The president’s “new” proposals to “curb gun violence” are nothing more than the same tired old gun-control schemes we’ve seen fail so many times before, and which we told you Obama was planning for the past four years. Almost everything he has proposed is based on lies and distortions propagated by anti-rights politicians and their cheerleaders in the major media.
Consider this: Military-looking, semi-auto firearms are the best-selling guns in the country and have been for at least the past decade. There are untold millions of these guns in private hands, and their use in crime is exceedingly rare. FBI statistics hold that only about 3 percent of all firearm crime involves rifles of any kind, yet rifles are the primary targets of the president’s proposal.
The administration and hoplophobes in Congress would have you believe that there is an “epidemic of gun violence” in our country, but the FBI says that violent crime, including “gun crime,” has gone down by more than 50 percent in just the past 20 years, and is continuing that trend – even while the numbers of guns and gun owners have been going up dramatically.
They say there is a “growing trend” of mass shootings, but the per-capita number of multiple-victim shootings has remained relatively stable for decades, and the average number of people killed and injured in such attacks has also remained relatively stable. The only observable trends are that these atrocities increasingly happen in “gun free zones” where the murderer is less likely to meet armed resistance; rampage killers since the late ’80s have almost always been using prescription, psychiatric drugs; and these atrocities tend to go in spurts, with one rampage – and the media attention it generates – triggering a series of copycat attacks.
The Clinton “assault weapon” ban, which included a ban on “high-capacity” magazines, didn’t reduce crime – with “assault weapons” or any other tools – and the ban’s expiration didn’t result in more crime with these guns or higher death tolls – but now Obama and Feinstein are back with AW Ban 2.0, a broader, harsher plan to restrict even more guns and place even more unconstitutional restrictions on the millions of people who currently own these guns and magazines. Passage of this draconian measure, or anything like it, would unquestionably result in hundreds of thousands of Americans simply refusing to cooperate, making them felons and subject to attack by armed government agents. Ruined lives and bloodshed would be sure to follow.
Obama also wants to enhance background checks and incorporate more mental-health data into the background check system. The NRA supported enhancements in the background check system just a few years ago, but lawmakers and regulators have blocked many of those improvements, especially the ones designed to protect the rights of veterans and others who seek help dealing with PTSD and other mental and emotional challenges. Now Obama wants to “improve” it again, by intruding even more deeply and lowering the bar for voiding people’s gun rights – potentially discouraging people from seeking mental-health assistance in the first place. Any intrusion into medical records must be done with extreme caution and careful consideration, not adopted as a knee-jerk reaction.
Probably the most misunderstood and dangerous proposal the president put forward was his call for “universal background checks” for all firearm transfers. This insidious proposal is fueled by a lie which claims that 40 percent of gun sales are between private individuals and don’t involve a background check. Should a father have to acquire a background check on his son before passing down Granddad’s shotgun? Should background checks be required before selling a gun to your best friend? The idea of “universal background checks” is to get every gun sale recorded so that a registration and tracking system can be more easily instituted later. The government has no business knowing who has what guns, and any system that can potentially give them that knowledge is a threat to the foundations of the republic. Politicians assure us that they are not going to do anything with the information collected, but Obama assured us that his administration was going to be the most transparent in history and that every bill would sit on his desk for three days before he would sign or veto it. Forgive us for being skeptical.
All of the president’s “new” proposals have been tried – in this country and others – and none of them has ever resulted in reductions in violent crime, suicides, or firearm-related accidents. All of them come with a very high price tag – both in terms of dollars and lives. Not only do these types of initiatives require millions of dollars in direct operating costs – $500 million for starters, according to Obama – they also take critical resources away from programs that actually do reduce crime, save lives and protect children. These proposals wouldn’t save lives; they would cost lives that would have been saved by expending critical, life-saving resources on failed schemes, false hopes and bureaucratic red tape. There will also be the costs associated with tracking, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating all those otherwise upstanding Americans who, whether through accident, ignorance or protest, fail to abide by these draconian laws.
The availability of firearms does not make mass murder more likely, nor does it make the death toll higher. The worst mass murders in U.S. history did not involve firearms. Box cutters, fertilizer and gasoline have proven much more deadly. On the other hand, firearms have, on a number of occasions, been used successfully to stop rampaging killers before they could run up their “score.”
This debate is not about violence reduction, saving lives or protecting children; it is about government power, hoplophobia and that pesky old Constitution.