Skeptical views of the anti-gun crusade

I still don't get it

March 21, 2000

I still don't get it

I don't get it. In the 19th century south, playing the drums or learning to read or write were punishable by whipping and even death if you were a slave. I can only imagine what would have happened to any black man who dared to own a weapon.

In Nazi Germany, handguns were banned except for Nazi party members in good standing. Jews were forbidden from operating firearms businesses or owning guns. The very next day after "Crystal Night", the ban was extended to Jews possessing clubs and knives.

This is history folks whether it fits in with the anti-gun religion or not.

The first thing the tyrannical impulse does when it wants to control people is take away their weapons. "Weapons" include, but are not limited to, things like:

1) an independent press (long gone in this country);
2) the ability to transact business privately and own property (banking surveillance and property seizure are now common); and
3) the ability to know real history, real cause and effect, and think clearly (schools seem to teach the opposite of these things)

Forget, for a moment, all the supposed perils of private gun ownership. Can anyone point out to me a *single* instance in history, anywhere, in any time, in which weapons were taken away from the people for any reason other than to weaken them? What makes some people so certain that Americans are immune from the law of history which states that tyranny unopposed grows?

I have to wonder what some people think I produce Brasscheck for. To play "gotcha" with the powers that be? No. For defense, self defense, the defense of my friends and family, and the defence of what I perhaps archaically consider my countrymen and women. Just because the hammer has not fallen on your privileged head doesn't mean you aren't living in a tyranny. The bad times are already here and very real for millions.

Somehow huge numbers of people in this country believe that human rights violations are things that only take place overseas. That somehow 2,000,000+ in jail; 2,000,000+ children on school mandated psychoactive drugs; 30,0000 military-style SWAT teams, and plainclothes police harassing, intimidating, assaulting, and sometimes murdering innocent people, usually minorities, does not constitute a major human right crisis in this country. Are we waiting for the TV to tell us to get upset?

No, instead we focus on the bandwagon "du jour" which is to demonize private gun ownership which happens to be the very cause that the mentality responsible for the crimes in the above paragraph hold closest to its heart these days.

I don't get it.

There are already hundreds of gun control laws. They are not being enforced and not one of the new laws being proposed would have prevented any of the headline crimes that are being used to promote them. What are being proposed now are NOT gun control laws, they are calculated intrusions that are a prelude to criminalizing private gun ownership. In fact, many of the proponents of these laws make no bones about it. That is what they are after.

The very same people who were quick to smear people who were opposed to the assault on Yugoslavia, the assault on the Branch Davidians, the assault on WTO protestors, the assault on civil liberties in the guise of various anti-terrorism bills are working overtime to smear anyone who dares to question the anti-gun crusade.

Today's New York Times calls the arguments of those opposed to the latest wave or gun regulations "the corrupted logic and bizarre exaggeration associated with the doomsday cults, the Montana Freemen, Aryan Nation types and other single-issue anti-government crazies."

Yet the proponents of Clinton's gun laws literally fly into rages against anyone who dares question their motivation. They show no interest in a discussion of the facts and frequently resort to misrepresenting the facts of the case.

And many good people are going along with it.

I don't get it.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but please don't present your subjective impressions as well researched, carefully reasoned positions or the moral high ground. Until you have the facts, what you possess is a subjective impression infused with high emotion.

The impulse to be repulsed by firearms is an entirely natural and normal response. The idea behind firearms *is* repulsive. And some of the people who are most ardent in expressing their opposition to proposed bans and restrictions are not the most sympathy- inspiring people in the world.

But that does not make them automatically wrong.

They are entitled to have their arguments heard. They are entitled to demand that the objective facts of the situation be aired. And they are entitled to be regarded as human beings who have a viewpoint.

The precursor to ALL violence is the demonization of the other. The police officer who murdered another innocent man in cold blood last week in New York had made up his mind that any black man on the streets late at night was probably a dangerous criminal and deserved to be treated as such. And the many, many people who cheered NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia had made up their minds that the 'Serbs' were evil and deserved to be punished, and if possible, destroyed.

And on and on it goes.

What is more dangerous? The impulse to mindlessly join in the demonization of others or weapons like firearms and knives?

I beseech all people of good conscience to familiarize themselves with the arguments of those who are opposed to the Clinton-era regulation of firearms. And to look at the facts, not the emotion-laden demagoguery of people who, in fact, DO have blood on their hands. Withhold your judgement until you have the facts. And if you discover that there is more to this than you previously realized, don't be afraid to speak out about what you've learned.

