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Second Amendment

Gun Free Zones

 If you want to drink beer you would go to a bar or a store that sold beer to purchase it, not a church.  If you want to deposit your paycheck you would go to your bank or an affiliated ATM, not a bar.  To someone intent on harming others, they will go where there are easy victims.  The bank robber Willie Sutton is reported to have responded to a question about why he robbed banks with, “That’s where the money is.”  Mass murderers go to where the victims are… especially easy victims.  To the attackers, gun-free zones are open invitations with a guarantee that they will encounter NO resistance for as long as they can sustain an attack!  And in most cases that the police did finally appear, the attacker immediately committed suicide upon a show of resisting force.

Think about all the ‘mass shootings’ that have occurred in recent years – if not forever.  They occurred in places where the victims were not allowed to protect themselves:  schools at every level, businesses, malls, theaters and even military facilities where the soldiers were inconceivably not permitted to carry weapons… they were all ‘gun-free zones’!  The perpetrators did not walk into police stations, shooting ranges or gun shows where it is extremely likely that their attack would be met with instant overwhelming violent response.

 

Some folks claim that banning guns will remove the ability of these sick people to bestow mayhem.  They demand we need to get rid of all those evil (looking) assault rifles.  They say strict gun control will solve all our problems.

  Okay, let’s try that.  Chicago has one of the strictest gun control regimes in the country.  Do they have zero murders?  No.  In 2012, there were 506 firearm deaths in Chicago.  How can that be if firearms are not allowed there?  During that same year, Houston, Texas, a city of similar population, where they do not ban firearms, reported 207 firearm deaths.  Of course that is still 207 too many.  But the point is that Houstonians can defend themselves… and criminals probably know this.  Since 2001, 2.5 times more Americans were killed in Chicago than in Afghanistan where the military of the USA is actively engaged in combat.  Very interestingly, since Illinois allowed concealed carry in 2013, firearm deaths and crime in general has gone DOWN in Chicago.  Hmm…

 

The United Kingdom (Great Britain) and Australia do not allow the civilian possession of handguns.  During the year 2000, 3.87% of the US population over all was, sadly, victims of crime – all crime.  But 7.16% of the Australian population were crime victims that same year and 8.5% of the British population were crime victims.  It appears banning firearms does not reduce deaths or general crime.  There seems to be a rationale for conjecturing for a reverse correlation:  more firearms yield less crime while fewer firearms yield more crime.

This increased crime response to gun bans is documented by the Crime Prevention Resource Center here.

In Australia, they proved that when the populace is stripped of their ability to defend their homes, violent home invasions and robberies increased significantly.

There is evidence that when there is a good chance of violent response to an attack, whether a home burglary, a random street assault, or ‘mass shooting’ target, the aggressor will pass up the opportunity and seek easier, weaker victims.  A survey conducted by criminology professor Gary Kleck of Florida State University in 1993 estimated that firearms of all types had been used approximately 2.5 million times a year for the purpose of self-defense during the 1988 -1993 period.  Clearly, there is value in having a firearm for defense.

 

Actually, homicides by all causes have been going DOWN for some time in the USA!

In 1994, there were a total of 23,326 homicides by all means in the USA. That’s a rate of 9.0 per 100,000 people.  In 2013 there were only 14,196 homicides or 4.5 per 100,000 people.  All while the population and firearm ownership went up.  The FBI reported that the number of violent crimes and the crime rates in EVERY category have been DROPPING since 1994 until 2013!  The total number of murders and rapes has been going down while the population increased.  A 2012 Congressional Research Service report stated that of the homicides the FBI reported in 1994, 16,333 were by firearm.  That number dropped to 11,493 by 2009.

According to the federal government Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2006-2007 data [Tangentially, why is the CDC concerned about non-disease issues?  But that is for another discussion.], there were 25,423 firearm homicides during those two years.  Of those, 17,077 (67%) occurred in the 50 largest metropolitan Statistical Areas.  Here’s an idea:  Let’s ban metropolitan areas!  That would drop the American firearm homicide rate by two-thirds.

 

Other FBI data shows that in 1993, 85% of all crimes involving a firearm were committed with a pistol.  The FBI statistics also state 57% of all murders in 1993 were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns.  In 2012, the corresponding numbers were 50% for handguns, 2.5% for rifles and 2.4% for shotguns.  There is a clear trend of fewer murders being committed with firearms in general and ‘rifles’ specifically.  From 2008 through 2012, twice as many people were beaten to death with hands and feet every year than by rifle inflicted wounds.  So why is there such an outrage over ‘assault rifles’?  If we shackle everyone and tie their hands behind their back, we will prevent twice as many murders than if we ban ‘assault rifles’!

 

These statistics lead us to ask the question:  Why is there such a push to eliminate firearms, especially ‘assault rifles’, from the general public if crime rates are dropping; if laws restricting possession of firearms seem to lead to increased crime and death; if ‘gun-free zones’ do not reduce crime (murder) rates; if ‘assault rifles’ are so seldom used in crimes?

 

In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech used two pistols, one 9-mm and one .22, during his murderous rampage.  Virginia Tech had a ‘gun-free zone’ policy.  The Virginia legislature prior to this shooting, attempted to allow properly permitted concealed-carry license holders to go armed onto Virginia campuses.  The Virginia university system opposed the attempt and the proposed law failed - to the regret of the families of 32 fatal and 17 wounded victims.

 

Want more proof that ‘gun-free zones’ are counterproductive?  A driver with a valid concealed-carry permit driving for the ride-for-hire company, Uber, stopped a potential mass murder in Chicago on 17 April 2015.  He shot the assailant as the perpetrator fired into a crowd.  Uber immediately issued a statement banning drivers and passengers from carrying firearms.  They, of course, want everyone to feel safe.   They also wanted to let all criminals know that Uber vehicles are ‘gun-free zones’ and easy pickings.  Two months later an Uber driver in Queens, NY was robbed at gunpoint.

Is more evidence needed?  How about this:  as I was finishing this article yet another ‘mass shooting’ occurred 1 October 2015, this time at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, yet another ‘gun-free zone’.  A 4Chan website chat involving the perpetrator included a suggestion that he “target a girls school which is safer”.

And finally, on 9 October 2014, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a report showing that 92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones.  [This is an excellent analysis of ‘mass public shootings’ on several issues.  I highly recommend reading it.]

Q. E. D.  (quod erat demonstrandum – that which was to be demonstrated [is thus proved])

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the USA states:  A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.   SHALL.  NOT.

 What is really going on with the drive to ‘control’ firearms in the USA?

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