“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” —Robert A. Heinlein
“Ban Knives, Save Lives”
I was reading an article online, the title of which was this: “Ban Knives, Save Lives.” It was a story about a new movement in London to ban all sharp, pointy knives. It would seem that, ever since England banned its handguns back in 1997, homeowners have taken to using some serious cutlery for purposes of self-defense. And for good reason: Immediately following the gun ban, the English murder rate rose by about 50% (http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/).
Ban Those Bats!
It seems to be easily forgotten that guns actually save more lives than they take. Amid rioting in London, in 2011, baseball bat sales on Amazon soared by 6,500%, owing to the serious lack of proper self-defense weaponry (http://www.ammoland.com/2011/08/baseball-bat-sales-for-self-defense-soar-6500-after-uk-riots/#axzz3Knhc8zxR). People were having the bats delivered by express mail. Of course, the government was not having any of it. They immediately had Amazon-UK ban the sales of baseball bats (which were far superior to cricket wickets, due to their availability in aluminum). Doubtless, some bureaucrat somewhere was envisioning a veritable Mongol horde of citizens with bats wiping out entire districts of London. It is not the job of the English government to trust its citizens, it would appear, and there seemed to be no argument coming from more reasonable quarters to suggest that maybe—just maybe—in a situation where the London police were told to stand down, people might be at even higher risk than normal of being hospitalized or killed by rioters.
Disarming Victims Is Good for Victim Creation
There are actually people who believe that the public will be safe from criminals if people are unable to defend themselves. “If there are no guns,” they naively contend, “criminals won’t be able to get them either.” But most of these people—who are fed a steady diet of liberal propaganda from watching what they believe is news, on such media outlets as NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, or PBS—only see the cases reported where some home owner’s disastrously poor judgment is put on display. These low-information citizens never seem to get wind of the fact that for every tragedy with a gun, there are dozens upon dozens of positive stories where innocent lives are saved due to the presence of a gun in the home.
Defensive Gun Use Happens 2.5 Million Times a Year
Professor Gary Kleck went into defensive-gun-use studies wanting to prove that disarming the public would be good public policy. He found the opposite to be true, coming to the conclusion that there are 2.5 million instances of defensive gun use in the US every year, compared to about half a million gun crimes that are committed. (Read more about Dr. Kleck here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Kleck.) Most of the statistics of people being killed with guns reflect the gang activities and criminal behaviors that are the very reason Americans need to have guns in their homes for self-protection. And the availability of black-market firearms is ongoing, even to the absurdity of being made available by erstwhile anti-gun politicians. (See my article in Eagle Rising on California State Senator Leland Yee here: http://eaglerising.com/8527/gun-runners-donkeys-big-brother-empowering-state-helping-criminals/.)
Assessing Risk: Pools versus Firearms
It is interesting to note that about 700 Americans die every year from drowning in a swimming pool. And about 800 Americans die from the accidental discharge of a firearm. This actually means that swimming pools are about four times more dangerous than firearms! Here is why:
There are approximately 115 million households in America. About 8.7% of households have a pool, which brings the number to about 10 million residential pools. Approximately 39% of US households have at least one firearm, which means some 45 million residences are armed.
If 700 people die by swimming pool drowning in the 10 million households with pools, that would put the mortality rate for swimming pools in America right at 0.00007! (Just divide 700 by 10 million to procure this quotient.)
If you, likewise, divide 800 (the number of deaths by accidental firearm discharge) by 45,000,000 (forty-five million) households, you get a quotient of 0.00001778—which is a number almost four times less than 0.00007.
This means that, in a home with a pool, you stand a 394% higher chance of dying by drowning than you do of dying by accidental firearm discharge in a home with a gun. Thus, a swimming pool in the home is about four times more lethal than a firearm in the home. And for children under fifteen years of age, statistics indicate that the chances of death by pool drowning are 19 to 25 times more likely than death by firearm discharge. (See a pool-to-firearm statistical comparison with regard to children under 15 here: http://www.m1-garand-rifle.com/gun-safety/firearms-versus-swimming-pools.php.)
An Armed Society Is a Polite Society
Despite the campaign for new victim-disarmament laws at the state and federal levels, homicides by firearm have dropped 49% since 1993. And this only goes to show that John Lott’s thesis is correct: More guns means less crime. (See more about John Lott here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lott.) This only goes to show that, indeed, the more armed a society becomes, the more polite it becomes, as well.
Anyone Can Make a Knife
When it comes right down to banning knives . . . just how is such a ban to be effective? Every prison in the known universe already has such a ban in place. And how well is that working?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com