Hidden Agenda or Ignorance Behind Gun Control?


Have rifles and pistols changed their behavior from yesteryear and they are now out committing mayhem and evil?

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Before we discuss violence with guns, I'd like to run a couple of questions by you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day nearly 30 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes that involve drunk driving.

What kind of restrictions should be placed on automobile ownership? Should there be federal background checks in order for people to obtain a driver's license or purchase a car?

The FBI's 2015 Uniform Crime Report shows that nearly three times more people were stabbed or hacked to death than were killed with shotguns and rifles combined. The number of shotgun and rifle deaths totaled 548. People who were stabbed or hacked to death totaled 1,573. Should there be federal background checks and waiting periods for knife purchases?

Any mature and reasonable person would argue that it is utter nonsense to deal with drunk driving deaths and knife deaths by having federal background checks and waiting periods to obtain a driver's license or to purchase a car or knife. One would recognize, just as courts and the general public do, that cars and knives are inanimate objects and cannot act on their own. Therefore, if we want to do something about deaths resulting from drunk driving or being stabbed or hacked to death, we must focus on individuals. It would be folly and gross negligence of victims for us to focus on inanimate objects like cars and knives. Guns are also inanimate objects and like cars and knives cannot act on their own. It's also plain folly to focus on guns in the cases of shooting deaths.

What about the availability of guns?

1901 Sears Mail-Order Catalog for Guns
1901 Sears Mail-Order Catalog for Guns

It turns out that for most of our history, a person could walk into hardware and department stores or a gun store, virtually anywhere in the United States, and purchase a rifle or pistol. The 1902 Sears mail-order catalog had 35 pages of firearm advertisements.

Other catalogs and magazines from the 1940s, '50s and '60s were full of gun advertisements directed to both youngsters and parents. “What Every Parent Should Know When a Boy or Girl Wants a Gun” was published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Another magazine advertised “Get This Cowboy Carbine with Your Christmas Money.” Just a few states even had age restrictions for buying guns. Private transfers of guns to juveniles were unrestricted. Often a 12th or 14th birthday present, from a father to his son, was a shiny new .22 caliber rifle.

Today, there is far less availability of shotguns, rifles and pistols than any time in our history. That historical fact should raise the question: Despite the greater accessibility to guns in previous decades, why wasn't there the kind of violence we see with today's far more restricted access to guns? Have rifles and pistols changed their behavior from yesteryear and they are now out committing mayhem and evil? To answer in the affirmative can be dismissed as pure lunacy.

Thus, if guns haven't changed, then it must be that people have changed.

Half-witted psychobabble such as stopping children from playing schoolyard games like cops ‘n' robbers and cowboys ‘n' Indians won't do much. Calling for more gun restrictions, gun-free zones and other measures have been for naught.

We must own up to the fact that laws and regulations alone cannot produce a civilized society. Morality is society's first line of defense against uncivilized behavior. Moral standards of conduct have been under siege in our country for over a half a century. Moral absolutes have been abandoned as guiding principles. We've been taught not to be judgmental, that one lifestyle or set of values is just as good as another. We no longer hold people accountable for their behavior and we accept excuse-making. Problems of murder, mayhem and other forms of anti-social behavior will continue until we regain our moral footing.

Walter E. Williams
Walter E. Williams

About Walter E.Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Williams is also the author of several books. Among these are The State Against Blacks, later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint, All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and recently his autobiography, Up From The Projects.

  • 22 thoughts on “Hidden Agenda or Ignorance Behind Gun Control?

    1. I am not quite sure why your first image depicts “Morality”, I will address this at the end.
      My first point: Your thinking about drunk driving is not at all reverent. Deaths are deaths and a civil society seeks to reduce them where it can.
      You Say: “Thus, if guns haven’t changed, then it must be that people have changed.” But guns have changed and people have changed – so your point is misleading.
      You Say:”We must own up to the fact that laws and regulations alone cannot produce a civilized society.” True, but laws and regulations are a step in the right direction. Good laws are underpinned by good evidence. Unfortunately the NRA and the Gun Industry have worked to prevent this.
      Finally: you raise the Moral issue. I question your view of our moral status. I would say that our morals are as good as they have ever been. Most importantly, now that you have involved morals here is one: The NRA has promotes a psychological fear of home invasion. The purpose of which is to increase gun sales. I would call this immoral behavior. The fact of the matter is that if you bring a gun into the home there is a greater chance of someone in your family getting shot with that gun than deterring a criminal.

      1. The NRA is not a trade association for firearm manufacturers but is an association of firearm enthusiasts that support the right to keep and bear arms along with supporting safe use of firearms. If you want to attack the firearms trade association then you need to address the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

        Just like seat belt use firearms ARE use for protection in those just-in case cases. Firearms are used anywhere from 600,000 to 2.5 million times for self protection. In many cases without being fired.

        So until you get the facts straight please don’t make conjecture on something you know nothing about.

        1. Your reference to the number of times firearms are used for protection is a number that has been greatly debated and has nothing to do with the dangers of a gun in the home. My comments had to do the Mr. Williams moral statements. The fact of the NRA’s propaganda campaign still remains.

      2. “Our morals are as good as they have ever been”? In what country do you reside? If you can’t see the decay of our society around you, you’re blind! That being said…..you’ve spoken like a true LibTard troll!

    2. Comment …In my fathers house , to point a gun at someone else was to lose it . Playing cops and robbers raised an eyebrow. Now they have video games – kill -kill – kill , no consequence just start a new game no body hurt . Now Hollywood is on a pedestal Spewing the garbage AND morality . No dad’s at home , no family , What do you expect.

