Another Mass Shooting – The Same Tired Rush to Ban Guns

Another mass shooting — this time in a grocery store in Colorado. Besides the horror of ten people being shot and dying at the hands of a lone gunman, the thought of a legally purchased gun was the weapon used is frightening and sad. And that weapon was lawfully purchased by the shooter just days in advance of his killing spree.

It took NO time for the anti-gun crew to ramp up their rhetoric as always. A gun killing of any type is fodder for their purposes. And they are as always rewarded for their cries as Democrats in Congress rekindle the fires of screaming for every type of gun control one can imagine. But there are many “facts” that must be remembered and seriously pondered before rushing to more gun laws. After all, nationwide, there are several hundred gun laws of every imaginable type already enacted — and far too seldom enforced.

The latest ideas are two-fold, tired and old: universal background checks for those who wish to purchase guns, and then Joe Biden’s old standby, the ban of “assault weapons.” There are several disqualifying “facts” that dispel either as a viable option. Let’s look into those.

People should also be aware that most gun-related deaths are suicides, not murders. There are twice as many suicides in the U.S. by guns as there are homicides, and I think most people find that very surprising. Over and over again, one reads that 30,000 people have been killed with guns, but what’s not said is that 20,000 of them took their own lives.

But perhaps the most common misperception of all is that there is no simple, effective policy to reduce gun crime that is just there for the asking as long as we have the political will to do it. That solution doesn’t exist. It’s tough to find an implementable and enforceable initiative that would make any impact on gun crime.

Would An Assault Weapon Ban Fix the Problem?

Many people want to ban so-called assault weapons because they believe these firearms are uniquely dangerous or the same as machine guns. They are not. Assault weapons — at least the ones available to civilians — are like all semi-automatics and fire one bullet with one pull of the trigger. What makes an assault weapon different than a regular rifle are the cosmetic “military-like” features, such as a bayonet mount or pistol grip and so forth, none of which have functional significance. Assault weapons are not more powerful, they do not shoot more bullets, and they do not shoot faster. We would not be a safer society if we could eliminate all of the assault weapons because people could substitute non-assault weapons that are the same.

Why Wouldn’t U.K. Style Gun Control Fix our Problems?

The U.K. has gone the farthest in restricting the private ownership of guns. Shotguns and rifles are only permitted to those who can pass through an arduous police-administered licensing process, and after the 1996 massacre in Dunblane, Scotland, ownership of handguns was prohibited. But the U.K.’s policy could not work in the U.S. because we have a Constitution, we have a Second Amendment, and we have a Supreme Court decision that guarantees the right of Americans to keep and bear arms in their home for lawful purposes. So we cannot have a prohibition of private ownership of firearms.

Australia had a gun buyback program and prohibited new purchases of many types of firearms. It has failed dramatically. We have tried gun buybacks in the United States and they have been unsuccessful. People do not wish to sell their guns to the government, and those who do almost invariably sell old firearms so they can get the money and buy new guns.

Would Background Checks For Private Gun Sales Fix It?

I think that requiring background checks for all gun sales, period, would be a good idea in principle. The problem is implementing and enforcing such a system. There’s no universal registry of firearms, so if the police were to arrest somebody and try to prosecute whoever sold them their gun without the required check, there’s no way to verify who the seller was or when the sale took place. To have an effective system of regulating private sales, you would need a registry, and the idea of a registry is a panic symbol to the gun-owning community because they see a registration system as a precursor to a general confiscation — which it was in the U.K. and has been in other countries as well.

But even if we could politically will a gun registry into existence, it’s unlikely that it would work. In the few states where we have a requirement that assault weapons be registered, no more than 10% of the owners of assault weapons have generally gone through the registration process, meaning at least 90% of the people don’t register. Other countries have also had a difficult time making registration work. The Canadians have registered handguns since the 1930s. In 1993, the liberal government initiated shotgun and lengthy gun registration. The program attracted a great deal of criticism, substantial cost overruns, and resistance from firearms owners, and in 2012, the Conservative government scrapped the plan and destroyed the registry. That might give people pause for thought about the feasibility of a registration program.

