Lock and Load – Part 1

Lock and Load, Part 1

pistol

A .40 Glock 24 handgun; the tool of a cold-blooded killer, or the ultimate check on government?

Guns. Firearms. ‘Heaters’. Whatever name they’re given, whatever shape or size they come in, whatever calibre round they fire, they are simply tools whose ultimate purpose is to maim grievously, and if necessary, to kill whatever is in their path. But hey, we all know what guns are, don’t we? Terrible, horrific devices, responsible for the tragedies of Sandy Hook and Columbine, along with so many other despicable crimes committed each day. And the only way to prevent such crimes? Legislation. And so, as we have seen this weekend, the political battlelines are drawn.

If you want tighter US gun-control, you’re a responsible and rational person, who truly understands the impact such weapons can have on the lives of others. If you don’t want tighter gun control, you’re a crazed and emotion yokel, who’s happy to see children murdered at the hands of psychopaths, so long as you can bring home a machine-gunned elk carcass every Sunday, and have its head stuffed and mounted in your trophy room by Thursday. That, or in Miami’s import-export business.

In the coming weeks, I do believe the US is about to get a visit from the left-wing travelling salesman. His fantastic, must-have, ‘however-did-I-live-without-it?!’ product: a medicine bottle of ‘Legislation: Scientifically proven to cure all social ailments, from a failing economy to a pesky unfavourable press, and even poverty and world hunger!’

Personally, I believe legislation cures very few problems, but then I am a libertarian. What I essentially want to discuss in this post and my next, is how access to guns is not the true cause of US violent crime and mass homicides, and that any legislation will simply treat the symptom of that cause, rather than deal with the cause itself. But I also want to look at why the UK may consider liberalising its current gun laws, and why your ability to own a pistol, or even a rifle, may not be to the eternal detriment of British society.

Firstly, why won’t legislation be the magic cure?

California Prisons

How much crime do guns really cause?

Ultimately, to believe that US violent crime rates will fall considerably simply by controlling who can buy a gun, or what kind of gun, or how much ammunition for that gun, is just naïve. If I’m an enraged wannabe murder, not having access to a firearm is unlikely to deter me. I still want to kill the bastard (how dare he do that to my sister!?), so I’ll just find another way, or another tool of killing. If I’m a desperate druggy, who needs to mug an unsuspecting passer-by to get my next fix, I’ll similarly find another substitute for a gun. Replica firearms, such as $5 airsoft pistol, and a dark alley will suit my intentions perfectly. And if I work for a gang in LA or a ‘family’ in New York, I will likely still be able to get hold of gun regardless of the law (teenagers in South London manage it all the time.)

To tackle violent crime in any country, we have to appreciate the social factors that push people into committing this type of crime. What made the bloke in the first example so angry that he wanted to commit murder? Was he mentally unstable? Should he have been undergoing treatment? The druggy; why was he addicted? How did his life fall so badly apart that he turned to drugs? Who failed to spot the signs and help? Who’s still failing to spot the signs now and help him today? And why did our gangster join his gang? Or the soldier join his family? Or, as increasingly occurring, the Russian immigrant join his brotherhood?

Serious crime is committed by those who society has failed, and limiting their ability to commit violent crime will not limit their desire to actually commit it in the first place.

Furthermore, what risk would the US public be facing if gun-ownership was limited considerably? A US citizen, I believe a resident of Newtown, was interviewed by BBC news yesterday, and made an interesting point. He said that he fully comprehends the damage that guns can do, and never wants to use his own, but that he keeps it with him for that one moment where he has to use it. In a country where anyone has the right to wield potentially lethal force, I don’t really believe it’s wrong to be able to defend yourself from others who also wield it.

Not so long ago, I was speaking to a chap who held a similar position as our fellow from Newtown. He’d lived in southern state (I believe Texas) for a number of years, and where it was perfectly legal for anyone to carry a concealed handgun. Rather unsurprisingly, there was very little violent crime.

While that is admittedly anecdotal, it does serve to prove a point. If everybody is similarly armed (or perceived to be), all but the most hardened organised criminal will be unwilling to risk using a firearm on somebody else. It is the same principle behind nuclear weapons: ‘we have nuclear weapons, so that we they never use their nuclear weapons on us.’ It brutally pragmatic.

This leads on to the chief concern, which is that while gun-control will be observed by law-abiding citizens, it won’t be given such respect by those who wish to use guns for less legitimate activities. What legislation is therefore in effect doing is limiting the ability of potential victims to defend themselves, and thus making them more vulnerable to criminal aggression in the first place.

7679787-graphic-design-illustration-of-an-american-revolutionary-soldier-with-rifle-flag-with-wording-text-a

Would you be proud to own a gun?

What also must be remembered is the importance of guns in US culture and history. It often seems absurd to us that the US has chosen to entrench the of citizens to right to bear arms in their constitution, but actually that principle originates from one great British mind. John Locke (1632-1704) developed the principle that government should be rule by consent, and this led to the US founding fathers’ belief in the right to rebellion. They held that a US citizen had the right to rebel against a government which did not act in the common interest, and that by owning firearms, citizens had not just the right, but the ability, to rebel. This was seen to be the ultimate check on dictatorial government.

