Constitutional Freedoms

Note to Gun Control Advocates: Wishing for the Impossible Isn’t a Plan

Robust defense of Second Amendment rights reiterates key point that no inanimate object commits a crime — people using one do

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), as well as the Heritage Foundation, each recently published pro-gun rights ammo for activists — respectively, a Wall Street Journal article (reprinted at the CPRC website) and an ebook.

The former pertains to the staggering amount of violence committed with guns in profoundly gun-controlled Mexico.

And Heritage released an ebook that provided “stubborn facts” about violence committed with guns in the U.S.

Lott of the CPRC drew a vivid lack of connectivity between gun control initiatives and people committing violence with firearms.

Writing about the record number of murders in Mexico, Lott explained that “for the first nine months of 2019, Mexico had 25,890 murders — almost six times as many murders per 100,000 people as in the U.S. Does Mexico need stricter gun control?”

Lott said that legal guns in Mexico are “very expensive,” and Mexicans cannot buy rifles more powerful than a .22 caliber. Because of the stringent permitting process, “Only 1 percent of Mexicans possess a license to own firearms.”

Only those who qualify for an “extraordinary” permit, which “never seems to be issued,” can legally transfer a gun to anyone.

A person can only sell a gun, in fact, to the government — and then it’s up to the government to sell it to another person, or not.

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In a cautionary tale for Americans who support the Second Amendment, Lott explained that until 1971, Mexicans, like Americans, had a right to own firearms. That changed after Mexico amended its constitution, giving its federal government primacy over the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

What promises do you think gun control advocates made during the run-up to that usurpation of liberty?

I’m sure it had something to do with assuring people they’d still be able to possess guns, but that the government would make possessing guns “safer.” Well, now, even legal Mexican gun owners would be breaking the law if they stepped across their driveway to bring a gun next door to show it to a neighbor.

That’s even if the gun is “lawfully registered, unloaded, in a locked container” — and more.

Related: Red-Flag Laws: Why They’re So Dangerous

Unless the gun owner gets a permit from the Secretariat of National Defense, that person cannot leave his or her house with a gun. If you think that could not happen here in the United States, just look at what many prominent Democrats and anti-gun rights groups are telling us about their plans for gun control.

And, adapting a brilliant nugget from a quote attributed to John Adams, “Facts are stubborn things,” the Heritage Foundation recently published an ebook, “Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America.”

Here’s an encapsulation of Heritage’s eight facts on this topic:

1.) Violent crime is down and has been coming down for years.

2.) Most gun homicides are not mass shootings but suicides or involve illegal guns.

3.) Limited factors affect chances of becoming a gun-related homicide victim.

4.) A predictable pool of suspects commit gun-related homicides.

5.) More guns do not mean more crime.

6.) No relationship exists between gun control laws and homicide crime rates.

7.) Good guys use guns for defense more than bad guys kill with them.

8.) Good guys with guns are not the problem; they are the solution.

Rather than go into the substantive details Heritage provides in its ebook, I encourage you to download a copy.

We need to share the facts that counter the onslaught of myths coming from gun control proponents.

With these publications in mind, when we gun owners, Second Amendment supporters, and true civil libertarians think of what gun grabbers are trying to do, we get angry — but we also get frustrated.

The anger comes when we know someone is attempting to seize our God-given rights — not to mention our property.

In this case, we’re talking about a natural right to self-defense, which is inextricably linked to the right to keep and bear arms.

The notion that people are trying to take away my right to protect myself, my family, and other innocent people angers me. But even harder to deal with is my frustration with the anti-gun faction’s unreasonable so-called “common-sense solutions to gun violence.”

These are people who express themselves with such macabre terms such as gun rights advocates wanting to keep the “blood-soaked status quo.”

I will reiterate that violence is the issue, not guns. Yes, there are different types of violence — all toxic.

But they’re all related to individuals or groups of them performing evil acts. Another reiteration: Firearms are inanimate objects.

I may sound like a broken record here, but, as I’ve learned from Sean Hannity of Fox News, targeted repetition is effective.

Cars don’t commit vehicular assault and homicide, the knife did not commit a stabbing, and a bridge did not toss the tragic, suicidal soul over its railing.

A driver drove the car, a person wielded the knife, and a tormented person leapt off that bridge.

We are willing to acknowledge the person’s responsibility who misuses a car, knife, or a bridge. But gun rights opponents often refuse to acknowledge an individual’s responsibility for committing violence with a gun.

Instead, gun opponents magically imbue the firearm with agency. How many times have you heard anti-gun folks say things like, “Guns kill such-and-such number of people” every [whatever]? All the time, right?

We often let it go because we concede we know what they mean.

We shouldn’t let it go. We know what they said — and words matter.

