by Greg Camp ; Opinion
AmmoLand News welcomes Greg Camp to our list of the best and brightest Second Amendment contributors.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Here we go again.
This time, a shooter has killed twenty-six, as of this writing, and injured at least twenty others in a small church in Sutherland Spring, Texas.
As the details come out, we’re finding that he’s yet another disaffected person who decided to dress up as an operator and take out his frustrations on innocents.
His name is all over the news and social media, and I’m opposed to giving such people the publicity that they crave. Suffice it to say that according to reporting by CBS, the killer served in the Air Force for four years, receiving a court martial and a bad conduct discharge in May of 2014 for assaulting his wife and child.
That latter statement is a significant point here that the advocates of gun control will muddle, if they notice it at all.
Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Sutherland Springs Church shooter was a prohibited person from owning guns.
He was convicted of domestic violence, and in such a crime, even a misdemeanor conviction is sufficient to make it illegal for someone to possess firearms.
How he got the particular gun, reported as an AR-15, that he used in this outrage hasn’t been revealed. Did he own it before the court martial? Did he buy it from someone who didn’t check on him since then? Or did he do what ordinary criminals do, acquiring their weapons on the black market or by stealing them?
The consistent belief among gun control advocates is that if only we’d pass one new control, one new restriction, or one new ban, we’d bring an end to mass shootings. Or at least reduce their frequency. This would be a surprising claim to the victims of such slaughters in nations that have strict gun control.
Do we have more guns here than any other nation? Yes. We also have a population that’s larger than most other countries. And, let’s concede a point that is obvious: We have the most guns per capita. The advocates of gun control see cause and effect here, though they don’t want to admit that we do NOT have the highest rate of homicides by gun in the world. Not even close.
Mass shootings are events that gain our attention, but if people are dying one by one in huge numbers – as they are in Latin America in countries with laws that favor the politically connected – is it a relief to say that those deaths aren’t happening all at once?
The reality is that we’re a relatively young nation. That’s true in history, and it’s true demographically. As Steven Pinker discusses in his book, Better Angels of Our Nature, violence is a behavior of younger people more than those of us who have accumulated more years than would be healthy for a couple of dogs added together. One reason for the decline of violence here is that we’re aging out of it. And if we’d work on the our educational system—paying teachers what they’re worth, making class sizes reasonable for those teachers, and then bringing college within reach of more of us—we’d see a further drop. We’d also achieve the supposed goal of gun laws by ending the War on Drugs. In other words, if we’d do the things that the progressives call for, the emotional drive to impose gun control would have the supports kicked out from under it.
There was one interesting bit in the attack that may also get missed in the clamor. According to the reporting in the New York Daily News, Freeman Martin, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director, someone living nearby “grabbed his rifle and engaged” the killer, and as has been the case before, when confronted, the coward ran away.
The takeaway here is that fighting back does work, especially with weapons that are more effective than staplers, or whatever “run, hide, fight” tools the Department of Homeland Security would like us to have.
And for those of us who are not in the immediate action, working on the things that make a better society – opportunity and justice for all – are the solutions that make life more peaceful.
About Greg Camp
Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.