Yesterday I wrote about the proposed 2013 Assault Weapons Legislation as being proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein which purports to be a response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December, 2012. The movement afoot is to make America safer by limiting those who can purchase certain guns and how that process takes place. It also proposes to increase the budget for the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), when most libertarians feel the agency should be disbanded. It is comically mentioned ATF should be the name of a convenience store, not a government agency.
What is hard to understand, no matter where any American stands on this issue, is why there are so many interested in creating legislation in 2013 which has already been proven not to work. It did not work in the 1990’s and multiple studies have proven the opposite should happen to make areas of concern safer. If we as a country are serious about making schools and other areas of congregation safer, then why all the focus on measures that do the complete opposite?
Comments such as “Well, no one needs an assault rifle,” simply doesn’t cut it anymore. There are many things Americans don’t need that kill people, yet there is no talk of removing them from store shelves or American highways. The demonization of firearms must stop.
Would anything in Feinstein’s proposal have prevented Sandy Hook from happening had it been in place earlier this month? In a word, ‘no’. By all accounts the alleged shooter, Adam Lanza, stole the weapons from his mother, he was not ‘in the system’ as not able to pass a background check (pre- or post-Feinstein legislation), the weapons used would have been ‘grandfathered’ in thereby still legal for his mother to possess and if for some reason Adam was not able to garner the weapons of his choice he would have created his own. Pipe bombs, flame throwers and the like are very easy to make out of perfectly legal components. Someone set on creating mass destruction will do so no matter what legislation is put in place – even changing the formulation of fertilizer as was the response to Timothy McVeigh is not enough to end the destruction.
I do not portend to have the answer to prevent such incidents in the future. I do know these incidents have happened on some level for nearly the beginning of time and will not end due to some magical legislation from our federal government.
The result of Feinstein’s legislation will simply mean a slightly higher price paid for ‘banned’ weapons and frankly an easier method to obtaining them through a black market. They were easily obtained during the Clinton-era assault weapons ban and the same will happen if Feinstein’s legislation is enacted as presented. It will also mean normal, law abiding Americans will be negatively affected by this and most other legislation being proposed instead of the intended ‘criminal element’.
America should be familiar with the Law of Supply and Demand as we saw when we tried to rid the country of alcohol and drugs. Violence became so bad during Prohibition, the amendment to ban alcohol had to be repealed to regain order in this country. I know of no one calling for another ban on alcohol even though alcohol related deaths in America could be considered high. The same can go for drugs in America. Only a fool would think the War on Drugs is effectively keeping drugs out of the hands of American children and adults. If there is a demand, then a supply will serve it – legally or illegally.
What is more interesting to many here in America is why there is such an outcry over this incident of 20 innocent children being killed in Connecticut and the act of President Obama killing over 175 innocent children in the Middle East recently. There is nearly no media coverage of it and no talk of holding the President accountable for his actions by banning him from doing so in the future. Where is the hysteria? It is mentioned a couple times and then it is suddenly gone from American eyes.
Most Americans have no clue what an assault weapon is and the term is so widely used, most gun owners are left wondering as well. It could be perfectly acceptable to say that any weapon used against another human being is an assault weapon. However today it seems, if it is black and looks dangerous, then it’s an assault weapon. I would ask supporters of banning assault weapons in America to take ten minutes and watch this video to educate yourselves about some firearms.
Simply because something looks aggressive and has the potential to kill Americans does not mean it should be banned. If that was the case, at least a dozen car models would disappear off showroom floors. The same goes for the argument we often hear, “Nobody needs an assault weapon.” Americans don’t need a lot of things that kill them, yet there is no talk of banning those products. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of different products (outside of firearms) purchased daily in America that are proven to kill you or others, yet are perfectly legal. In fact, our federal government regularly approves various products on the market which are known to kill Americans. Additionally, none of these products are enshrined within our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as our right to own, possess and carry firearms.
What is most confusing to many Americans is why the focus on guns when the top four reasons Americans die is mostly preventable. Most Americans die from heart disease, cancer, stroke or chronic lower respiratory diseases which, in most cases, are preventable. If legislation was a cure for senseless killing, then one would think Dianne Feinstein would be leading the charge to prevent millions of Americans dying each year by these diseases ( .4% of our population) as opposed to dealing with the dramatically smaller ( .004% from guns). But then again, why deal with facts when a politician can jump on a popular bandwagon and leave the facts behind.
We have even heard from photo manipulator Piers Morgan and others from the U.K. in how they hardly have any gun deaths. The leading cause of non-health related deaths in America is suicide; in the U.K. it is falling followed closely by suicide. Why so many people in the U.K. die of falling is unclear, Americans do not seem to have that issue. And while 724 deaths occur in the U.K. from guns each year and 14,159 occur in the U.S., it is still a statistical dead heat when the factor of population is calculated ( .004% U.S. – .001% U.K.). What Morgan and his cohorts do not tell you is 5% of their population commits suicide each year while .001% of our population does the same. Why are suicide rates and deaths to falling so high in the United Kingdom?
Even our own FBI has reported that more people are killed using hammers and clubs than with guns. Where is the outcry to ban hammers and clubs?
The simple fact is, if all the guns magically disappeared from the land of America tomorrow, humans would still be killing each other either one-on-one or en masse. We would use flame throwers, rocks, pipe bombs, pipes, poison, kitchen knives, bathtubs, swimming pools, stoves, refrigerators, ice picks, books, garbage bags, cars, gas powered generators, etc. The list of ways to kill someone or a large group of people is long and well documented.We do not need an uninformed, publicity seeking politician to tell Americans what we can and cannot buy, own or possess.
America is supposed to be the land of the free. It has become the opposite of what our founding fathers fought for, lost fortunes for and most importantly lost their lives for. These same politicians recently passed in the U.S. Senate the ability to continue viewing your personal emails without a warrant from a court, but yet Americans continue to rally behind them. While we continue losing our freedoms, we continue to let them take them away.