks in favor of gun control, ask them, “Who do YOU want to round up and exterminate?”