Another problem with background checks is surveys of inmates show overwhelmingly that criminals obtain guns on the black market or the grey market. Almost no prison inmates say they went to a licensed dealer and filled out forms. And why would they? Even the lowest estimates show 30% of U.S. households own at least one firearm, making it very easy for someone banned from purchasing a gun to obtain one from a friend, family member, or fellow criminal who already has one.

Do We Tackle the Mental Illness Problem?

It seems sensible to practically everybody that people who are extremely mentally ill are not reliable enough to be gun owners, but building a policy around that is more complicated than one might think. The federal law says that a person who has ever been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital or who has been found by a court to be mentally defective is prevented from buying a firearm, but that would disqualify a minimal number of people.

If we wanted to move beyond this, we’d have to expand the definition of who is mentally ill — no easy task — and even if we did, the government has had a difficult time getting mental illness data on individuals because many in the mental health treatment community strongly oppose these types of controls. They believe mental disqualifications are stigmatizing, that they would deter people from seeking treatment, and that they are detrimental to the therapeutic relationship. As a result, there’s been strong opposition from these groups when more aggressive laws on guns and mental illness are proposed.

Summary

Here’s the conundrum that all of America is facing: the hard Left is set on abolishing the Second Amendment. Their passion is NOT only to rid the nation of guns, but, in doing so, seize “control.”

Guns stand in the way of total dominance over the American people. Their only purpose for doing so is for unfettered power OVER guns which, in their minds, will allow their complete control of the People. Every part of their governing is about seizing and maintaining ultimate power over us all. Why do you think our forefathers, with forethought, clearly stated the People retain the right to own and bear arms?

Have you ever wondered why, immediately following any gun killing, the Left always default to banning assault weapons? Assault weapons don’t kill people. Knives don’t kill people. Tire irons nor machetes kill people. People kill people!

The alleged murderer in Colorado, as it turns out, has a sordid past full of anger, lashing out at others, he is prone to violence, and is a Donald Trump hater. The commonality with killers he had? Hatred — hatred killed those people.

Not one of the conventional gun control “weapons” of the Left would have stopped him. Colorado is one of the few states that use the most invasive gun background checks: universal background checks. He legally purchased that rifle six days ago.

There is ONE thing that could have easily stopped this killing: “If you see something, say something.” Why did authorities hear stories of anger, his attacks on others, his violence perpetrated against others, and the hatred for politicians in power whose policies with which he vehemently disagreed only AFTER a mass shooting?!?!

Think about it: there will be no gun confiscation in the U.S. There too reportedly are more guns legally owned in this country than there are people in this country. Seizing them all would be impossible. Trying to seize them all would initiate Civil War Part II. And criminals, on the most part, use stolen guns anyway! If officials successfully rid the nation of all legally owned guns, the criminals would STILL have their guns and would massacre far more than we see killed today.

Where should we start? Start here: “If you see something, say something.”

Will that stop it all? I doubt it. But it certainly will open the eyes of several hundred million of us who would then feel an obligation to speak up instead of remaining silent. It would be a start and would create a culture among us that would keep most Americans wary of our surroundings, more cautious, but, more importantly, more responsible. 

Enforce the laws we have — all 600 hundred of them. TEACH Americans using, professionals nationwide, to educate the populace on the telltale signs of pending violence within those around us.

Knowledge, understanding, acceptance of each other with attention to detail are the ONLY tools necessary to identify the vast majority of potential mass murderers who live among us.

Some will cry that a process like this will only further erode our freedoms. Folks, your freedoms stops at my body. You have NO right to hurt me in any way. Protecting oneself and family in no way inerprets to mass murder.

Fundamentally, as humans and as Americans, we owe it to ourselves and others to make our decisions about this based on facts, not emotions; in large part find ways to push through differences and find commonalities; work together as a nation instead of working against each other as individuals, and find answers with solutions.

Government is NOT our solution. In this, they’ve tried, and their only solution is to ban guns. Aren’t you tired of that? It has not been effective anywhere else on Earth.

“Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results” is the actual definition of insanity.”

Then why keep doing it?

To Download Today’s (Wednesday, March 24, 2021) “TNN Live” Show, click on this link:

Gun Control or Gun Deletion

The insanity of the House passing those two ridiculous unconstitutional gun control bills will NEVER fly: even if the Senate passes them and Biden signs them into law. How so? We have this little obstacle for such called the “Second Amendment” of the Constitution. So why was Pelosi dead set on passing those two bills? One reason only: to appease the gun control advocates.

The law would certainly be embroiled in Constitutional litigation. And, certainly, the first clause of a lawsuit to push for overturn of such a law would be a temporary injunction to prevent the law’s enforcement.

Why then would the House push so hard to get them both passed? “Pay-back.” Think about how much money Democrats have raised in campaign funds from far-left supporters: tens of millions of dollars. Also, Pelosi when hitting a roadblock, either in the Senate OR constitutional lawsuit will be able to say to those campaign resource holders, “We tried. But those Republicans are clinging to their guns. There’s nothing we can do.”

And the anti-gun campaign dollars continue to flow into Democrat campaigns.

Gun are NOT bad. People who own guns are certainly NOT bad. Using guns for murders IS bad. What IS bad is that politicians at federal, state, and local levels refuse to enforce the gun laws we have today.

Don’t think that ATF and FBI agents could not track down a million or two of the illegal guns in the U.S. I know, that’d be a tall order. Remember: these are the guys that can find a bag of weed, the user, the dealer, and even the transporter of that bag into the country. They are able to enforce the laws they choose to enforce.

They’ll never get every gun lawbreaker. Put that in the context of overall lawbreakers and it makes more sense. We all know they’ll NEVER catch all lawbreakers of any kind. But what they accomplish when finding any number of these criminals is two-fold: they stop the lawbreakers from breaking any other laws, and they also send messages to the criminal community that these criminals are untouchable and will be hunted and arrested. It’s a deterrent to new crimes.

Politicians and gun confiscation advocates rather pursue new laws that they know will never work. But the campaign dollars continue to come in regardless. Remember our motto about answers to all “Why’s?” Follow The Money!

The Gun-Grab Processes

Watching the recent emotional speeches and marches supporting gun control, I can’t shake a question that nags me: Would we be safer with fewer guns? Gun control advocates have an intuitive argument. Guns are an efficient way to commit murder. If we reduce the number of guns in society, we axiomatically will reduce murders.

Reducing gun violence is a desirable goal, particularly when one sees shooters mowing down children. After I thought about it, I realized the question of whether reducing guns in a society will lead to fewer murders is a testable hypothesis. You can measure gun ownership and murder rates. No two countries have the same gun laws or the same murder rates. So I jumped on Wikipedia to answer a question: Do countries with higher murder rates have more guns, and vice versa?

This question can be evaluated in a ratio: the number of legally owned guns per 100,000 versus the number of murders per 100,000. According to the theory, the ratio should be relatively stable. So countries with fewer guns will have fewer murders (a small number divided by a small number) and a country with more guns should have more murders (a big number divided by a big number).

I took the countries with the 100 highest murder rates. I added to the sample countries that compare to the United States culturally such as European countries, Australia, and Japan, etc. I deleted countries for which I could find no gun ownership statistics or countries that were small or obscure. My profile looked at 98 countries or a pretty solid slice of all the countries in the world. America is by far the country that owns the most guns per 100,000. In America, there are actually more guns than people. Our murder rate is much higher than that of our European counterparts. So far, the gun control hypothesis seems to be holding up.

But guns in America are very unlikely to be involved in murders. Our ratio of guns to murders is 20,696 guns privately and legally owned for every murder. Not every murder involves a gun. But the gun-control hypothesis suggests guns still make murder easier and more common.

The murder capital of the world is El Salvador. El Salvador has done a relatively good job rounding up legal guns. There are only 5,800 guns per 100,000 residents (compared to over 101,000 in America), yet El Salvador’s ratio of guns to murders is a staggering 53. Every year, there’s a murder for every 53rd gun in El Salvador.

