The anti-gun Left doesn’t just hate your guns; they hate you. They actually want to see you get hurt. How else can you explain why they’re standing against laws that would protect your hearing?
Gun Owners of the San Fernando Valley Posts
As if on cue, here’s another letter writer going on about his imagined right to feel safe from non-existent threats. This one is willing to admit to your right to keep and bear arms, but only a version of that right that ends at your front door. The “simple logic” he offers in support of his argument is that “The more loaded guns there are in public, the more bullets will fly.” This argument, however, is not borne out by the facts.
As we recently discussed, areas where gun ownership is at its highest are the areas of the country that are the safest. Homicides and other violent crimes occur in those areas where legal gun ownership is at its lowest. The letter writer’s “simple logic” falls apart in the face of real data. The very restrictions he calls for have, at best, no positive effect on violent crime rates. At worst, they make violent crime worse by making it safer to be a criminal. (Think of gun laws as workplace safety regulations for criminals!) The corollary to his argument would be that the fewer loaded guns there are in public, the fewer bullets will fly. But this is also false. Other factors, such as poverty and the presence of the illicit narcotics trade, decide how many bullets will fly; not the availability of loaded firearms.
The Declaration of Independence states that among our “unalienable rights” are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are given to us by God; meaning that they were not granted to us by a king or any other human government. That they are “unalienable” means that these are rights that we are, in fact, powerless to reject. We do so only at our own peril. Rejecting these rights would be like saying that you do not want your kidneys anymore. Perhaps you don’t like their color. Sure, you could have them removed, but you wouldn’t last long!
From the right to life comes the right to protect that life. From that right flows the right to the means to do so. This is where the right protected by (not granted by or created by) the 2nd Amendment comes from. What does not spring from the right to life is a right to be protected from imagined threats.
But this is precisely the right craved by so many on the anti-gun Left. An example comes from a letter writer to the Des Moines Register who asks…
When will legislators on the state and national level stop catering to gun lobbies and do something to make all Americans safer? Everyone should realize we have a Second Amendment that allows people to own guns and that right is not going to be taken away. But where does that amendment stop and my right to live safely begin?
The writer submitted this letter following several shootings in her Beaverdale neighborhood; including at least one homicide. These were not, however, random shootings. They were drug related. In other words, these were criminals shooting other criminals. These weren’t 3-gun shooters or duck hunters running amok. So unless the letter writer is in the illegal narcotics trade, these shooting pose little to no tangible threat to her. The threat exists only in her imagination.
The letter states that “we have a Second Amendment that allows people to own guns and that right is not going to be taken away”, but how else are we to interpret her demand to “live safely”? She focuses on acts committed by criminals, but later laments new Iowa laws that protect the rights of law abiding gun owners in that State. This is a demand that those who threaten no one be disarmed so that others can enjoy the right to feel safe; not actually be safe. That right doesn’t exist.
As it turns out, the same three things that matter in real estate also matter in homicide: Location, location, location.
According to the accepted legacy media narrative, since America is awash in guns, it’s thus a violent, Mad Max hellscape of mass murder and carnage. It’s a wonder that any of us are still alive! 321,400,000 enter, 1 leaves! But like most of the ripping yarns the MSM tells, this one isn’t true either.
Murder in the US is not a national phenomenon; i.e a map of murder scenes across the US wouldn’t be an even distribution of black dots all across the fruited plain. It’s not even regional. It’s highly localized, in fact. As John Lott points out, “The vast majority of murders in the United States occur in just a tiny percentage of counties. In fact, the country can be divided up into three types of places: those where there are no murders; those where there are a few murders; and those where murders are very common.” Those little black dots on the map are mostly confined to a few, small areas. Remove crimes from these areas and the US murder rate starts to look a lot different. It starts to look more like the rates in the European countries that the Left holds up as examples of gun control that we should emulate.
Let’s look at the largest State in the Union. There were 1697 homicides in the California in 2014. During that year, there were counties with no homicides. Then there’s Los Angeles County. There were 526 murders that year making it the worst county in the nation. But, as John Lott points out, murders in L.A. County are not evenly distributed across the county. There are clearly defined hot spots.
