The mass shooting at Las Vegas is tragic and I am saddened by the event. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. This was another example of pure evil incarnate. What else can you call someone that shoots people at a concert like shooting fish in a barrel? I am also saddened that the conversation quickly changed from an evil act to gun control. Gun control has never solved anything except a dictator’s problem with the opposition.
Changing the conversation in this country has become an art form. It’s made easy when we ignore facts, logic, and reason to switch to an emotional response. The emotional response has no place for facts, logic, or reason. An emotional response is made even worse when it’s nothing more than a thinly veiled politically motivated narrative. Gun control in this country is not about saving lives, it’s about politics.
The Second Amendment has been around since 1791. As of 2017, that’s 226 years of gun ownership in America. If guns were the problem, it would have reared its ugly head long before we coined the phrase active shooter. Statistics show, the problem is not with guns; the problem lies with the evil men or women that use them.
Let’s talk about facts. Facts trump emotion, opinion, and bullshit every time. You can choose to ignore the facts but you can’t make them go away. Let’s go over a few simple facts and open our minds to an honest conversation.
Las Vegas Is Not The Worst Mass Shooting In US History
We love to ignore history. It’s convenient because you don’t have to look at facts. If you can ignore facts, then you can create your own reality and try to push it on others. Here is a historical fact: Las Vegas is not the worst mass shooting in US history as the media has led you to believe.
In 1890, the U.S. Cavalry killed 146 (some say up to 300) Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. What started as a peaceful protest in the form of a ceremonial dance (without weapons) ended in tragedy. The cavalry became squirrely, overreacted, and started shooting every Indian in sight.
To be fair, let’s assume there was some clear provocation by a few armed Indians (which there wasn’t). Let’s further assume that the cavalry has the right to keep the peace and defend itself. Even with those two assumptions, how do they justify shooting everyone regardless of their level of involvement, including unarmed men, women, and children? You can’t. So as bad as Las Vegas was, this one was way worse.
Let’s Look At Some Other Significant Events:
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and killed 168 people. No guns were involved.
3000 Americans lost their lives on September 11, 2001, during an attack on the Twin Towers. No guns were involved.
In Chicago, there were 84 murders in June, 76 murders in August, and 59 murders last month in September. So far, this year in Chicago, there have been 519 murders (these numbers come from the Chicago Tribune). Considering Chicago’s restrictive gun laws, those numbers are shocking because aren’t gun laws designed to stop gun-related violence?
Let’s Look At Some Big Picture Facts
Current numbers since January 1, 2017, until October 5, 2017 (source)
In 2016 there were 501,325 recorded abortions. So far this year, there have been 829,764 abortions. No guns were involved.
So far this year, heart disease has taken 449,603 lives. No guns were involved.
So far this year, 449,603 lives have been lost to some type of cancer. No guns were involved.
So far this year, 265,948 people have died directly related to tobacco use. No guns were involved.
In 2016 there were 140,939 recorded deaths related to obesity. So far this year, there have been 233, 274. No guns were involved.
In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. So far this year it’s up to 25,689. No guns were involved.
In 2016, There were 5,276 murders involving a gun. So far this year it’s 8733.
Why Not Apply Gun Control Logic To These Issues?
If we were to apply gun control logic to these other mortality issues, it might look something like this:
- The first thing we should do is make all abortions illegal. This alone will save the biggest number of lives.
- We should pass laws that require everyone to eat healthy and work out. This would help stop us from becoming morbidly obese or dying from heart attacks. We should outlaw all fast food restaurants, soft drinks, sugary snacks and anything edible that is man-made with no nutritional value.
- We need to force a cure for cancer. Come on, all those billions spent on research, spanning decades of work, by top scientists and nothing? I’m throwing down the bullshit card on this one.
- We should make all forms of tobacco illegal. The tobacco plant should be eradicated. All seeds should be destroyed.
- This one can go either way. Either make alcohol manufacture and consumption illegal (oh wait, we tried that one already) or make driving illegal. We’d be fair about cars though. You could own them, you just couldn’t drive them.
- You could certainly pass more gun laws. Wait, that one doesn’t make any sense since the ones we already have don’t work. But we could pass them anyway because it looks good and makes certain people feel good about themselves.
One more thing. I’m angry about the recent rise in pressure cooker bombs. Let’s solve that one fast before it gets out of hand; make pressure cookers illegal; my wife is going to pissed because she loves her three Instant Pots (a modern pressure cooker). And if you have any at home, you have to turn them in for gas cards at your local police department.