The countries that have been most successful at limiting private, legal gun ownership are 1. Ethiopia, 2. Eritrea, 3. Haiti, 4. North Korea, and 5. Rwanda. Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Haiti all have higher murder rates than that of the United States. North Korea and Rwanda have slightly lower murder rates (4.4 and 4.5 per 100,000 respectively versus the United States at 4.88).

Let’s look at the countries with the highest concentrations of gun ownership (excluding Yemen and Iraq as active war zones). Guns per murder in those countries are:

  1. The United States at 20,967
  2. Uruguay at 3,777
  3. Norway at 55,893
  4. France at 19,747
  5. Austria at 59,608
  6. Germany at 35,647
  7. Switzerland at 35,435
  8. New Zealand at 24,835
  9. Greece at 26,471

Norway is a particularly interesting example. It has 10 times the gun ownership rate of the United Kingdom, but only half the murder rate.

When one excludes Iraq and Yemen, not one of the countries on the list of the 10 highest rates of gun ownership also appears on the list of the top ten highest murder rates. In fact, the countries with the highest murder rates have markedly low gun ownership rates.

  1. El Savador (108.64 murders per 100,000/5800 guns per 100,000)
  2. Honduras (63.75/6200)
  3. Venezuela (57.15/10,700)
  4. Jamaica (43.21/8,100)
  5. Lesotho (38/2,700)
  6. Belize (34.4/10,000)
  7. South Africa (34.27/12,700
  8. Guatemala (31.21/13,100)
  9. Trinidad (30.88/1,600)
  10. Bahamas (29.81/5,300)

It really doesn’t matter how you slice this data, the conclusion is inescapable: high concentrations of private, legal gun ownership do not correlate positively to increased murders. Indeed, you can look at almost any slice of data and conclude exactly the opposite: higher private ownership of guns can be strongly correlated to lower murder rates.

The data also exposes some myths I have heard about gun control. For example, I’ve heard activists tout Australia, which supposedly banned all guns. Australia has advanced a number of gun control measures over the years. Nevertheless, according to the data, Australia has a rate of private ownership of guns of 13,100 per 100,000 and a murder rate of .98. Australia has almost twice as many guns per capita as the United Kingdom, for example, and a comparable murder rate. New Zealand has almost twice as many guns per capita as Australia but a lower crime rate.

Countries with both a low rate of private gun ownership and a low murder rate exist, but they are clearly data outliers. These include the Netherlands (3,900 guns per 100,000, for a murder rate of .61), the United Kingdom (6,200 guns per 100,000, for a murder rate of .92), Japan, and Portugal. Places like Norway, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany overwhelm those examples because they all have high rates of gun ownership and enviable crime rates.

An owner of a private legal gun in America measures as one of the most responsible in the world.

Summary

This isn’t a perfect study. I didn’t make the effort to include every country in the world, and I did skip many Asian countries. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering why so many countries that have relatively successful programs of limiting private lawful ownership of guns are so dangerous and why countries with such high rates of private gun ownership are relatively safe. Even in a place like the United Kingdom, where the gun control seems to be effective (with a low murder rate of .92 per 100,000), it’s arguable that the UK’s peer countries such as Germany and Austria have had more success controlling crime in spite of allowing greater freedom of gun ownership.

The ratio of murders per gun works as a decent measure for how responsible a country’s citizens are with their firearms. Measured in this light, an owner of a private legal gun in America measures as one of the most responsible in the world. A gun in America is 387 times less likely to be used in murder than in El Salvador. Even in Japan, which has one of the lowest murder and gun ownership rates in the world, there are ten times as many murders per gun as in America.

Before the U.S. government makes any measures actions regarding gun ownership illegal, it should be demonstrated that gun restrictions will have the desired effect. The perverse effect of increasing murder rates by reducing private gun ownership has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Places like Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City have repeatedly experienced unintended consequences of aggressive gun control laws. They simply do not work.

When marchers scream to ban guns, they’re pushing to make America more like El Salvador (1 murder for every 52 guns), Ethiopia (1 per 53), Honduras (1 per 88). All of these countries have succeeded in limiting gun ownership even if they can’t keep their citizens safe. The numbers are clear: murders are less common when the victim might be armed.

