Tag Archives: murder

Another Way of Looking at Gun Control

10 Jan

Our Constitutional right to bear arms creates a condition within our country that allows more gun violence than might be found if we had very strict gun controls.  Some would argue with this, but I believe this to be true.  Our gun murders per 100,000 people compares favorably only with “developing” nations, extremely poorly up against “developed” nations.  While I believe that declining senses of right and wrong in this country are the main issue behind these statistics, the situation is still serious, and is related to the availability of guns.

HOWEVER – Because the Founding Fathers’ reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment was to ensure liberty against tyranny (not to permit hunting or to defend our homes against criminals), there is a built-in risk to maintaining this check on usurpation by Hitler-like individuals – the risk of lives violently and unexpectedly snuffed out by murderers, premeditated or not, and by accidents.  [See my posting on 1/2/13, “Why the 2nd Amendment]

This is sad, but foundational.  We must either deal with the moral character of our nation to reduce murders, or we must formally – BY THE PEOPLE – amend the 2nd Amendment.  And even if we amend the 2nd Amendment, without dealing with declining morality we will be sorely disappointed with the results.

If you think about it, the right to bear arms, and the possible cost of allowing widespread ownership of guns in our society, is not THAT different from other dangerous things we allow, even encourage – most notably, when we consider that 100 people every day – men, women, children — are meeting violent, unexpected, and untimely deaths on our highways.  Every day.  In fact, children are 14 times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than by a gun.

We hardly ever even think about this any more – the media only report the most bizarre or multiple-death car accidents on a national scale.  With modifications, we have come to accept that the automobile is so important to us that we are willing to see young mothers, young fathers, and children destroyed on our highways every hour, every day.

But even more fundamental than our “belief in” cars as necessary items that daily cause many very bad and sad things to happen, our belief in an armed populace is bedrock constitutional in protecting our very right to OWN automobiles, to practice free speech and religion, to move freely throughout our nation, etc. – in spite of the fact that some violent killings are facilitated by the very arms that ensure these freedoms.

It is a cost of preserving our way of life.  We should try to reduce that cost, just as we have tried to reduce traffic deaths – by building safer autos and guns and by “building” safer people – not by removing autos and guns from the marketplace and risking our freedoms.

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Enlightening Gun Control Stats

29 Jul

Thomas Sowell is at it again, blowing apart many people’s cherished beliefs about the effects of gun control laws.  This excerpt is from a column titled “News versus Propoganda”, and can be found in its entirety at

 http://www.creators.com/conservative/thomas-sowell/news-versus-propaganda.html

 Excerpt begins:   [Bolding is mine]

 .  .  .  . 

As for gun control advocates, I have no hope whatever that any facts whatever will make the slightest dent in their thinking — or lack of thinking.

You might never know, from what .  .  .  gun control advocates have said, that there is a mountain of evidence that gun control laws not only fail to control guns but are often counterproductive. However, for those other people who still think facts matter, it is worth presenting some of those facts.

Do countries with strong gun control laws have lower murder rates? Only if you cherry-pick the data.

Britain is a country with stronger gun control laws than the United States, and lower murder rates. But Mexico, Russia and Brazil are also countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States — and their murder rates are much higher than ours. Israel and Switzerland have even higher rates of gun ownership than the United States, and much lower murder rates than ours.

Even the British example does not stand up very well under scrutiny. The murder rate in New York has been several times that in London for more than two centuries — and, for most of that time, neither place had strong gun control laws. New York had strong gun control laws years before London did, but New York still had several times the murder rate of London.

It was in the later decades of the 20th century that the British government clamped down with severe gun control laws, disarming virtually the entire law-abiding citizenry. Gun crimes, including murder, rose as the public was disarmed.

Meanwhile, murder rates in the United States declined during the same years when murder rates in Britain were rising, which were also years when Americans were buying millions more guns per year.

The real problem, both in discussions of mass shootings and in discussions of gun control, is that too many people are too committed to a vision to allow mere facts to interfere with their beliefs, and the sense of superiority that those beliefs give them.

