Today is the third anniversary of a horrible tragedy that took 26 innocent lives in Connecticut, and in the years since, what have we learned as a nation where firearms ownership is not only protected by the constitution, but is also an important part of the national fabric?
We’ve learned how increasingly out-of-touch the administration and leading anti-gun Democrats are with the average citizens. While President Barack Obama and his would-be successor Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to harp about gun control, the aftermath of San Bernardino has been increased traffic at gun shops and sporting goods stores. So, we’ve learned that during a period of intensified pressure for more gun control, Second Amendment activists are pushing back.
Recent events have revealed that despite some polls, when the chips are suddenly down, Americans go to the “fallback position,” that being the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The other day, White House spokesman Josh Earnest called this “tragic” and was unable to explain why so many people are buying guns. And then he tried to perpetuate what amounts to a myth.
“It’s tragic that in the immediate aftermath of a series of high profile mass shootings, that people feel like they have to go out and purchase a gun,” he said, as quoted by PJ Media. “That ready access to guns and that proliferation of violent weapons of war has not led to fewer gun deaths. It’s tragic that even in the situation where we have lots of guns on the streets that lead to lots of innocent Americans being killed, that the response to that is that a whole lot more guns end up on the streets.”
A check of the FBI Uniform Crime Report over the past few years puts the lie to that intimation. More guns in circulation have not produced more gun deaths. Homicides with guns have declined while gun ownership has spiked.
What have you learned in the three years since the Sandy Hook tragedy? Share your thoughts in the “Comments” section below.
The other day, Adam Winkler authored an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times that, among other things, debunked the notion that so-called “assault weapons” are a public safety threat. He recalled a 2004 study commissioned by the Justice Department that revealed the ten-year Clinton semi-auto ban “didn’t lead to any decrease in gun crime or gun deaths.”
“For starters,” Winkler wrote, “rifles, assault or otherwise, are rarely used in gun crime. Notwithstanding the two rifles used in San Bernardino (and a few other memorable mass killings), rifles account for only about 3% of criminal gun deaths. Gun crime in the United States, including most mass shootings, is overwhelmingly handgun crime.”
Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author, summed it up to the likely chagrin of anti-gunners: “It may seem like a victory for the forces of good to ban assault weapons, but such laws aren’t the answer. Assault weapon bans are bad policy and bad politics.”
We’ve learned that elitist billionaires can buy elections, as they did in Washington State and hope to repeat down in Nevada next year. We also learned that passage of Initiative 594 has not kept guns from falling into the wrong hands, as was intimated throughout the campaign. With enough money and the right advertising, it’s possible to sell bibles to atheists.
We’ve learned that gun prohibitionists have no new ideas, just the same tired agenda, repackaged. They tout “universal background checks” as though there are currently no background checks, and they carefully avoid admitting that most of the recent mass shooters all passed background checks.
Among the rare exceptions was Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer. He stole the guns used in the horrible attack, from his mother. He murdered her while she was sleeping, prior to launching the school attack, in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.
We’ve learned that anti-gunners are keen to deny people their Second Amendment rights without due process. Nobody knows how they get on a “no-fly” list, but they now know that once placed on that list, gun prohibitionists want them barred from having firearms, with no criminal charge, no conviction and perhaps being the victim of mistaken identity or identity theft. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ended up on the list.
The nation has learned of the hypocrisy of anti-gunners. Three years ago, following Sandy Hook, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association was vilified for suggesting that armed security in schools is a wise response and preventive measure to school shootings. After the dust settled, many districts upped their security or quietly okayed arming staff, but they were careful to not credit LaPierre for the inspiration to do precisely what he suggested.
Perhaps what we’ve learned most of all is what we knew all along. There are no easy answers, and far too many people are invariably willing to throw someone else’s rights under the bus. Those who think penalizing honest citizens for the crimes of terrorists and crazy people might just be a little off-plumb, themselves.
Maybe actor Kurt Russell put it best in his remarks the other day to a reporter about gun control, as quoted by Hot Air. Those comments are now being popularized all over the Internet.
“If you think gun control…is going to change the terrorists’ point of view, I think you’re, like, out of your mind,” Russell said. “I think…it’s absolutely insane.”
Gun prohibitionists have been trying the same rhetoric and pushing the same agenda for years, expecting a different outcome. Isn’t that essentially what Albert Einstein said is the definition of insanity?
Got an opinion about this column? Share your views in the “Comments” section below.