Following the evil campus shooting in Roseburg, OR, earlier this month, politicians immediately called for tougher gun laws, and a lot of comments on social media and news sites demanded an outright confiscation of all guns, even legally owned ones. To those calling for an unarmed America, I can only say, be careful what you wish for.
For all the gun laws already on the books in America, it’s not clear what new law would prevent a criminal intent on violence from committing such acts. It may be a cliché, but by definition, criminals don’t obey laws.
We could enact a thousand more laws only to diminish law-abiding citizens’ access to legal gun ownership, either because regulations make it too hard to get a gun, or because crippling regulations drive gun and ammunition manufacturers and retailers out of business.
Criminals, of course, would still obtain guns smuggled through the black market or other illegal means, creating a frightening imbalance between the armed and unarmed. And who do you think a criminal would feel more comfortable targeting, the defenseless victim, or the armed citizen? Anti-gun proponents say that’s what the police are for – to protect the endangered citizen confronted with violence -- but, as the saying goes, when seconds count, the police are minutes away.
Some are advocating laws to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain guns. Nobody would disagree with this. The problem is, we often don’t know someone is mentally ill until they go on a rampage.
And while it is common sense that a mentally unstable person should not have a gun, the concern is, who decides what is considered mentally unstable? Expanding gun control under a “mental health” umbrella could easily open the gates toward allowing legislators to include all sorts of traits deemed unacceptable for gun ownership, just like how the Department of Homeland Security lists people like veterans and pro-lifers as potential terrorists and extremists.
Just as suffocating regulations can threaten gun & ammo manufacturers’ existence, this medical backdoor method could advance anti-gun politicians’ goal to diminish gun ownership without even having to mention the Second Amendment, let alone attempt to change it in any way.
But what if all private, law-abiding citizens were stripped of their guns, as some are advocating. Would that be a good thing for America? Not if history is any indication.
Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, caught a lot of flak recently for reminding us of what happened in Nazi Germany. In his new book, A Perfect Union, Carson contends, “Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.”
He defended that argument on national television, saying, “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”
In its condemnation of Carson, the Anti-Defamation League actually proved Carson’s point when ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said, "The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.” Exactly. Perhaps if they hadn’t been stripped of their weapons, the persecuted may have had a fighting chance. The same goes for the students recently targeted in Oregon. Had it not been a gun-free zone, maybe the shooter would have met resistance, or been afraid to try in the first place.
Another well-documented look at how the Nazi regime used gun control to disarm and repress its enemies and consolidate power can be found in Stephen Halbrook’s book,
In it, Halbrook notes, “A skeptic could surmise that a better-armed populace might have made no difference, but the National Socialist regime certainly did not think so — it ruthlessly suppressed firearm ownership by disfavored groups.”
One thing that protects America from dictatorship is precisely the fact that we are an armed citizenry. Considering not only Hitler, but Mao Tse-tung, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and other dictators in history were assisted in gaining control by reducing citizens’ access to weapons, we’d be naïve to think the same could not happen here were we to significantly disarm the populace. As Mao Tse-tung said, “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.”
In a perfect world, it would be great if we had no need for weapons or if we could believe that government officials looking to curtail our possession of guns was for our own good, as Hillary Clinton has promised to do should she become president. But it’s not a perfect world. Besides dictatorships, other evil exists. Just look at ISIS, for example, which promises to strike America.
Look also at our increasingly immoral culture, the devaluing of human life, and the bizarre trend of desiring fame, as the Oregon shooter himself said he was seeking. Now is not the time to disarm honest citizens. If anything, it is time instead to focus our efforts on renewing the culture through a return to faith and morals.
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