Knee-Jerking Over Gun Control

I have no objection to banning military-style assault weapons and clips that carry more than 10 rounds.  And I think making everyone pass a background check is a dandy idea for every single gun sold.

I’m not much of a hunter, but I do own and carry guns.  Ever since the US Supreme Court ruled that police officers are not required to protect people, but merely to “uphold the law” – presumably, to arrest someone after they kill me – I have owned guns.

So I have a small colt pocket pistol for trips to the ATM machine, a Glock 9mm for more serious travel, a Winchester .44 and a pump, short-barreled shotgun.  I used to have an AR-15 semi-automatic with a 30-round clip, but I didn’t like the weight or the recoil, so I sold it.  Through a gun dealer, to someone who had passed the background check.

Mind you, I am a card-carrying NRA guy, and a fierce advocate for the Second Amendment.   But just as there are reasonable limits on First Amendment free speech, there has to be a little room for reasonable limits on gun ownership.

But let’s clear up a couple of misconceptions first.

  •  The Founding Fathers were pretty clear about the reason for the Second Amendment, and it had nothing to do with hunting or joining the army.  It was so that we would have the means to protect ourselves and our loved ones – a job the government has shown no aptitude for.
  •  There is no “Culture of Violence” in the United States.  Incidents of mass shootings and serial killings are no worse today than in previous years.  As for video games and movies causing violence, that’s just blather for people with a short-term memory problem.  I grew up watching Roy Rogers shoot the bad guys.  My friends and I carried cap pistols and BB guns, and no one I have ever met killed 26 school children.  My children carried more modern light-sabers and cheered to Chuck Norris movies.  Not a serial killer among them.  The media created the idea of a “Culture of Violence” because they are too bovine to do real research or real journalism.
  •  Taking away guns does not reduce gun crime.  Owning guns does reduce gun crime.  You may not like it, but that is the fact.  When people have the means to protect themselves, violent criminals look for easier victims.

So why does it seem that we are so much worse off than in the past?  Mostly it is that the media is anxious to fill the airwaves with the cheapest, sloppiest, most lurid stories they can find.  They always have been.  That’s why they call it “Yellow Journalism.”  Frankly, they would show full frontal nudity and people having live sex if they thought it would raise their ratings.

But if we want to know why things seem worse that years ago, the place to start is not with the bovine media  but with the United States Government, for three reasons:

  •  In the 1970’s, Congressional democrats gutted the mental health system in this country.  They did so with the finest of intentions – wanting to “mainstream” the mentally ill and addicted so that they were not merely locked away in institutions.  But as usual, they closed the institutions without providing an alternative path for treatment.  With this well-intentioned but stupid move, the Congress created the homeless epidemic in this country, as well as removing the places that we might secure people from injuring themselves and others while they work out their problems.
  •  The United States Government has decided – with the support not only of Democrats but leading Republicans in Congress and the White House – to misdirect law enforcement agents who that they waste their time trying to arrest responsible adults who use marijuana.  As a result, we jail more marijuana users than any nation on earth.  We can’t protect children, families or our embassies, but we can by God throw those stoners in jail in record numbers for the crime of possessing a weed that grows wild along the roads in most states.
  •  Judges at every level have decided they must act to balance the laws by interpreting them – in this case, refusing to incarcerate criminals who molest children, and releasing people with clear records of violence and mayhem because our prisons are too full of…well, people who smoke marijuana.  Not those who sell it, mind you.  Not hard-core, meth-hitting druggies.  Just old folks and cancer patients smoking their pipes for comfort.

If you want to know the sadness of the killings in Connecticut, it is in part that the bovine media continues to highlight the story day after endless, grinding, boring day – encouraging a whole generation of mentally ill young people to emulate the act to gain media fame and glory.

But an even greater share of the blame must be laid at the feet of our bloated, incompetent, tyrannical and pontificating federal government, which promised the American people that if we gave them ever greater shares of the money we earn, that they would solve all of society’s problems and cure all of our ills.  They reneged on the deal, broke their word, and spent the money on themselves and their cronies.

I, for one, want my money back.

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