To many Britons, guns are indeed terrible tools, but to Americans, they represent freedom; the freedom to defend yourself against an attacker, but also against tyrannical governance. I suppose it could be similar to the US perception of the Queen; to them, and unelected head of state is archaic and highly undemocratic, but to us, the monarchy is a part of our national identity.

So, in the coming weeks and months, I do hope that the left-wing reactionaries make little ground, because I truly see little good coming of gun-control. I hope you do too.

In my following post, I will discuss the case for more liberal gun-laws in the UK, along with our current, and surprisingly easy access to them already.

2 thoughts on “Lock and Load – Part 1

  1. I just love how we’re continually critiqued by foreigners, especially the British, who think that our gun laws need to be tougher.

    A lack of guns in American society will not stop murder. Obviously there would be fewer firearms murders and deaths, but killing is a part of animal behavior and we are all animals. If you want to stop that, I think you have your work cut out for you. The weapons covered by the new ban legislation account for a small fraction of the number of murders committed in the US with firearms every year.

    The media likes to make mass shootings more spectacular than they really are. The fact that there is rarely anyone there to stop the killing with a gun of their own is a testament to the law-abiding nature of the overwhelming majority of gun owners. All of the shooting sprees have happened in places where lawful gun owner were not legally permitted to take their firearms. That simple fact seems to be lost on the liberal news media.

    I am not going to give up my guns because a wanna-be communist dictator (Obama) and a gaggle of sock puppet “journalists” (like Piers Morgan), think I should not be allowed to have one because someone who lives in an entirely different state than me murdered a handful of people with guns he stole. If the media gave a flying rusty fuck about the “safety” of “the children”, then they’d be lining up at the gates of the elementary schools with Colt .45′s strapped to their hips (real communists like Dianne Feinstein have guns of their own while decrying the right of her constituents to have the same privilege she does).

    It’s hilarious to me that all of the proposals for “safeguarding” (mythical concept) our children involve the government stealing the property of private citizens because they’re not “responsible” enough. Our government sells guns to our mortal enemies, drug dealers, and uses the military to murder unarmed, non-combatant men, women, and children around the world by the tens of thousands and then has the brass to suggest that I can’t be trusted with my firearms.

    Our government has not, does not now, and never will give a rat’s ass about anyone’s children. Our government does care about “controlling” (another mythical concept) people. There’s probably some reason why our government reads everyone’s E-Mail (yours, mine, people from east outer Mongolia, freakin everyone) and uses its military at the drop of a hat. That reason doesn’t have much to do with the mythical concept of “safety”, but it has everything to do with the mythical concept of “control”. There are megalomaniacs like George Bush and Barack Obama who really do believe they can “control” people. I want to ensure that we continue to have the means to demand a healthy respect from our wanna-be dictators. Dictators really seem to hate that.

  2. I would like to further add that in a nation with more guns than people only 3.2 out of 100,000, as you pointed out, have been murdered on a yearly basis. Our streets should be awash in blood and there should be absolute carnage from sea to shining sea. Somehow, with all the guns and the availability of guns, that hasn’t happened. If there was some magical method we could use to prevent previously convicted felons from obtaining firearms, that number would drop to a figure of statistical insignificance.

    By the same logic that the gun grabbers use, we should have been prohibited from operating our own motor vehicles a long time ago, given the number of crashes, vehicular manslaughters, and drunk driving incidents. Why isn’t there a push for more traffic legislation? Why haven’t we banned cars!? After all, we’re “protecting the children”. If banning cars saves even one life, it’s worth it, right? What rational person could be against saving the lives of our children by banning cars? Perhaps those black SUV’s that “assault” the sensibilities of Prius drivers should be the first to go. They’re “the most dangerous” of the vehicles out there. Who needs a 3 ton car to get to work every day? Who needs a V-8 engine? That’s too much power for an ordinary civilian to have. They have high capacity gas tanks that need to be banned, too. No car should have more than 10 gallons in the tank. Nobody needs that much gas to get to work every day. More people are killed by cars than by guns, so I think we need to ban cars while we’re at it. We need to do it “for the children”.

    Any of that sound stupid to you? Well, it does to me, and that’s how I feel about banning a firearm based on what color it is, how many bullets the magazine holds, or whether or not someone might drive one off a bridge someday and kill fifty people in oncoming traffic on the road below the bridge.

    I liken the “gun free zones” around schools, churches, and government buildings as professional courtesy to fellow murders and thieves. The liberals who pushed for such asinine laws are, in my opinion, culpable in the crimes perpetrated by the murderers and thieves. Any law that assists in criminal behavior is a law that is unconstitutional and morally wrong. Our politicians don’t have a problem with passing morally indefensible laws because they are immoral themselves. What murderer or thief would willingly grant his or her victims access to any implement which would assist the victim in defense against murder or theft?

    Apparently there are people who think you can put some ink on paper and prevent criminal or predatory behavior. It’s worked really well so far. I’m sure some more inked paper can’t help but further the cause, right? If putting ink to paper created safety, then by that logic the US of A should be the safest place in the world. Apparently someone forgot to tell the criminals that their criminal behavior is not permitted because the inked paper says so.

    If it is not yet abundantly clear, I am for the liberty of the individual and against the liberty of the criminals.

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