Every time I turn on the television, it seems as though another nut
with a gun is killing people. Things got really personal this week
because my former teaching assistant’s son attends that Jewish daycare
center in Granada Hills. Fortunately, he wasn’t there when the shooting
occurred, but other children weren’t so lucky.
This latest rash of shootings comes while we are engaged in a healthy
debate about whether guns kill people or people kill people. No sane
person can defend what these sick people have done to others with guns.
However, America will be fooling itself if it thinks that the solution
is to ban guns.
Gun control advocates say that if we ban all guns, people will be
less likely to commit acts of violence. After all, they say, guns make
killing impersonal. You can kill a person from a distance. You don’t
have to get your hands dirty. A 100-pound weakling can kill a 300-pound
weightlifter. The problem with these arguments is that they are just
dead wrong. Here’s why.
Gun control laws are laws. Criminals, by definition, don’t obey laws.
So the only people whom gun control laws will control are law-abiding
citizens. Criminals are cowards. They only target people who can’t fight
back. That’s why crime lights, neighborhood patrols, neighborhood
policing and bars on people’s windows all reduce crime. They put the
criminal at risk, and criminals are cowards. When you take guns out of
the hands of law-abiding citizens, you turn them into targets for
Before a good friend of mine moved to Washington, D.C., her father
gave her a handgun for self-protection. One day, while she was sitting
at a stop light in downtown Washington, D.C., a large man got into her
car and tried to kidnap her. Fortunately, she had hidden her father’s
handgun under her car seat. She pulled it out, pointed it at the guy’s
head, and told him that if he didn’t get out of the car, she would blow
him out of the car. He jumped out and ran away. If my friend had
believed the lies that gun control laws protect innocent people, she
would be dead.
In 1963, someone asked comedian and civil rights activist Dick
Gregory why so many black men cut and killed other black men with knives
and broken bottles. His response was that “we use knives and bottles
because the white man won’t give us guns.”
Well, no one would claim that black men can’t get guns now. In fact,
so many young black men are dying at the hands of other young black men
that some black leaders believe that banning guns will make black
communities safe again. The sad fact is that while guns might be the
weapons used, self-hate is the motivation for the murder and mayhem that
is devastating black ghettos across America. Until we find a way to heal
the hearts and minds of those who would kill their own, we could ban all
guns tomorrow and they would continue to kill with knives, bricks,
chains and stones.
There are no simple solutions for complex problems. If someone wants
to kill someone, they are going to find a way to do it. Remember Karla
Faye Tucker? She killed her victim with a pickaxe. Are we going to
outlaw farm tools? Who can forget the Oklahoma City bombing? One man
killed more people with a fertilizer bomb than any other criminal in the
history of America. If the gun control argument made sense, we should
ban fertilizer. Earlier this year, a sick man drove his car into a
school playground and killed innocent children. In fact, drunk drivers
kill more people than handguns. Can we solve either problem by banning
Last year, Professor John R. Lott Jr. of the University of Chicago
published an excellent book called “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding
Crime and Gun Control Laws.” His book looked at the impact of “concealed
carry” laws on crime. Concealed carry laws allow law-abiding citizens to
carry concealed handguns, once they have taken training courses and have
been licensed by their state.
Professor Lott found that in every state that passed concealed carry
laws, crime rates dropped when criminals realized that they could no
longer be sure that a law-abiding citizen was unarmed. That’s right,
when law-abiding citizens started carrying concealed handguns, fewer of
them became victims of violent crimes. Those are the facts, but the gun
control advocates don’t care about facts.
If we want to reduce violence in America, let’s eradicate the moral
rot that teaches kids that the way you solve problems is to blow someone
away. Let’s encourage Americans to go to church instead of trying to
destroy religion. Let’s force television and movie producers to take
violence and gore out of their programs instead of destroying our
society on the false altar of free speech. Let’s demand decency, honesty
and civility as the norm in public life instead of saying that anything
is excusable if an adult had a rough childhood. Let’s spend whatever
money we need to hire enough prosecutors, defense attorneys, police
officers and jailers so that we can make criminal activity dangerous to
Gun control laws will not make us safer. If we are serious about
protecting innocent people from criminals with guns, let us send every
criminal this simple message.
IF YOU COMMIT A CRIME, WE ARE GOING TO TRACK YOU DOWN, ARREST YOU,
PROSECUTE YOU, CONVICT YOU, AND IF YOU USE A GUN AND INJURE A PERSON
DURING THAT CRIME, YOU WILL NEVER, EVER SEE THE OUTSIDE OF A PRISON.