Any discussion of facts is futile when directed at such people. All anyone can do is warn others about the propaganda.

[End of Excerpt]

Any thoughts about this?

To Censor Or Not to Censor — Is That the Question?

22 Jul

In a recent blog exchange that began with the senseless murders in the Colorado theater, some folks were mentioning that efforts to censor violence in movies, games, etc., would only put us onto the “slippery slope” of over-regulation of our thoughts, acts, and very lives.  And I kind of agree.

 But then I got to thinking – always a dangerous thing – and came up with the following thoughts:

 Just to play devil’s advocate – in reality, SOMEone, or some entity, must declare what is socially acceptable.  Otherwise, we have chaos.

 Traditionally, these entities range from the inner voice, to the family, to the church, to the community, and, yes, to the government.

 One could argue that ANY influential force helps set social beliefs and behavioral norms.  And sometimes, yes, they do it through ordinances, through laws.  Smoking bans, gun control laws, laws against slander and libel, laws against assault, rape, murder, and robbery, against revenge, against beating children and spouses, against stalking, about inappropriate uses of public spaces, dress codes, laws against pornography, against threatening public officials, laws determining who can see what-rated movies, about using child restraints in cars, about abortions, about euthanasia, etc., ad nauseum.

 One person can say these are public safety issues, but then someone else will say “that’s a slippery slope” to the establishment of unreasonable control.  Sometimes, though, I think we use the term “slippery slope” to define where our own personal belief in constraints ends – we’re ok up to a point, but beyond that we are “on a slippery slope”.  Unfortunately, the next guy’s slope gets slippery at a different point than ours.

 In a manner of speaking, the censor is always at work in our lives.  Our utterances and our behaviors are censored — by law or by norm — by our government, our society, our associations, even down to our small groups.

 One might even say that a “society” has a responsibility to censor.  As much as we hate the word censor, isn’t censorship necessary in a society to maintain civility and order?  Like the term “slippery slope”, “censorship” is one of those words that implies badness inasmuch as censorship gets applied in a situation that is beyond our own personal or collective comfort zone – for example, Lady Chatterly’s Lover gets censored by some, devoured by others.

 I even wonder if our fear of the slippery slope, or of censorship – our fear of losing certain freedoms – actually, over time, inevitably leads us to a degraded society, one in which we suddenly open our eyes to find that we wish someone had called evil by its real name – “EVIL” – and stopped us years ago from going down the “slippery slope” of NOT censoring when we should have.

 Might the ultimate irony within a “free” society be that the LACK of  wisely-applied constraints/censorship actually leads to its moral and ethical collapse and its loss of the very freedoms we thought we were protecting? 

 But I hear the response already – entrusting anyone or any group to applying these constraints would put us on a “slippery slope” to losing our freedom.

Colorado Allows the Carrying of Guns in Cars

20 Jul

A terrible thing happened in Aurora, CO last night.  We shed prayers and tears for the dead and their families.  And we wonder at the bestiality of people who commit these atrocities.

But here’s a comment (not word for word) that I heard a network news announcer float out over the airwaves this morning.  He said something like “It’s legal to carry guns in cars in Colorado”.

Now — Can you think of a dumber response to the cowardly act perpetrated by this monster?  Does ANYone believe that this guy would have been thwarted in his murderous plan if Colorado DID have a law against carrying guns in a car?  Can you picture this demented mind going, “Oops!  I forgot.  Dangit!  I can’t use my car to take my guns to the theater ’cause it’s against the law.  And I sure don’t want to break any laws.  Wait!  I can still take a knife.  Plan on!”

By the way — I know something that might decrease the number of these types of sub-human acts.  Just make sure that every media reference to the perpetrator refers to him/her in derisive terms:  stupid, monster, deranged, cowardly, beastly, low-life, sub-human, creep, etc., etc.   Such constant references shaming him/her and his/her family just might possibly deter some attention seekers from committing such immoral (or worse, amoral) acts — where’s the glory in being constantly refered to as a low-life cowardly creep?

Other ideas?