If, because you deviate from the approved path, you are declared a right wing kook, you'll be in good company:

* Katha Pollitt in the pages of the Nation recently savaged Ralph Nader for daring to share an opinion on NAFTA and so called "free trade" with Patrick Buchanan.

* Will Offley in an article published by the Anti-Fascist Info Bulletin states that far right zealots are "active in... cannabis legalization, alternative health, anti-corporate activism, even support for native sovereignty..."

* The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the protest against the WTO in Seattle alarming "evidence of a growing convergence of (hard) right and (hard) left-wing groups."

We are fast approaching the day when opposing corporate domination of humanity or advocating any number of rational solutions to social problems will get you branded as a member of the far right. Fifty years ago, "communist" was the dirty word. The intention today is identical even if their tactics are somewhat less ham handed: shut down discussion of certain issues.

Here are some random sites provided to me by a subscriber that inform the skeptics's side of the gun control story, the one you are not hearing from the US news industry. Take a look. Use the one weapon that no one has yet overtly proposed taking away form you - your ability to reason.

Statistics from the DoJ Bureau of Statistics:

The Journalist's Guide to Gun Policy Scholars and Second Amendment Scholars

Second Amendment Site

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

The organization above has an interesting and plausible theory on the origin of the concepts behind the current (since 1968) "gun control" movement in the US (excerpt):

"In 1938, five years after taking power, the Nazis enhanced the 1928 (gun) law. The Nazi Weapons Law introduced handgun control. Firearms ownership was restricted to Nazi party members and other "reliable" people.

The 1938 Nazi law barred Jews from businesses involving firearms. On November 10. 1938 -- one day after the Nazi party terror squads (the SS) savaged thousands of Jews, synagogues and Jewish businesses throughout Germany -- new regulations under the Weapons Law specifically barred Jews from owning any weapons, even clubs or knives."


Women against gun control

Gun Defence Clock

Here are some more things to ponder...

Passed along by Sam Smith:


* Recent poll finds only 29% want new gun laws; 68% want stricter enforcement of existing laws.

* The Columbine murderers violated at least 17 state and federal weapons control laws, and none of the proposals for trigger locks, waiting periods or gun show restrictions would have stopped Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from obtaining either their guns or bomb-making materials.

* Clinton says, "American children are killed by gunfire at a rate nine times higher than the combined total of the next 25 top industrial nations." Excluded from the tally: Russia and Brazil, which have among the toughest gun bans in the world and still have murder rates four times higher than those in the US.

* "Accidental gun deaths among children are fortunately much rarer than most people believe. Consider New York, with more than 2.6 million children under the age of 10. From 1993 to 1997, the Centers for Disease Control report that there were only six accidental gun deaths in that age range an annual rate of 1.2 deaths. Yet, with over 3.3 million adult New Yorkers owning at least one gun in 1996, the overwhelming majority of gun owners must be extremely careful or such gun accidents would be much more frequent."

* "Guns clearly deter criminals: Americans use guns defensively around 2 million times each year five times more frequently than the 430,000 times guns were used to commit crimes in 1997. And 98 percent of the time, simply brandishing the weapon is sufficient to stop an attack."

*"Recent research that I have done, examining juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides for all the states in the United States from 1977 to 1996, found that safe-storage laws had no impact on either type of death. However, what did happen was that law-abiding citizens were less able to defend themselves against crime. The 15 states that adopted these laws during this period faced over 300 more murders and 3,860 more rapes per year. Burglaries also increased dramatically."

[John R. Lott Jr., Yale University Law School, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" in the NY Post and Wall Street Journal]

Why the push to disarm us Mr. President? "For the children? If you,re so concerned about "the children, why don't you enforce the laws you've already put on the books? Why do you shrill for new laws, laws which would have had no effect on the Michigan shooting, or the LA day care shooting, or the Columbine shooting Why do you demand more laws that only serve to punish law-abiding Americans, while turning a blind eye to the depredations of violent criminals?

Do you want criminals disarmed, Mr. Clinton? Or do you want America disarmed? Because if you are trying to protect our children, it seems to me that the place to start is with the people most likely to harm them. But your laws don't keep guns from criminals; they don't buy their guns at sporting goods stores and gun shows. They steal them. They buy them from other people who steal them. But they don't submit to background checks. And any adult who is irresponsible enough to leave a gun lying where a 6-year-old can find it isn't conscientious enough to make sure a trigger lock is in place.

Source: John Guthmiller