Related: Why Off-Duty Cops Should Always Carry a Gun

Just as passive language takes responsibility for an act away from the person committing the act — as in, “mistakes were made” — using language that has an object committing a crime rather than a person distorts the issue. It allows the gun-grabbing Left to demonize guns without demonizing one of their constituencies: criminals.

An article in the progressive magazine The Nation was titled, “Actually, Guns Do Kill People.” You can have an intelligent argument about people who kill with guns, but what does it say about your argument when you’d rather attribute fault to the “thing” rather than to the person using that thing? I’d say it makes the argument pretty weak.

Part of the issue is the Left’s criminal-coddling code of conduct, as I see it. We know about all of the murders committed by Chicago gang members using firearms; but if you talk to Chicago cops, they’ll tell you about the lax enforcement of existing gun laws. Much of that lax enforcement is motivated by social justice warriors holding society at fault instead of individuals.

So, it’s just easier to blame the gun.

I just got home from shooting at a range I belong to. Since the last time I went shooting, none of my guns have shot anyone. Not a single one — not a single time. The two guns I transported to the range in my truck also shot no one during the entire trip there or back.

And, after I got to the range and traded my duty rounds for practice rounds (bullets), and returned my gun to its holster, it didn’t fire even one time.

My Glock 17 behaved itself perfectly until I withdrew it from my holster, brought it up on my target, found my front sight, brought my finger inside the trigger guard, and squeezed the trigger.

Only then did I use my weapon to assault the silhouette on my paper target.

It’s like a car, a knife, or that bridge. They just exist, motionless, until a person drives it, cuts with it, or jumps off it.

Come to think of it, people also commit murder with guns and knives — and they can even push people off bridges. However, when was the last time you heard someone demand that the American government ban cars, knives, or bridges, just because they can be used by bad or sick people for negative purposes?

And for those who continue with the hackneyed trope, “Guns are designed only to kill people” — that is about as stupid as saying cars are designed to kill people because people misuse the car to kill.

As with cars, different guns are designed for different things. Various guns are designed for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. In the case of self-defense, whether military, law enforcement, or civilian, certain guns are designed to prevent killing people.

Dean Weingarten explained the concept in an article at The Truth About Guns. He explained a gun is a mechanical device “designed to project force at a distance.” At what a person projects force at a distance depends on the person’s motivations.

A hunting firearm can be used for self-defense and a self-defense gun can be used for hunting. Weingarten knocked home the fact that most guns used for self-defense are only displayed and never fired at an aggressor.

The gun for self-defense is designed primarily to prevent the killing of a person. As Weingarten noted, and I can attest to this firsthand, “Most police officers carry a gun their whole careers without shooting anyone. The guns are there to project force to prevent extreme harm or death, much like the Minuteman III” (a nuclear missile deterrent, which has never been fired).

The missile wasn’t designed to kill people; it was designed to prevent killing people through the threat of projecting force across the globe.

One huge problem, as I see it, is the gun grabbers who seem to base their plan on an impossibility, a wish. They have become adept at suspending reality when it comes to gun laws. When confronted with a fiend who’s committed a horrific mass shooting, the first thing the anti-gun Left seems to do is shut off its rational mind and allow emotions to assume control.

Logic tells us that lawbreakers do not follow the law; it’s sort of implied in the word. Similarly, but opposite that, law abiders follow the law — again, it’s in the name.

When lawmakers pass legislation placing further restrictions on legally owned firearms, the new laws do not affect criminals who obtain and possess their guns illegally.

I’ve heard some people argue, “Well, if we take guns away from even good people, at least bad people won’t be able to steal them.” Well, one could say the same thing about cars. People steal and commit crimes a lot more with cars than with guns. When they commit their crimes using guns, in fact, they often drive to get there and use a car to get away.

Logically, or illogically, shouldn’t we take these infernal cars from people, too?

In the same vein, if my neighbor shoots someone with a gun, why would you then take my gun, even though I have hurt no one with it?

What would taking my gun do to solve the problem of my neighbor’s act of shooting someone with his gun?

The gun — or the car — doesn’t kill people. And the person who doesn’t use his or her gun — or car — to commit crimes doesn’t kill people, either.

Instead, the anti-gun forces prey on the human instinct to want bad things to not have happened and wish things that will happen to never happen again. It’s a natural but unrealistic and immature desire that must be tempered with reality.

Gun grabbers also say they believe it is somehow possible to disarm everyone, even criminals.

So, they pass more and more onerous laws that cause increased hassles and expense for law-abiding gun owners — who, like law-abiding drivers, are not the problem.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.

Steve Pomper
meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer on the East Precinct Community Police Team and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He's also the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State."

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