It’s no surprise that most mass shootings happen in one particular area: those which are “no-gun” zones. Think about it: those who plan those shootings know they’ll be the only ones with zones so THEY won’t be killed!

Do you think these bills/laws proposed have to do with stopping murders? Just as in every other country on Earth that has banned guns, murders don’t stop. Why? Criminals will always have guns. What happens is the People, those law-abiding, constitutionally committed taxpayers, in large part believe in the Rule of Law, and don’t carry guns. It doesn’t keep people safe. It never has kept people safe.

By the way: doing so is un-Constitutional!

To Listen to or download today’s (Monday, March 22, 2021) “TNN Live” Show, click on this link:

New Gun Laws: ”Red Flag”

We’ve seen it happen again and again: a mass shooting lights the fires for new and more intense gun laws — again. “We must do something to stop these murders!” Sadly, these cries are for political purposes only and have never resulted in any meaningful actions. 

There are several hindrances to an overhaul of gun control laws, the chief of which is the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right for private citizens to own guns. Yes, there are many who refute that the Amendment says that. Be that as it may, the U.S. Supreme Court when ruling on several cases has confirmed that perspective of the legality of the Second Amendment.

Another roadblock for gun control advocates is that private citizens in America own tens of millions of guns. How would any new laws — if any would pass muster when weighed against the Second Amendment court findings — address the issue of those numerous guns already legally in the hands of Americans? Would we implement some mandatory roundup of all the guns? Can you imagine the civil war that such an attempt would initiate? Most American gun owners understand that our forefathers when crafting the Second Amendment did so to guarantee citizens personal protection, not against foreign enemies, but against the American government should it ever wage war against its own citizens!

Red Flag Laws

Certainly in the wake of the two most recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio you have heard the demands for this “new” method to stop gun crimes: “Red Flag laws.” What are they and how would they work?

Red flag laws, sometimes called extreme risk protection order laws, allow a judge to issue an order that enables law enforcement to confiscate guns from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others. Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting, at least two dozen states have considered enacting similar laws in their states. In Vermont, a red flag law has already passed the both the Senate and House.

Red flag laws are a fairly simple process. Depending on the state, family members or law enforcement can go to court and seek an order that would allow police to remove guns from the individual’s home and restrict their ability to purchase firearms. The person seeking the order must first fill out a form providing evidence of danger to others or self, then the court holds an expedited hearing. If a judge agrees that the individual is a threat, their guns will be removed for a temporary period that can last from a few weeks to a year.

Here’s the rub of red flag laws for many Second Amendment advocates: one can easily imagine how subjective this process would be. Subjectivity means that different judges in different parts of the nation considering this process for different people under different circumstances would be responsible to curtail a person’s Second Amendment rights not for violating that law, but upset some people sufficient to convince a judge that the person was a danger to people around them.

It’s easy to imagine horrors that certainly WILL result from red flag laws at the federal level. Just consider this one thing: there are far too few judges at every federal level to timely and judiciously process cases before them now. Add a few million more each year to their docket and we’ll see justice watered down and more innocent people being deprived of their constitutional rights.

So what downside might there be — in reality — if a federal red flag law would become law? One policeman (who chose to remain anonymous) gave the following scenario of one red flag notification processed in America:

It’s a Sunday night and your family has all gone to bed. You let the dogs back in and lock the deadbolt like you do every night. All the lights are off now except a couple of night lights scattered throughout the house leaving that dim glow throughout your home. It’s bedtime and work and school are going to come early in the morning. You crawl in bed, kiss your wife and drift off to sleep being thankful for the air conditioning that allows you to pull that heavy quilt up over your shoulder despite the fact it’s still 85 degrees outside. A few hours pass…

