Friday, April 23, 2010

I am not a dangerous killer...

If you are a firearms owner, you should be warned that the following will most likely be viewed upon as me just "preaching to the choir". You may want to continue reading the following anyways. Who knows, you might encounter some new information that may be of  value to you.

For anyone who knows me, it's obvious I am a gun owner. I no longer hide that fact from people I meet. When the topic of gun control comes up, it becomes very clear, very quickly, that I have a strong opinion on the issues. Why do I have such strong opinions?  Do I simply disagree with anti-gun people just because I own firearms, and it's my unspoken duty? No. I disagree with many anti-gun individuals because they simply have a lot of their facts all wrong. I try hard to be reasonable in my discussions with anti-gun folks, but often run into a too familiar brick wall. Just presenting that idea openly that some of their facts may be incorrect will most likely cause anti-gun folks to block out my opinions and resist anything I have to present, no matter how logical my view is. Perhaps some will take the time to reconsider their beliefs, and maybe even see some of the logic behind my point of view.

First off, I would like to  say this, "gun control is really people control". It's just laws and regulations that control millions of good, honest, law-abiding peoples ability to enjoy gun related activities, sports and lifestyles. I believe that gun control is based predominantly on fear. As fear is an emotion, it makes it difficult to counter emotional responses with logical debate. I'll try to present some facts here in a logical manner. I hope that my presentation of truth will cause others to rethink their stand on gun control. I would also like to add that sometimes I am defensive when confronted by anti-gun people. As soon as I inform them that I enjoy
firearms and gun related activities, they treat me differently. Some respond by saying idiotic things like, "Oh no, I better not get you angry". Really? So if I am a gun enthusiast, I'm suddenly labelled as dangerous or unstable? Gee, thanks for the insult. At other times they ask me, "Why do you need guns?". It's not about need. I can live without them just as others can live without the items they use to support and enjoy their hobbies or ways of life. I wish anti-gun people wouldn't so quickly pigeon hole gun owners. There are tens of millions of us. Trust me, we are all quite different from one another. we are not all crazy, violent, potential offenders waiting to "go off" like some sort of unstable bomb.

Here are some facts about gun ownership, use, and gun control. I present them as the common questions and statements I usually encounter.

Countries with more gun control are safer?
This is simply not true. Using Britain as an example, firearms use in crimes has doubled in the decade since handguns were banned. The result is a society that is now more dangerous. The handgun banned failed to keep people safe. In fact weapons sell there for as little as 50 Pounds. Here is something else to consider:
Many countries with the strictest gun control have the highest rates of crime. Consider Australia and England. Each have very strict gun control,yet have the highest rates of robbery, sexual assault, and assault with force among the top 17 industrialised countries. In contrast Switzerland, with lenient gun laws for Europe, has the 3rd lowest homicide rate of the top 9 major European countries. Do you still think gun control works after being presented with facts like this?

Registration and control is the answer.
There is definite proof that this is simply not the case. New Zealand repealed their gun registration laws in the '80s after police acknowledged its worthlessness. Consider Canada. Here is an important quote regarding the effectiveness of gun control:
"The gun registration as it sits right now is causing law abiding citizens to register their guns, but it does nothing to take one illegal gun off the street or to increase any type of penalty for anybody that violates any part of the legislation." (Al Koenig, President, Calgary Police.)
Calgary isn't some little hick town, and even officials there know that registration was clearly not the answer. It's not just Calgary either. Six Canadian provinces refuse to prosecute firearm owners that fail to register. Those provincial governments didn't just make this decision on a casual whim. They consider the registry an expensive, ineffective waste that treats lawful citizens as criminals. The billions of dollars wasted on a long gun registry could have been better spent on real social issues. That $2,000,000,000 could have been spent feeding hungry children, putting roofs over the heads of the homeless, financing health institutions, etc.

Registration keeps guns out of the hands of criminals.
Real information clearly shows that this is untrue. Registration of firearms by government does not keeps guns out of the hands of criminals. In Canada, homicide rates are virtually identical to those before registration. The ratio of 1.8/100,000 in 1998 evenly matches 1.8/100,000 in 2007. (Statistics Canada) The truth is that criminals simply don't care about registration. Registration requires the obedience. Criminals obviously aren't concerned with following regulations. It would be contrary to their nature and role in society. The guns possessed by criminals are either smuggled in, stolen, or created. How does registration affect these felons? It doesn't. Some might argue, "If citizens didn't own guns, criminals couldn't steal them". They're criminals, they would then just smuggle them in, or just hang on the firearms they already illegally possess. Registration is not the answer.

Gun availability is a factor in school shootings.
This is untrue. In rural areas for example, where guns are more common, school shooting are almost non-existent. School shootings are not simply caused by the availability of guns. School shootings are an deeply unfortunate result of a much deeper factor. Resources should perhaps be concentrated on determining what the real underlying issues might be.

Guns kill.
This is one I hear quite a lot. It is as if guns are simply produced with one, and only one purpose, that of killing. Saying "guns kill" is not the best argument for gun control. The fact is that the large percentage of deaths by guns is actually suicide. It is foolish to think that these potentially suicidal individuals would simply chose against it just because guns didn't exist, or required registration. The argument that guns make suicide easy is not accurate either. Should we ban all items used in suicides? Should we regulate of ban rope,
or just the most popular tools of suicide? Guns are used thousands and thousands of times each day in entirely safe non-killing activities. They don't leap off shelves and begin killing all by themselves. It's not a gun issue, it's a people issue. Guns are used for many other activities besides killing the innocent, those activities are called sport and recreation, not killing practice.