Before I go any further…
Let’s be clear on a few points. I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers of this great nation knew what they were doing when they wrote the Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
I believe the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the sporting use of firearms. It has everything to do with self-defense from enemies within and outside the United States. If you look at our history for answers, it’s perfectly clear what the founders’ meant. They never said anything about hunting or plinking. The Founding Fathers wanted the citizenry prepared for whatever emergency presented itself.
I can back up my opinion by pointing to federal law and how it defines the militia as mentioned in the Second Amendment.
According to federal law, every able-bodied man between the ages of 17 and 45, not on active duty, in the reserve, or in the National Guard, is already a member of the unorganized militia. Females serving in the National Guard are also members of the militia. The law was updated in 2016 so it can’t be considered archaic. Click here to read my blog post on the militia and what it means.
However, I’m not a fanatic. I also believe that there are people who shouldn’t have access to firearms at all. Violent criminals, the mentally insane, and those who would attack our way of life and advocate the overthrow of our government, need to be prevented from coming near firearms. I’m also for background checks and I don’t mind a reasonable waiting period. I don’t mind having to apply for a concealed weapons permit but do prefer unrestricted carry for those that can legally do so. I applaud those states that have already done so.
Why I don’t Believe In Gun Control
I don’t believe gun control is the answer.
If you focus on gun control, you ignore the evil that’s found in mankind. You assume that if you remove guns from the equation, the evil will stop. The only way you can stop evil armed with a gun is a good man or women with a gun. Gun control advocates would have you attack the instrument. Instead, you attack the person wielding it. If we go for the instrument you punish everyone for a crime they didn’t commit. If you think guns are the problem, then you must agree that we must also ban forks because they make us fat.
Some facts gun control advocates don’t want you to hear
According to USA Today, a study conducted by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern universities showed that an estimated 55 million Americans own firearms. These 55 million Americans own approximately 265 million firearms. The number of law-abiding citizens, who use firearms legally and hurt no one, overshadows the small percentage of criminals that do. My thought is, how can punishing 55 million law-abiding citizens be the answer?
In 2013, the FBI was asked by then President Obama to file a report on active shooters. The FBI reported that from the years 2000 to 2013, 486 Americans lost their lives in active shooter situations, which works out to approximately 37 deaths per year. Compare that to being struck by lightning, where each year approximately 51 people are killed. Americans are 38% more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than by an active shooter.
In 1995, Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz published a study in The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology where they analyzed guns usage and found that guns were used more for defensive purposes than they were for criminal activity. A follow-on study in 1997 discovered that self-defense gun use accounted for more than 80% of all gun use in America.
In a 1985 poll of felons serving time behind bars, the U.S. Department of Justice found out some interesting observations from inmates:
60% of those polled said they would not mess with a victim if they knew they were armed.
74% of those polled said they would not burglarize a home when the victims were there, for fear of being shot.
57% of those polled said they were more worried about running into an armed victim than running into the police.
Translation from past and present studies: victim selection is based upon who a criminal believes is least likely to put up resistance. The government-sponsored research shows that owning a firearm makes you less likely to be a victim. Sounds like a good deal to me.
Here is a link that shows where law-abiding citizens were able to save lives 11 times because they had a gun. Here is another that shows nine more. These are just a few examples of stories you won’t hear in mainstream media.
I agree that one senseless death is one too many. But I don’t agree in punishing everyone for the criminal acts of a few.
In the end, the gun control argument is about eventually taking all our firearms away. Regardless of design or capacity, all firearms have the potential to kill. Incremental gun control is like boiling a frog slowly. Because the heat is being turned up slowly, over time, the frog doesn’t realize it’s being boiled to death. By the time the frog realizes he’s in trouble, it’s too late.
That’s why I believe so strongly in the Second Amendment. If our gun rights continue to disappear, we will have no way of defending ourselves. We will become easy prey for criminals, politicians, or outside foreign influence. It’s a very dangerous thing to live in a country where the only people who have guns are the criminals, police, and military. I can’t wrap my head around people who think that’s safer. I have first-hand knowledge of gun control because my family is originally from Cuba. That’s why they moved here and became naturalized citizens. For the record, I have never heard of anyone running away from the United States on a raft and floating to Cuba to escape all the guns in the USA. But, I could be mistaken.