More than 80 million Americans own 300 million guns legally and used them responsibly (2009 data). Overwhelmingly, we’re not the problem. Sandy Hook, while utterly heartbreaking, compared to the routine inner-city killings, was a rare event. Exploiting it to diminishing the liberties of tens of millions of citizens, compromise the Bill of Rights, devastate businesses and cause undue pain and suffering is a travesty.
Politicians with an irrational hatred of guns ignore reality. None of what they advocate has worked historically. Not the Assault Weapons Ban nor the Gun Free School Zone Act. In fact, gun-bans have put people at greater risk. We should be talking about curbing ‘violence’ not ‘guns’ or the rights of lawful citizens. We must not allow temporary politicians with an agenda or personal bias to compromise our liberty.
Show us the evidence criminals obey laws? You can’t – they don’t. Show us evidence gun-free-zones save lives. You can’t. They empower killers – Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora are examples that suggest the ‘Gun-Free-School-Zone Act of 1994’ enabled school massacres. To diminish gun rights and not defend schools won’t stop mass murderers – they seek defenseless targets for maximum body count.
The FBI reports firearm-homicides are concentrated in inner-cities because of street gangs fuelled by the growing drug-cartel problem.* The CDC says overwhelmingly the victims are young black males ages 14 to 24, so where’s the parade of media and politicians? Debating ‘assault’ rifles or magazine capacity will do nothing to curb the violence. It’s statistically irrelevant and is a deadly distraction.
We should focus on real trouble spots in cities like Chicago, NYC, Detroit, DC, LA, New Orleans, etc. In January alone, 44 Chicago teens were murdered as were nearly 300 children since 2007*. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet it averages three Sandy Hooks a year.
In New York City from 2003 to 2005, 90% of the 1662 murders (not all firearms related) were committed by felons with criminal records**. Clearly, repeat offenders are the problem, but where is the scrutiny of the criminal justice system? The evidence is clear, inner-city gangs and repeat felons perpetrate gun violence. So why target law abiding citizens?
No one has the right to disarm lawful gun owners. We have a Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” which elected officials have a sworn duty to defend. We demand responsible, thoughtful and adult solutions that target real problems. And we reject irrational hyperbole which corrupts the legislative process.
Good public policy must be fact-based, not be driven by emotions or personal bias. Public policy must be crafted objectively, benefit from lessons of history and rectify failed legislation. Good public policy must preserve the rights of law abiding citizens while accounting for its effectiveness in its stated purpose.
Any policy that suggests more than 80 million law abiding citizens shall have their rights diminished or be criminalized will not only be a gross miscarriage of justice, it will in fact be unlawful. Above all, good public policy must pass the ultimate American litmus test – it must abide by the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights.