We stand on these sturdy legs when we work with legislatures and when we fight in the courts to advance our goal, a Sharper Future for all Americans.
Now, our Essential Rights enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are threatened as they have never been threatened before. The heinous criminal tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school has opened the door to those for whom no weapons and no self-defense is the ultimate goal. We must all come together to protect these rights or surely lose both our rights and our tools.
Knife Rights was formed as the Second Front in the Defense of the Second Amendment. Now we must stand firm with our brethren to fight for all of our “arms.” Anyone who thinks that somehow the Anti’s will stop with firearms is delusional. One only has to look at England, Europe and Australia to see where this slippery slope leads–not only to disarmament of both firearms and knives, but also to the morally indefensible and absurd concept that you have no right to protect and defend yourself, your family or your home.
On our own shores, we see it in the lawless and unethical actions of the New York District Attorney and NYPD
(New York City already has the strictest gun control laws in the nation) who have unilaterally and unconstitutionally tried to twist existing law to outlaw common pocket knives as “gravity knives,” arresting thousands of law-abiding owners and shaking down retailers. This unlawful knife grab potentially includes more than 80 percent of the pocket knives sold in the U.S. today. (See also: Al Sharpton on “Knife Control…” )
We don’t have to guess where this all leads. It isn’t alarmist. We have the proof right in front of us.
Nor do we have to look hard to discover the futility of such efforts. Contrary to what many assume, the U.S. does not lead the world in the rate of mass shootings. No, that sorry leadership is owned by countries with some of the strictest gun and knife controls in the world. Nor do more restrictive laws equate to fewer deaths or less crime. In fact, the evidence in the U.S. points to the opposite conclusion; a well-armed society is a safer society.
We have far more “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” when free men and women possess arms to defend those “unalienable Rights” from whomever wishes to take them.
Tom Gresham is a member of the Board of Directors of Knife Rights. He penned the following editorial, which appeared in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch last week. It sums up the issue with the clear logic and common sense this debate deserves. After his editorial, we have some suggestions for action you can take to protect our Essential Rights:
In the wake of the horrific murders at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut, America has been deluged with calls for ever-more-restrictive gun-control laws, and that’s understandable. It’s natural to think that’s the solution if you don’t know these measures have been tried and have always failed.
We crave a solution so much that we’ll ignore the record and keep repeating failed policies.
We are told that we need gun-control laws. Sounds good, right? Should we make it illegal for anyone adjudicated to be mentally ill to buy a gun? Let’s make it illegal for felons to possess guns. Let’s license gun dealers and require the FBI to do a background check on anyone buying a gun from these stores. How about an age restriction on buying guns? Gun shows should have to follow the same laws as everyone else.
All those already are law, and there are some 20,000 additional gun-control laws in the U.S. Before one can rationally call for passage of gun laws, he or she must know what already is covered.
How about a ban on “assault weapons”? We’re told this is only common sense. But, what is this thing called an assault weapon? It’s not a machine gun. There were no machine guns covered in the original assault-weapon ban because those firearms already are tightly restricted. No, the autoloading (called semiautomatic) rifles included in the original law simply looked like military guns. They should be banned on the basis of how they look? They fire only one shot with each pull of the trigger, like a revolver or the cowboy-style lever-action rifle used by John Wayne.
Semiautomatics have been around for more than 100 years. President Teddy Roosevelt hunted with a semiautomatic rifle, as do millions of hunters today.
For 10 years (1994 to 2004) we banned only those semiautomatic rifles that look like military guns. Prohibitionists’ logic dictates that the demise of this law in 2004 should have spawned a huge increase in crime with rifles. Didn’t happen. More people are killed with fists and feet than with rifles of any kind, and semiautomatics constitute merely a subset of rifles. In short, the ban failed. It had to.
The National Academy of Sciences studied gun laws in the U.S. and reported it could find no link between restrictions on gun ownership and lower rates of crime, firearms violence or accidents with guns.
Over the past 20 years, the rates of violent crime and murder have dropped by half in the U.S., according to the FBI. That’s astounding. We have more guns and more gun owners, but the rate of violent crime and murder went down by half. Accidental shooting deaths also declined. How can this be?
Two things were done, and they work.
Over the course of a half-century, with more guns and more gun owners, the number of gun accidents resulting in death has fallen because of education. Gun owners, through various programs, have taught safe gun storage and gun handling and have brought into our schools the Eddie Eagle program, which teaches young children to not touch guns and to tell an adult if they find one.
The major change in America’s gun laws over the past two decades is removing prohibitions against people carrying guns for protection. The concealed-carry movement started in Florida amid catcalls from the media – which dubbed it the “Gunshine State” – and predictions that every fender-bender accident would result in gunshots. That didn’t happen there, and it didn’t happen in the other states.
More good people are carrying guns, and the violent-crime and murder rates decline.
We have a clear track record of what works to increase our safety. We know what doesn’t. Arming good people does, in fact, reduce crime. Banning certain types of firearms, or the loading devices, does nothing to stop mentally ill people and criminals.
Focusing on the failed siren song of gun control diverts us from doing things that actually work, such as programs to secure firearms. Congress eliminated the funding for “Project Childsafe,” a program created by the firearms industry to educate gun owners about safe storage and to distribute millions of gun locks.
We all want to do something, but it is foolish and wasteful to return to a policy with a clear record of failure.
So, now what? What happens next is up to you. If you do not act, you lose and we all lose.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, Start Calling or Writing your Senators and Representative! Your calls, emails and letters mean more now than ever. Call or Write NOW! Call or Write Next Week! Call or Write Every Week until this battle is won!
If your legislators don’t know your name when you call or write, then you are not doing your job. NOW is the time to make sure they learn your name and DON’T forget it. CALL or WRITE. Go to their offices. Go to town hall meetings. Make sure they know you and that you are holding them accountable on this issue!
For now, with so many asinine proposals being floated in Congress, the best message is short and to the point. Here’s a suggestion that you can use as is, or alter so it is your own. For best effect, keep it polite, respectful, but firm. This is just the first of many you will hopefully call with or send:
Dear (insert your Senator’s or Representative’s Name),
We won’t stand for scapegoating.
Please oppose the numerous irrational and ultimately ineffective gun control measures being proposed in the wake of the criminal tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school. If any legislative response to this terrible tragedy is needed, it deserves careful and rational debate, not kneejerk reactions that infringe law-abiding citizens’ rights to no good effect. What we definitely do not need is more onerous gun control that cannot possibly address the real issues, but only further infringes on my rights and freedoms. These proposals must be stopped and I will not forget or forgive if you do not stand up for my rights!
(Insert your name and address)
Now, it is up to you. If each and every one of us–yes, that means you–do not take part in this fight to protect our arms, then we will have no right to complain when they come for our knives.
We will follow up on this with on-point messages to relay to your Senators and Representative as circumstances in Washington dictate. While many believe a handwritten, mailed letter still carries the most weight, and we don’t discourage that, free and quick emails do get the message across in our experience.
To find your Senators and Representative and their phone number, address and email, use the following links:
- Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
- House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Or, NRA-ILA provides a free and easy service powered by CQ Roll Call, open to anyone, NRA member or not, to directly email your Senators and Representative: http://www.nraila.org/get-involved-locally/grassroots/write-your-reps.aspx (your email is not tagged as coming from NRA)
Finally, when you Support Knife Rights, you Support the Second Amendment. Please support the Second Front in Defense of the Second Amendment.
Knife Rights (www.KnifeRights.org) is America’s Grassroots Knife Owners Organization, working towards a Sharper Future for all knife owners. Knife Rights is dedicated to providing knife owners an effective voice in public policy. Become a Knife Rights member and make a contribution to support the fight for your knife rights. Visit www.kniferights.org