Gun control advocates up in arms again.

Mar 10, 2009 by

s_safetyrules The tragic murder of a pregnant woman by an 11 year old boy has given gun control advocates fuel to add to their misguided attempts to take firearms away from law-abiding Americans. The 11 year old used a 20-gauge shotgun that was given to him by his father to fatally shoot the father’s pregnant girlfriend.

The article by the Associated Press highlights the fact that hunting is a way of life in the rural area where 11 year old Jordan Brown regularly practiced target shooting with his 20-gauge, youth model shotgun. The article goes on to say that gun control advocates are worried that manufacturers are increasingly focusing their marketing toward children with smaller, lighter models that are easier for them to handle.

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun control group in Washington, D.C., says:

The industry portrays youth gun possession as risk-free, and when something bad happens, they always blame the kid and not the presence of the gun. We think the risks clearly outweigh the benefits.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Every firearm I have ever purchased came with many warnings and cautions about the safe handling and storage of firearms. No one in the firearms industry considers firearm ownership and use to be risk-free. Firearms are to be treated with the same respect and care that you would afford a chain saw or a skill saw or any other potentially dangerous tool. If used with care and common sense, firearms are no more dangerous than any other potentially dangerous object. I have seen ladders with 12 warning labels on them but people still fall off them every day. The same holds true with firearms. Paul Helmke, president of the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said:

If you are keeping loaded guns around the house and you have kids, you’re asking for a tragedy.

Again, nothing could be further from the truth. Most gun owners who have children in the house are very aware of the potential for tragedy and act accordingly. But no matter how many laws you pass or hoops you require a gun owner to jump through, there is always going to be some irresponsible parent who doe not adhere to proper safety precautions. The same is true with drunk drivers. You can pass laws until the cows come home but some people are still going to drive drunk. Parents who negligently cause their children to be injured or killed by their guns will be punished by the law, the same as a drunk driver. No responsible gun-owning parent is “asking” for a tragedy. Jerry Feaser, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, put the incident in the proper perspective.

The Brown case violated the basic tenets of firearm safety and hunting safety. This had nothing to do with hunting.

I would like to take this opportunity to fire a few salvos at the gun control advocates. One of the comments made in the article was that in many states rifles and shotguns are not registered and are not required to be sold with trigger locks. First, I don’t see how registering a rifle or shotgun would contribute to firearms safety. As for not selling rifles or shotguns with trigger locks, every firearm I have purchased in Virginia was sold with a locking mechanism.

I would also like to highlight a few statistics that show how safe firearms really are. Various statistics on firearm ownership in the United States put the number of firearms owned as high as 235,000,000. 42% of U.S. households own firearms. Yet in 2007, FBI statistics recorded 10,086 firearm homicides in 49 states. 235 million firearms yet only 11,348 firearms related homicides. You can do the math but it is easy to see that the vast majority of firearms in America are never used in a crime. On the other hand the Virginia Citizens Defense League estimates that there are about 2,500,000 defensive uses of a firearm in the United States every year. That is 2,500,000 instances were a crime was prevented or someone’s life was saved. In 92% of those cases no shots were fired.

As for total deaths due to firearms, in the U.S. for 2001 there were 29,573 deaths of which 16,869 were suicide, 11,348 homicides (as previously stated), 802 accidental and 323 by legal intervention. Again the statistics show that accidental deaths by firearms were only 802 in a whole year with over 200 million firearms in America. So firearm ownership by responsible parents is hardly “asking for a tragedy.”

Looking at accident statistics for areas other that firearms portrays a much clearer picture of the “dangers” of firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2005, there were 32,691 poisoning deaths in the United States. Of those deaths 23,618 (72%) were unintentional (compared to the 802 accidental deaths by firearms) and 3,240 (10%) were of undetermined intent. That leaves almost 6,000 deaths that were basically homicide or suicide by poisoning.

When you start talking about automobile accidents in the United States the statistics are staggering. In 2005 there were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States. Those accidents resulted in 2.9 million people injured and 42,636 people killed. Comparing the total deaths due to firearms of 29,573 to the total deaths due to auto accidents of 42,536, you tell me which is more dangerous, firearms ownership or automobile ownership? Do those statistics warrant the statement that owning a automobile is tantamount to “asking for a tragedy?” That is the statement made by Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Ask yourself where you think it would be safer for your 16 year old son or daughter to be, out hunting with you or driving alone on the Interstate. My money is on hunting with you. What do you think?

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The right to keep and bear arms is the cornerstone of our freedom.

Feb 2, 2009 by

1132007infringers The constant erosion of our right to keep and bear arms as defined by the Second Amendment of the Constitution is something that threatens our future freedom and liberty. Every citizen should be alarmed by this attack on this right that our founding fathers were wise enough to add to the Constitution. Even if you do not own a firearm and never plan to, you should still be concerned with the history of legislation that has been passed in recent years that severely restricts our rights as stated in the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment clearly states our rights and is not subject to interpretation. Any law passed that infringes on these rights is unconstitutional. I will not get into the history of gun control legislation but if you would like to read more about this tragic history you can go here. In words that clearly define these rights the Second Amendment states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Could it be any clearer? Any law that infringes on our right to keep and bear arms is a violation of the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional. The Second Amendment was adopted by an emergent republican ideology founded upon the view that:

To deny arms to some men while allowing them to others was an intolerable denial of freedom.

English and American political writers stated that society and government rests upon the popular possession of arms, that arms are the primary means by which individuals affirmed their social power and that arms are necessary for an individual to protect himself from vicious fellow citizens, corrupt authorities and to defend themselves against tyrannical rulers.

The concept of a militia in the United States dates from the colonial era. Based on the British system, colonial militias were drawn from the body of adult male citizens of a community, town, or local region. Militia persons were normally expected to provide their own weapons, equipment, or supplies. This rules out the argument by some that the term militia refers to organizations like the Army Reserve and the National Guard. The arms provided to members of the Army Reserve and National Guard are controlled by the government. This sort of defeats the whole purpose of one of the main justifications for the Second Amendment, to defend against corrupt authorities and tyrannical rulers. If the government controls access to arms the militia is basically defenseless. A key element in the concept of “militia” was that to be “genuine” it not be a “select militia”, composed of an unrepresentative subset of the population.

If you look closely at the relationship between gun control and crime you will see that gun control has done nothing to make Americans safer. Right after World War II many schools in the United States had firing ranges in their basements were basic firearms skills were taught to students. You could buy a firearm by mail and have it delivered directly to your door. The military would even sell firearms to citizens. An America where most of its citizens owned firearms was much safer and had far less crime than an America of today where its citizens are being slowly but surely disarmed. I defy anyone to provide statistics that prove that more gun control legislation and fewer citizens legally owning firearms has led to a decrease in crime.

The right of private citizens to keep and bear arms led to our very independence from tyrannical British rule. The militia that fought the British consisted of private citizens who provided their own firearms. The founding fathers recognized this fact,  which is why the Second Amendment was later added to the Constitution. How far west do you think this country could have expanded if the settlers had not had firearms to protect themselves from Indians and outlaws? The military at the time certainly did not have the resources to protect them. A large portion of the United States would still be owned by Mexico if there had not been armed private citizens and a militia present to defeat Santa Anna and the Mexican Army. Our very existence today is founded on the words of the Second Amendment. Our future existence and freedoms likewise still depend on the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

So the next time you see legislation introduced whose aim is to further weaken the rights guaranteed to you by the Second Amendment, stand up for those rights so that you will be able to defend yourself against the threats to your freedom that the Constitution empowers you to protect against.

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