There are huge parts of the county there were zero murders. The vast majority are concentrated in a few neighborhoods; East L.A. and South Central.
Now I’m sure that there are a few pinheads out there who will look at this map and try to make this about race. It’s arguably about culture, but not race. This is a map of L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods. This map also shows us where there’s the most gang activity and the most illegal narcotics. It’s only about race to the extent that certain politicians try to make it about race; those who preach bitterness, class envy, and hatred to the residents of these neighborhoods to get themselves re-elected year after year after year. (One in particular has represented South Central since 1977. Nothing much has changed there in those 40 years. Perhaps that’s why she lives 10 miles away in Hancock Park!)
Now getting back to murder rates nationally, there are also those pinheads who will try to make this about legal gun ownership. But the facts get in the way of that simplistic analysis. The urban areas where US murders are concentrated are also the areas with the lowest rates of legal gun ownership. The boring, rural counties with no homicides are the areas with the highest rates of legal gun ownership! In other words, the US counties which produce the most YouTube videos of heavily armed rednecks blowing stuff up with Tannerite are also the counties with the fewest homicides.
SFWeekly writer Nuala Sawyer starts out her article on gun violence rates in San Francisco on a good note. She laments the fact that most people in Babylon on the Bay only know about the city’s crime rates from what they read in social media; i.e. anecdotal evidence. She then goes on to cite the FBI’s data from the Universal Crime Reporting program. In this program, the FBI (Now under new management!) collects and reports crime data from across the US. San Francisco, which actually is part of the United States, is included in this database. Violent crime there, like the rest of the country, is down. Crimes involving firearms, however, have seen a recent uptick…
But one area where crime did not decline was rates of gun violence. In 2016, homicides by firearm increased by 15 percent, people shot non-fatally increased by 27 percent, and 12 percent more firearms were seized from people than in the year prior. In 2016, 451 people were arrested for having a firearm. And in a depressing turn, the city’s gun buyback program — where SFPD offers cash for the public’s guns — dove a dismal 36 percent, with only 212 guns being taken off the streets last year.
But here’s where she goes off the rails. The very next paragraph reads…
While San Francisco’s gun trends appear to be on the rise, it isn’t just us. In 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives released data from U.S. gun-makers that firearm production doubled between 2010 and 2013. In 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, 11 million guns were produced. Gun ownership nationwide has doubled since 1968, with more than 300 million guns estimated to exist in the U.S. alone. But this doesn’t mean everyone has a gun — only one in three households.
She then concludes that “it’s only natural that firearm-related crimes will also grow” with all of these firearms out there remaining unconfiscated. But the UCR data say the exact opposite of this! Violent crime, of which gun related violent crime is but a subset, is down nationally. Looking at homicides, of which gun related homicides are a subset, the rate in 2014 is less than half of what it was in 1980; 10.2 per 100,000 versus 4.5 per 100,000. (2014 is the last complete data set.) The overall violent crime rate in 1980 was 596.6 per 100,000. In 2014 it was 375.7 per 100,000. All of this is despite, some would argue because of, vastly increased rates of gun ownership in the US.
This information is nothing new. John Lott and David Mustard first published in 1997. Their study focused on concealed carry laws, but also looked at overall gun ownership. The very least that can be said, given the publically available data they used, is that increased gun ownership neither increases nor decreases rates of gun violence. So why didn’t Ms. Sawyer seem to know this?
Because it didn’t fit the narrative.
To her, it was simply obvious that increased gun ownership translates to more gun crime. The thought of verifying this with actual data never occurred to her. To those with this type of bias, looking up the real data on gun crime versus gun ownership would be like checking a compass in the morning to see if the sun is really rising in the east. So rather than seeking out uncomfortable truths, she wrapped herself in the warm blanket of anecdote.
(H/T: Chuck Michel)
So who woulda thought that the Washington Post would find itself repeating ISIS propaganda? I’m guessing that no one at the WP would have thought it, but that’s precisely what happened last week. The legacy news outlet repeated, unquestioningly, ISIS claims about how “easy” it is to purchase a firearm in the US. A ripping yarn to be sure, but not at all true.
