U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- We’ve heard advocates of gun prohibition say that more guns mean more crime and that disarming honest citizens stops criminals from committing violent crimes. It is fortunate for all of us that gun-prohibition laws are not new ideas. We’ve had gun-control laws for over a century. We can look at what those laws accomplished so we don’t have to guess. I’ve looked at the record. I am not convinced that gun-prohibition laws work as advertised. We also have some tragic stories to consider where gun control succeeded and people died. The closer I look the more I think that gun-control laws cost lives. See for yourself.
History of Gun-Prohibition
The most straightforward thing to do is to look at history. Politicians have always used their power to punish their political enemies. At one time, England allowed Protestants to go armed while Catholics were disarmed. Early America was slightly better since it allowed free white men to go armed but not freed black men or indentured whites. Recognizing the right for the common man to bear arms was a revolution in its time since as it allowed more than the nobility to be armed.
We’ve yet to fully accept that lesson. Today, some states only allow judges, politicians, and billionaires hired security guards to go armed in public. Those are today’s nobility and their hired knights. Too bad for the serfs who are attacked on the streets at night.
In contrast, some states in the US today grant their citizens varying degrees of freedom. There are about 20 states where every person with a clean criminal record may carry a concealed firearm in public, state permission slip optional. In sharp contrast, there are states where you must ask the government for permission to so much as touch a gun and then ask again before you can buy it and take it home. We see everything in between.
We’re told this oppression is done in the name of public safety. I’m skeptical since the states with severe gun prohibition include some of the most violent areas in the country. Some states with the fewest gun-control laws are among the most non-violent. In rebuttal, the political lords say they have not made enough things illegal and they simply need more regulations to bring peace for everyone. I don’t believe them because I’ve looked at our history.
We have over 23 thousand firearms regulations in the US so far. If that flood of ink on paper could stop them, then we would never see another criminal use a gun today. That isn’t what we see. We have over a million violent crimes each year and most crimes go unsolved. It is a dangerous fantasy to think criminals obey our laws, and more dangerous when the people in power use that fantasy to disarm honest men and women.
That isn’t to say that criminals can’t be stopped. They can and they are. Honest citizens like us use a firearm to stop over a million criminal attacks a year. Most of the time the criminals ran away when they saw that their intended victim was armed. The victim defended himself with no shots fired. That happens several thousand times a day.
We don’t have to guess if guns cause crime. We have the numbers for gun sales each year. We have the rates of violent crime as well. We’ve seen gun ownership increase year after year. Crime has gone up and down, but had a generally downward trend decade to decade. Far from causing violent crime, if the data indicates anything then is says that armed victims reduce the rate of violent crime. Some politicians and judges refuse to believe that, or they don’t care about the facts.
Causing Mass Murder
Not only do gun control advocates tell us that guns cause crime, but they say modern firearms cause mass murder. That makes very effective click-bait headlines for the media. That also makes effective gun-control propaganda, but it is a lie.
That isn’t what the record shows. Yes, some mass murderers used long guns. Most victims in mass murders were injured by handguns. The sad fact is that mass murderers were more deadly with handguns. They were more dangerous with that weapon because they moved closer to their victims and shot their victims in more vulnerable areas of their bodies.
What surprised even the gun-prohibitionists is that we did not see fewer people killed in the cases where the attacker used a smaller capacity magazine. Making the attacker reload is only an advantage when there is an armed defender waiting to return fire. Mass murderers plan their attacks to avoid armed defenders. The murderers usually seek “gun-free” zones where their intended victims are disarmed.
What the mass media won’t admit is that the news media promotes mass murder. We first saw this media effect with teen suicides and the effect was dubbed “celebrity suicide”. Teenagers didn’t mind dying, but they hated to live unrecognized. They would kill themselves for the posthumous publicity they received.
Today, the news media gives mass murderers a multi-million-dollar publicity campaign, particularly if they shoot children with a “black rifle”. That publicity inspires more murderers. Those are not my words, but the words of the mass murderers themselves. That is what the surviving mass murderers told us and what the dead murderers left behind in their journals.
We learned our lesson about “celebrity suicide”, and now the media won’t mention the dead teenager’s name in a suicide. We’ve yet to learn the lesson of “celebrity mass murder” and leave the mass murderer un-named.
Just as mass murderers are predictable, so are gun-prohibitionists and anti-gun politicians. Our Lords propose more gun-prohibition laws after each mass murder. Meanwhile, the unholy trinity between mass murderers, mass media, and anti-gun politicians rolls on before the latest victims are even buried.
Preventing Mass Murder
I said the news media ignores their role in celebrity mass murder. The media also ignores the mass murders that were stopped by armed civilians who happened to be in the right place at the right time. That scenario doesn’t happen all the time because, as I mentioned, most mass murderers seek out “gun-free” zones. What surprises everyone is that armed civilians were overwhelmingly successful when they decided to stop an attack. The FBI put our success rate at 94%, or about 17 out of 18 times.
This is how an armed defender changes everything.
You hear an unexpected noise in the shopping mall. You don’t know what is happening so you move toward the sound. You see a man shoot into the crowd and people are starting to run. You move behind a corner as people run past you. You look again and see the murderer aim at the crowd for the third time. That is when you shoot him.
The average number of victims killed by the murder is 2.3 when armed civilians intervene. Waiting for the police adds another dozen fatalities. That phenomenal reduction in body count is not because armed civilians are supermen; it is because they are there when they were needed. Unfortunately, preventing a mass murder doesn’t sell newspapers, so the media hardly covers it.
The media don’t talk about it, but I do.
Politics as Usual
We see judges and politicians act to disarm ordinary citizens at ordinary times in ordinary places. That costs us both time and money. We pay for that decision in both blood and treasure. Disarming honest people leaves us as disarmed victims of crime. It also makes more honest citizens into felons when they run out of time and have to protect themselves and their family before they get the state permission slip to carry a gun.
Meanwhile, our lords say one thing while they do another. They reserve the right to go armed when, where, and how they choose. Just last week we had a Democrat Alderman in Chicago arrested for having an illegal machine gun. The news media didn’t ask him, but I’m sure the alderman needed his machine gun for “public safety”.
That is what the nobles always tell the serfs.
About Rob Morse
The original article, with sources, is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.