Does gun ownership prevents crime?
Yes it does. In America, firearms are used 60 times more to protect lives than to take lives. This information surprises many anti-gun individuals. The statistic can't be disputed. Believe it or not, gun ownership actually protects lives.

It is crazy to say guns save lives?
No. In fact, in America, for every accidental death, homicide, or suicide, 10 lives are saved through defensive gun use. That's quite the ratio. Every day over 6,500 people (that's one every 13 seconds) uses a firearm to defend themselves. Who would be protecting these precious live if guns were outlawed? The police?

Only police should have guns.
Not if you want to be safe. Here is some information even I found alarming. According to the "Independent Issue Institute Paper, October 17 1994), 11% of police shootings in America resulted in the death of an innocent person, while only about 2% of shootings by citizens resulted in killing innocent people. I understand that accidents happen, and that honorable law enforcement officers have my best interests at heart, but the statistics are disturbing. Here is another fact to consider: Criminals are more worried about meeting an armed citizen then actually encountering the police. Why is that? Criminals are most likely to not even encounter police during a criminal act, but instead have to deal with a possibility of meeting up with an armed citizen.

What about protecting women? Can guns protect women?
Of the 2,500,000 instances of a firearms being used in self defense, more than 7.7% are women protecting themselves from rape or sexual abuse. The fact is, that when a woman was armed with a knife or gun, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to the 32% of women who were unarmed.

Publicly displaying a gun is asking for trouble.
Not true. displaying a firearm actually prevents crime. Every day in America, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other crimes are prevented by simply showing a gun in an act of defense. Less than 1% (actually 0.9%) involved firing the gun. Why is that? Criminals will take the easy way. Properly defended citizens are simply not easy victims.

Privately owned guns are used to commit crimes.
This statement is wrong. In America 90% of all violent crimes didn't involve firearms of any type. (BATF statistics from 1998)

The police are here to protect us, so we don't need guns.
I frequently hear this one. Unfortunately the statement is wrong. According to U.S. News and World Report, June 17, 1998, 95% of the time, the  police arrive too late to prevent a crime or arrest a suspect. I don't blame police departments for this. I only wish that the funds wasted on gun control and ineffective registration be instead spent on expanding police budgets. Those funds could recruit, train, and equip more officers, providing them with the tools and manpower to effectively stop crime.

Children are killed each day in North America by guns.
This is sad, but true. These statistics also include death by criminals. Half of those are gang or drug related. Is gun registration helping? No. Recent American statistics show that approximately 13 children die every day from guns. That number unfortunately matches the number of children killed in automobiles. What is the answer? Should we ban cars too? I am a father, and the thought of losing my child deeply troubles me. I keep all my firearms secured, and absolutely out of reach of my child or anyone else. Would safe storage and proper firearms education help lower the number of children killed by firearms? Yes. Did you know that four children die every day in the U.S. from parental neglect and abuse. Why do gun control advocates only single out the gun related deaths.

Children should not have access to guns.
As hard as it may be to believe, this is not true. Boys who legally own guns have much lower rates of delinquency and drug abuse and are even less delinquent than non gun owning boys of the same age. Why is this contrary to what many gun control advocates believe? Considering the thousands of crimes prevented each day by gun defense (remember it is over 6,500), the number of children protected by firearms far outweighs the number of children harmed. Banning or registering guns is not stopping children from being
harmed by guns, it is the other deeper issues such as education, crime, drugs, gangs, and social or family issues that need to be considered. Gun registration and control are simply a bandage solutions to the cuts that run far deeper in our society.

Without gun control, more people will start to carry guns. Citizens should not be legally able to carry guns.

It surprises many people to find out that citizens legally carrying guns may actually aid society. 39 states (comprising the majority of the American population) are actually "right to carry" states. Statistics show that in these states crime rates actually fell, or at least didn't rise. In Texas for example, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average after their concealed carry law passed. Rapes fell 93% faster after the first year. These facts are more than just interesting reading. Can citizens, legally carrying guns, positively affect crime rates? Of course they can, and these numbers prove it. Unfortunately gun control advocates like to say these numbers may be the results of other non-gun related effects, but those same advocates never provide any information as to what those non-gun effects might be.

Lastly, gun control treats law abiding, gun owning citizens like criminals.

It portrays them as part of the problem, when they only want to exercise their rights to simply enjoy the benefits of firearms ownership. Owning a gun does not automatically make you a dangerous criminal. Please consider this;
Yesterday, well over 65 million gun owners in North America did not commit a crime. They simply lived their lives in peace. Some gun owners were even fortunate enough to protect thousands of precious ives (remember it's over 6,500 daily in America).


RKL said...

Great post! You hit all the important points. You're right that it's not really gun control, it's people control. That's what it's all about.


Schick said...

Thanks for the support. When I was writing the entry I was a little worried about the response I would receive. I was concerned that anti-gun people would attack me.
So far so good. It's nice to know someone shares my point of view.