Did the Post set out to become a mouthpiece for ISIS? Of course not. So how did it happen? Quite simply, the claims by the Islamofascist terror organization fit in with beliefs the writers and editors at the Post already held. To their minds, it was ISIS that was parroting the Post. The Post, and most of the dead tree media, reflexively accept as fact what ISIS claimed about American gun laws, even though they reject ISIS itself. Conversely, they reflexively reject what doesn’t fit their existing narrative. Tell them, for example, that the CDC found that gun laws are ineffective for reducing violence and you’ll be on the receiving end of blank stares.
Pro-RKBA activists need to be aware that the MSM will go beyond simply ignoring facts that they disagree with. If need be, they’ll just make s**t up. Which means that they’ll misquote you, mischaracterize your statements, or flat out lie about you to make a point. Never think that these people are in the business of telling the objective truth. That’s not what drove them to attend journalism school! They’re out to change the world, even if the facts get in the way.
Keep that in mind the next time some reporter asks you for a comment.
No, this isn’t the same sort of paradox as the bootstrap paradox. I’m talking about the weird, nearly simultaneous arguments that anti-gun types make claiming that we pro-gun types are either stuck in the past or not stuck in the past.
We’re told, on the one hand, that the 2nd Amendment is an outmoded document. We’re told that it’s a relic of a bygone era when most of the country was lawless frontier. We’re told that we need to get with the times, be like Europe, and all but ban firearms from civilian ownership. If there’s trouble, the argument goes, just call 911.
And in the next breath, we’re told that our view of the 2nd Amendment is far too modern. “The Founders could never imagined fearsome weapons of war like the AR-15!” And then, after stating that the 2nd Amendment only protects Brown Bess muskets, these same anti-gun leftists will hop back into their TARDIS and proclaim that the Constitution is a “living document” that evolves with the times.
…but not when we’re talking about guns.
Both arguments are ridiculous. The 2nd Amendment did not create a new right out of thin air. It recognized a preexisting freedom that flows from a right that all Humans have: The right to self defense. If one has the right to self defense, then one has a right to the means of self defense. It doesn’t matter whether that means is a sharp stick or a semiautomatic rifle. Not one of the Founders would have argued that a version of the 2nd Amendment written in the Bronze age wouldn’t have applied to steel weapons. And not one of these anti-gun leftists would argue that the 4th Amendment applies only to documents written on parchment. (Unless, of course, if that level of doublethink were necessary to argue against private gun ownership!) Just as the 4th Amendment applies to electronic files on your computer, so too the 2nd Amendment applies to the modern firearms in your gun safe.
As to their first claim that firearms are now “unneeded” in a modern, civil society, I suggest that they skim a few headlines from media outlets in Chicago. The Wild West was far more peaceful than is “civilized” Chicago.
So there was this former University of Missouri journalism prof who opined that the NRA is as bad as ISIS. I thought to myself, this could be fun. But alas, there isn’t enough in the article for even a bit of silly mockery, let alone a good Fisking. The old duffer’s argument seems to be that both organizations are known by acronyms. One wonders what he thinks of the National Restaurant Association.
My guess is that most non-shooters just don’t get why we enjoy the activity. They don’t understand that it really is like meditation to us.
Albeit, meditation that requires eye and ear protection.
Shooting isn’t about making lots of noise at the range. You may be there with a group of people and it’s loud, but eventually your world shrinks down to just a few things: You, the firearm, the target, this next bullet, and the air between you and the target.
You start to block out the world around you. You concentrate on the fundamentals; your stance, your grip, the sight picture. You inhale deliberately, and exhale. In that pause between breaths, you smoothly pull the trigger. The gun discharges, but you keep pulling the trigger. You pull it all the way back applying proper follow-through. You slowing release the trigger until hear it reset. You note where the bullet hit, but you’re already on to the next round. That last shot is over and done with; it’s no longer part of your world. The next shot is what matters. And then you do it all over again.
No, some people just don’t get the quiet that we find in all of that noise.