“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere, and everywhere, restrains evil interference.” —George Washington
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” —Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th-century criminologist Cesare Beccaria, whose original, much longer quote can be found here: Cesare Beccaria Quote—Liberty Quotes Blog
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Armed Good Guys Save Lives
Brandon Morse, of The Blaze, writes that “[a]ccording to the Crime Prevention Research Center, from the 1950’s through July 10th of 2016, 98.4 percent of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones, with just 1.6 percent occurring where citizens are allowed to have firearms with them.” This is a fact that you will never hear quoted by the pro-victim-disarmament media, since they are in collusion with the Leftist goal of the total disarmament of the American people.
Saving Lives by the Numbers
Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz published a landmark study in the fall of 1995, entitled “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun.” It appeared as Article 8, in Volume 86, Issue 1, of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. In Table 2 of the study, called “Prevalence and Incidence of Civilian Defensive Gun Use, U.S., 1988-1993,” Kleck and Gertz report that 2,549,862 defensive guns were used against criminals yearly. Of those two and a half million incidents of defensive gun use, the outcomes were as follows: 75.7% brandished or showed their guns; 57.6% verbally referred to their guns; 49.8% pointed guns at their offenders; 23.9% fired their guns (including warning shots); 15.6% tried to shoot the offenders, and 8.3% wounded or killed offenders. In approximately 400,000 of those situations, defenders claimed they “almost certainly” saved a life by their defensive gun use. According to Kleck and Gertz, “this result cannot be dismissed as trivial. . . . [N]o one can be certain how crime incidents would have turned out had the participants acted differently than they actually did. But surely this is too serious a matter to simply assume that practically everyone who says he believes he saved a life by using a gun was wrong.” So, the meaning is that—by taking 400,000 and dividing it by 365—we can estimate 1,095 lives a day were saved by defensive gun use during the time of Kleck and Gertz’s study. And the total number of defensive gun uses per day—which could be found out by dividing 2,549,862 by 365—would be 6,985.
At any rate, the number of lives saved on any given day would easily outnumber the lives taken by even the worst mass shooting on record. Kleck and Gertz conclude their study with these words: “This is . . . too serious a matter to base conclusions on silly statistics comparing the number of lives taken with guns with the number of criminals killed by victims. Killing a criminal is not a benefit to the victim, but rather a nightmare to be suffered for years afterward. Saving a life through DGU [defensive gun use] would be a benefit, but this almost never involves killing the criminal; probably fewer than 3,000 criminals are lawfully killed by gun-wielding victims each year, representing only about 1/1000 of the number of DGUs, and less than 1% of the number of purportedly life-saving DGUs. Therefore, the number of justifiable homicides cannot serve as even a rough index of life-saving gun uses. Since this comparison does not involve any measured benefit, it can shed no light on the benefits and costs of keeping guns in the home for protection.”
Criminalizing Self-Defense: It Feels Good to Infringers, but Would Cost the Lives of Many
The simple truth is that repealing or infringing the Second Amendment would only serve to render helpless noncriminal citizens who, without the ability to fight firearms with firearms, would fall prey to criminals in numbers so large as to make the costs of such a policy far outweigh any benefits. To put this in perspective—within the time period and conceptual framework of Kleck and Gertz’s study—in order to save 23 people from dying at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991, the victim-disarmament crowd would have had to institute policies sacrificing 1,095 American lives in order to save 23. Becoming emotional and wanting to take action by banning guns might feel good to some people, until they eventually realize that the blood of many is on their hands for having created gun-free zones that only criminals dare trespass while bearing arms.
A Little Math
The fact that more murders by handgun were committed on October 16, 1991, than the 23 victims killed at Luby’s, is not an issue that argues well for the gun-grabbers, in the end, since, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there would have been, on average, about 47 homicides by gun each day of 1991, the year of the Luby’s mass-murder. This figure is derived from the knowledge that about 70% of murders are committed by gun, and that there were 24,703 murders in America in 1991. If we divide that 70% number—17,292—by 365, the average number of deaths by gun that year would come to 67 per day. Sacrificing the lives of over a thousand Americans a day, by taking away guns, in exchange for saving only sixty-seven, due to the same action, does not make rational sense.
Good News: As Gun-Ownership Increases, Crime Decreases
According to the Washington Post, “[i]n 1993 [during the time of Kleck and Gertz’s study], there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6—a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013.” The reason for this fall in crime rates across the country is the increase in the number of defensive guns in the hands of Americans, according to Dr. John Lott, in his now-famous book More Guns, Less Crime.
Comparing the US to Other Countries
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, which the Department of Justice often quotes as a source, “Africa, Australia, Israel, and the Philippines all have much higher per capita death rates from these large mass public shooters than the US.” And it is also true that “even Europe’s rate for all countries whose borders are within Europe is 20% higher than the US’s. . . .” These statistics give the lie to Barack Obama’s comments at the time of the slayings by Dylan Roof: “We’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation,” Obama remarked, staking out his claim that America has a special problem with homicides by firearm. In fact, the US, while having the highest rate of gun ownership in the world, ranks 103rd in homicides worldwide.
An influential study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, by Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser, was entitled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” The study concluded that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, not only in America, but in countries internationally, proving John Lott’s hypothesis of “More Guns, Less Crime” to be true on an international level. Stricter gun control laws within a country mean higher murder rates, in general; and more freedom to carry guns for self-protection translates into fewer homicides. The nine European nations possessing the lowest legal gun ownership fall victim to a murder rate of three times that of the nine European countries with the highest gun ownership.
Vision of the Founders
Back when Americans were contemplating rising up against the British Crown, to institute self-government, the actual “spark that started the American Revolution was the attempted confiscation of civilian-owned firearms and ammunition.” According to a competent account given on the website Simple Facts and Plain Arguments, “The British governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, tried to disperse a town meeting in Salem, but the troops he sent were forced to retreat when 3000 armed Americans responded. According to John Andres, Gage’s aide, everyone in the area over 16 years of age owned and was experienced with a gun and owned plenty of gunpowder. Realizing that it would be impossible to enforce the new laws on a well-armed populace with only 2000 troops in Boston, Gage decided to send men to Charlestown to capture the powderhouse—an important building where the members of a community would store their gunpowder to keep the volatile explosive away from their homes. The British seized hundreds of barrels of gunpowder. . . . The Boston Gazette reported that of all of Gage’s policies, ‘what most irritated the People’ was ‘seizing their Arms and Ammunition.’”
Of course, the situation deteriorated until, on April 19, 1775, 700 Redcoats marched on Lexington and Concord to seize the weapons stored there. Paul Revere effectively warned the militias in the area, causing 200 men from 16 to 60 to meet to oppose the British at Lexington Green, as others secreted their weapons in hiding places. Defeated at Lexington, the Americans struck back at Concord’s North Bridge, defeating the British there. Later that night, the Siege of Boston began, and American Revolutionary War was on!
The ability to bear arms was essential to the Colonists’ defense of their homeland against the tyranny of the Crown. It has always been important for government actors who wish to assure their own supremacy over the people to disarm the public. The Americans knew this back in 1775; German Jews realized it after March 18, 1938, when the Nazi Weapons Law was passed; and American blacks and Latinos have long known the racist roots of gun control in America.
There is a good reason that the Founding Fathers made the civil right to bear arms the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, right behind the rights of religious and expressive freedom guaranteed by the First; for what is the good of being a free people, if that people is incapable of defending its freedom from the oppression of tyrants and criminals?
Some Interesting Websites for the Curious
The agenda of the Crime Prevention Research Center is to help people understand the facts of what helps to cause or alleviate criminal activity. CPRC states that its primary goals are as follows: 1) to advance the scientific understanding of policing as well as the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety; 2) to improve the awareness and knowledge of this scientific understanding among the public, journalists, and policy makers; and 3) to enhance public safety through these scientific advances and improved awareness and knowledge.
The website for A Factual Look at Guns in America is attractively laid out and easy to understand. Some of the more stunning statistics are laid bare, all of them stemming from fact-based research.
The JPFO is an organization that bills itself as “America’s most aggressive civil rights organization.” The site features up-to-date news that is relevant to your right to self-preservation. It also offers articles that attempt to explain such practical issues as why so many Jews fear guns, why armed resistance to crime is moral, and how armed resistance has even helped to ensure the elimination of corruption in the electoral process. Check out this surprising website. (And, by the way, you do not have to be Jewish to join the group.) There are also educational videos for sale on the site (No Guns for Jews and No Guns for Negroes, for example) that explain the anti-Semitic roots of victim-disarmament in Germany and the racist origins of gun control in the United States.
David Jackson, of South Carolina, who shot and killed armed robbers to protect innocent people, including his own children, is quoted on the site’s opening page: “You’ve got to be prepared for anything, anytime, anywhere. . . . I felt I was able to do the right thing and be protected as a law-abiding citizen. . . . You should be able to defend yourself and not have to worry about going to jail.” This statement pretty well sums up the raison d’être of the USCCA.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com