2:00 AM Monday morning and your wife taps your leg and says, “Baby I heard something outside.” As you sit up in bed you hear the dog growling in the living room and you know something isn’t right. You grab that trusty 870 shotgun and head into the living room. Your wife grabs her 9mm pistol and heads down the hall to the kids rooms just like you have rehearsed. “Good boy” you say as you enter the living room, trying to calm both the dog and your wife just as splinters fly across the room and the front door flys open. “Oh crap!” As you shoulder your weapon and send a load of Buck shot across your living room and see the perpetrator fall in a heap. Before the “Thank God!” can even run across your brain, you see a second man coming in the door and you fire again. This time you hear the pop of your wife’s 9mm as she joined in the fight. It has to be those damn meth heads from down in town! Just then you are consumed by a wall of bullets as you see multiple muzzle flashes from just outside the door and you realize something isn’t right. You turn to yell at your wife to “Get Down!” just in time to see her take a load of buckshot to the face and her brain matter splatter the wall behind her. You feel the burning as 5.56 caliber bullets riddle your body. One clips your spine as you’re scrambling away and paralyzes your lower body. The last thing you see before you bleed out is a SWAT guy from your local PD holding your teenage daughter on the floor with a knee in her back as she screams and cries because she just watched her parents being murdered.

Why did this happen? You’re no criminal. You’re a Conservative and an honest family man. Your wife is a school teacher and your daughters are on the honor roll. Why did this happen?

Two days ago, you and your wife went down to welcome the new neighbors to the community. Your wife made them some of her “world- famous” cookies and you invited them to church on Sunday. Later that afternoon, you got a friend request on Facebook from your new neighbor, which you gladly accepted. They seemed a little odd, but in the few minutes you talked they seemed pleasant enough. The next day while you and your family sat in church, your new neighbor scrolled through your Facebook profile. He saw that “Trump 2020” post and got infuriated. See, he’s a staunch liberal and he hates your kind. The next thing he sees are the hunting pictures you took last fall when your daughter bagged her first buck. Now he’s seething with rage because he is wholeheartedly against the “slaughter of innocent animals.” Next he sees your post from the last range day with your buddy and sees those scary black assault weapons on the table and that does it! He has to do something about the racist domestic terrorist living next door. He picks up the phone, calls the local Sheriffs Office and reports you as a threat under the new Red Flag law. The Sheriffs follow their Standard Operating Procedures and conduct a no-knock warrant because you have now been denied due process and you are considered guilty until proven innocent.

Now you, your lovely wife and two deputies have been killed for nothing. Your daughter will have absolute hell for the rest of her life. She will never be that successful person you dreamed for her to be because of the mental tragedy caused from seeing her parents murdered. The local newspaper will report that you were killed after firing on and killing two deputies and that “over a thousand rounds of ammo and 22 guns were confiscated from your residence”.

Those two deputies were just following orders. They left behind families as well and had served their community for over a decade. They didn’t know you were a stand-up guy with a great family. They weren’t allowed time to investigate things under due process. They were told you had threatened your neighbor and were out in the street waving an AR15 around.

This is the reality of Red Flag gun laws.

Summary

Some will accuse me of giving an unrealistic example of a “possible” not “probable” red flag scenario. But let’s be honest: what would prevent such a hypothetical becoming a reality? Some will say, “Well, at least we made certain a few more guns were taken off the street and two Americans who were subject to rashly grabbing guns and firing at cops won’t be doing that anymore.” That certainly would be true. But these two people were denied a normal “due process” — which is “innocent until proven guilty” — even though the law supporting the red flag process would have been followed. The bottom line though: they both would have died in no way breaking a law. 

There are plenty of federal laws. Let’s enforce them! And, by the way, there is very little managed in the political system that cannot be managed better in the private sector. Why not add these to gun crime law enforcement:

  • Create neighborhood interaction groups who would create circles of neighbors who would “watch” all that goes on in their neighborhoods. Make local law enforcement responsible for interfacing with every other member of their community. If/when strange elements appear in neighborhoods, take them to law enforcement folks.
  • In each neighborhood, include a local policeman and a mental health professional who volunteer to teach methods of watching for criminal propensity in others and how to report any to law enforcement.

These two things if not the permanent answer would be a great foundation to a system that would involve all Americans in keeping America safe. And it would be doing it without giving our government tens of billions more tax dollars to keep us safe. What a novel idea: let’s let Americans act like Americans!

We’ve got to something, and what we need to do is NOT something that will get logjammed in a bureaucratic process. It’s time for Americans to take charge of our towns and cities away from big government and take personal responsibility.

It just might work.