    3. Someyears back I moved to a different state, where I took up a more rural lifestyle and area. Coyotes soon presented themselves as a new menace. Best cure for a coyote seemed to be about forty grains of lead. The cheap .22 bolt actioin rifle Dad had given me for my 16th birthday (HE wanted to give it for my 12th but Mom wouldn’t hear of it…) had been stolen in a breakin years before.
      SO I hopped into my car, drove across a bridge over a river and INTO A DIFFERENT STATE, drove up to a fairly large discount generalist outdoor store and found the gun counter. I stood and examined a few rifles, was drawn to a Ruger 10/.22 carbine, it was on sale, so I told the clerk when he came back I wanted to buy that one. He said that one’s a display model I’l go get a new one from the back. Came back with the sealed carton, punched in $79.95 on the mechanical cash register, it printed up a receipt for that amount, no mention of the product purchased, I plopped four pictures of Andrew Jackson onto the counter, wwe shook hands as Ithanked him, and I carried the still sealed carton out to the car. He never even asked my first name, nor where I lived. Never checked the serial number on the carton and compared it to what was actually on the rifle, let alone recorded it anywhere. There was less paperwork and hassle buying that rifle than I got a ilttle while later when I bought a Senco pneumatic nail gun. For about five times the price. I then started the car and rdrove BACK ACROSS that bridge ans state line to home. The government still have no idea I bought that gun, nor that I still have it. Tjhe first round I ever fired from that bored the hole for a third eye in the coyote that had been after my geese. Factory sighting was perfect. That opportunity presented before I’d even had a chance to sight iit in. That small dose of lead turned out the critter’s lights in a split second. Right there I was fully compensated for my investment.

      And, in the close to forty years since I did with total impunity what would , if done today, put myself and that clerk behind bars for at least a decade and cost that retailer their ability to sell firearms ever again, tt rifle haas put several thouand rounds downrange, been used to train at least half a dozen new shooters, allowed me to qualify as a Rifleman, and has never jumped up and harmed anyone, ever, at any time. Musta got a bad ‘un, cuz it just never hurt anyone.

    4. Hello All,
      What is happening in the broader sense is they’re calling the Good evil and the evil Good.
      Think about it.

    5. Before 1968, plenty of “assault rifles” were available via mail order, including M1 Carbines and SAFN rifles. Pistols were also commonly sold, including 9mm pistols like the Luger, P-38, and Browning Hi-Power. In fact, you could even buy a 20mm semi-automatic CANNON via mail order! Yet, we didn’t hear about school shootings back then. Why? What changed, besides the REDUCED availability of guns? It has to be that people – or, at least a small subset of the population – has changed.

      1. @ Hank
        Little Johnny can’t be Spanked ! OR Somebody go’s to Jail .
        And Little Johnny Knows it ain’t HIM !
        We’ve babied our kids way way too much and it’s coming
        back to bite us in the @$$.
        Smack the Dumb $#it back to not being stupid . Worked for Years.

    6. Give the libs/Dems time, the word MORALITY will be removed or destroyed like so many other things are for being “offensive”, there is an over used, over inserted word that needs shelved. The thin skin squads have used it to death.
      Morality, honor, truth, respect, hard work, god, love…. Basically the foundation for this great nation is being reduced to rubble by liberals and Democrats, and it’s being broadcast (shoved down our throats) daily by their bought and paid for media outlets. When will it be stopped…..

    7. “Morality is society’s first line of defense against uncivilized behavior.” Supposing this is true, what then is the second, third, . . . penultimate and last line of defense?
      It is typical that the first and even second line of defense will fail too often. This is not to discount the importance of the initial defense lines; it’s simply a practical problem of economics. All you might be able to do is string a single line of barbed wire along a lengthy border. It will be a mammoth undertaking to turn the drift of society’s morality; or, even the few percent of its members who statistics reveal as the source of the problem.

      Arguably, its important to take stock of the prominent lines of defense. Especially the innermost and penultimate lines. If all else fails, what is the last thing that I must do to defend myself? If everything before it fails, what is the second-to-last that might avoid my having to invoke the last line of defense? To make this abstraction concrete, I want to defend my home. My last line-of-defense might be a choice between a gun vs. pepper-spray. My penultimate line is a strong door and frame. I home that burglars and home invaders are arrested and incarcerated before they iteratively reach my house, but these are intermediate lines.

      Our society has increasingly out-sourced its reliance for necessities. We no longer drill or maintain our own wells; we expect the water company to provide our water. We no longer erect and maintain our own windmills to generate electricity; we expect our power company to provide our water. And, we no longer think to protect ourselves from attack by avoiding “stupid places at stupid times where stupid people play stupid games”. Nor do we think to mount our own counter-attack should all-else fail.

      If something is to be done, and done sooner rather than later, perhaps focus should begin with the last and penultimate lines of defense rather than the first line nearest the suspected “fundamental cause”.

    8. Dr. Williams,
      Another smashing article that is SPOT ON to tell what is wrong with todays society.
      And now mostly morals so sadly lacking that allows this self destructive progressive mayhem. Sad.
      Thank You, Sir for telling it like it is!

    9. Just like climate change, gun control is a means to instituting socialism into our country.

      Most of us would reject socialism outright bur over the years it has been creeping into the US with short term perceived benefits. The socialists see the progress they have made but want more. They are finding they have now reached a barrier of resistance. By claiming safety and protection of the environment they think can break through that resistance. People are waking up to their motivation of a totally socialistic society.

    10. I always enjoy ready your articles Mr. Williams. Full of common sense, which is severely lacking in today’s world.

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