Monday, October 23, 2006

Second Amendment - One of my top issues this election cycle

It's not just the second amendment, either -- it's the mindset that goes along with that support. The mindset that liberty is important, and that power belongs in the hands of the people. This issue probably trumps even the importance of being serious in the war on Islamic Jihadists, though that comes in at a very close second.

This is why my Republican representative and my Republican senators will be getting my vote in a few weeks. (Incidentally, I wouldn't rule out voting for a Democrat if he/she were a second-amendment advocate. We just don't have one of those here.)

On that note, I just ran across a Reuters article entitled:

No Solution In Sight for U.S. Gun Violence
The story is crafted to imply that outlawing guns is the solution, and the problem is is that we are not moving closer to that goal.

What if I were to tell you that one one-hundredth of one percent of our population dies every year from gunshot wounds?

You'd probably think that's pretty underwhelming. Tragic, but underwhelming.

Now, what if I told you that the number of Americans who die from gunshot wounds every year is 30,000?

In fact, both statements are true and say the excact same thing. One of the statements has context factored in, the other does not.

Let's factor in a little more context. That number includes suicides and accidents. And yes, it includes murders as well. But it's not 30,000 murders.

Now let's factor in a little more context. Are we to believe that guns cause suicides? That these people would not, in fact, have killed themselves were it not for the guns? That people are murdered because their killers have guns?

Are we really to believe that we could avoid 30,000 deaths a year in the United States if we somehow magically got rid of the guns (remembering that outlawing them doesn't get rid of them)? Folks, people are more creative than that. Cain did not have a gun, and Able was just as dead.

The Reuters article quotes David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center as saying
"The fact that most of our lethal violence involves firearms lends credence to the hypothesis that the prevalence of guns is a prime reason."
Any bit of logical scrutiny finds this to be a bogus argument. What it lends credence to is that guns are the easiest way to expedite the intentions of those who wish to kill themselves and others. The desire comes from something else. Guns are not the motivation. Guns are not the cause. Guns are the tools. There are other tools. Getting rid of them will not stop the motivation or the manifestations of those motivations -- it would, in many cases, (the ones that wouldn't be using the now illegal guns) merely alter the plans. Maybe tire irons would then be the leading weapon used to kill. Would tire irons, then, be a prime reason people are murdered due to the fact that most lethal violence involved tire irons?

Oddly, if you look at the statement, it is actually true -- a prime reason most of our lethal violence involves firearms is that, by gosh, they're available. But the implied corralary, that ergo if we make them less prevelant or get rid of them altogether then the people who would have been killed by guns would be alive today -- is ludicrous.

Last, but by no means least important -- our Founding Fathers put a lot of thought into constructing the legal framework for a free society. They talked about it at length, even after the constitution was written. If you read what the founding fathers wrote, and you read their discussions and dissertations on the topic, it is very clear that they, in fact, meant:
That hypothesis [see previous quote], widely accepted in much of the rest of the world, is hotly contested by American advocates of unfettered access to guns, led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), who say that the second amendment to the Constitution gives all law-abiding citizens the right to bear arms.
[emphasis, mine] American advocates of "unfettered" access to guns are not "led" by the National Rifle Association. The National Rifle Association exists because many, many Americans recognize the assault on the second amendment (#2, right after free speech and freedom of religion) and the need to organize to fight the organized opposition. The gun-control advocates would like us all to believe that the Evil Corporate Gun and Ammo Manufacturing Complex, some outside, anti-American force -- is behind all this and leading a bunch of blind, uneducated people along, enslaving their Bubba minions' feeble minds to this great Evil Cause. But that ain't the way it is.

And for more on why the second amendment says what it says, worded far better than my feeble attempts, read Bill Whittle's Freedom.

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