John Adams, first Vice President and second President of the United States is credited with the statement, “Facts are stubborn things.” He couldn’t have been more right. From my perspective, it’s a good thing that facts are stubborn, because when subjects and arguments become emotional, they can also be rare.
I’m not sure there is a better example of facts getting lost in emotion than in the arguments about gun control and the 2nd amendment that inevitably follows a horrific act like the recent shooting spree in Aurora, Colorado.
I am deeply offended that we have been forced into this discussion while the victims’ wounds, both literal and emotional, are still so fresh. There should be a waiting period of some kind on politicizing an act of domestic terrorism or mass murder. In the Aurora case, I think the ambulance engines were still warm, heck, they may have still been running, when the first finger pointing began. Shame on us.
In the hours and days that have followed, celebrities, particularly left leaning ones, and a few camera addicted politicians, have taken to the airwaves and cyberspace to marshal their minions in support of stricter gun legislation.
Some of them have tried, poorly, to throw out statistics about the number of firearm related injuries and deaths in this country. Others, notably New York Mayor Bloomberg, have taken time away from busy schedules regulating soft drink intake, to say that he believes all policemen should go on strike until we have gun control. How’s that for the voice of reason?
Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere and media outlets large and small, have been inundated with the talk. With one or two exceptions, there has been plenty of thunder, but little rain. Emotions and opinions have been abundant, but facts have been in short supply. I’d like to rectify that just a bit.
Before we go there, in the interest of full disclosure, I should remind anyone who stumbles on this little rant, that I am a Christian, Conservative, Libertarian; in that order. I believe in Jesus Christ, limited government and personal responsibility. Now that you know where I’m coming from, we can proceed.
The shooting in Aurora was a heinous act. It was deliberate, premeditated and thoroughly executed. It was a crime. There are not enough tears in the world to mend the broken hearts of the victims and their families. Swift, appropriate justice is demanded, but even then, not a single snuffed out life will be returned. The act is unacceptable, inexcusable.
It is only natural for our outrage to seek expression. It is not surprising that there are outcries about weapons and access to them. I get that. I also get that we need to gain some perspective, which is hard to do when a nation’s heart is broken.
Let’s start with some statistics, you know, those stubborn facts. Fact; there are 4 times more alcohol related injuries and deaths each year than firearm related ones. That means for every mishap, misfire and murder committed with a firearm, there are four accidents, injuries and deaths influenced by alcohol. Look it up. Do your research.
Despite those numbers, I don’t hear the Hollywood and Washington elite crying out for stricter beer control (nor do I want them to). Could it be that taking away their cocktail parties would hit a little too close to home? Using the gun control logic (oxymoron), doesn’t it figure that if we take away access to alcohol, there would be no more alcohol related deaths, injuries or disfigurements?
(Somewhat related, purely editorial side trip: I find it ironic that Mayor Bloomberg feels compelled to monitor the size of our sugary drinks, but not the size of our alcoholic ones. What is alcohol, by the way? Look it up. I’m about to stray into politics, so I’d better back out of this digression.)
Let’s move on to tobacco. Coincidentally, there are 4 times as many annual deaths attributed to tobacco use as there are from firearms. Granted, most of them are self inflicted, but the largest percentage of firearm deaths are suicides, and those are self inflicted, too. Do the research.
Where is George Costanza’s tweet about the need to eliminate tobacco? Think of the health care savings if tobacco use was banned.
Of course, I’m being ridiculous, but so are the gun control people. Be honest and say, you hate guns and don’t want them, but don’t play with statistics. I know that if you want to eliminate firearms, my facts won’t sway you. You’re not interested in facts. I get that, but I’m not going to let you spin it with selective, incomplete information.
Let’s add another inconvenient truth. Firearm ownership is expressly protected by the 2nd amendment of the constitution. It’s not vague, wordy or obscure. In case you haven’t read it, here’s the text in its entirety; “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As every school age child should know, a militia was made up of civilians. The Continental Army were the regular soldiers. Militias were made up of local citizens to protect their homes and their communities. That’s why the second clause clarifies the civilian element of the amendment by using the word, ‘people’. Also note it says to ‘keep and BEAR’. The people are to be allowed to own and carry arms.
The last clause is especially interesting, ‘shall not be infringed’. The framers understood that governments go wrong. A tyrannical British Government was still fresh in their minds. They knew that oppressors throughout history, from the Philistines to the British used the disarmament of citizenry to enslave and control its subjects. In point of fact, even as this amendment was being penned, the British were disarming the Highlanders in Scotland to help control the clans. Look it up.
Our founders were forward thinkers and knew that any government, local or national, had the potential to become tyrannical and they included this amendment to ensure that the American people would always be able to protect themselves.
Earlier this week, rapper Ice T, was quoted as saying the right to bear arms, ‘is our last defense against tyranny.’ The man hit the nail quite squarely.
If you don’t like guns, fine, then frame your arguments about changing the constitution. The fact is, our constitution clearly and concisely defines and protects our right to own and carry them.
Let me point you to another fact, the highest firearm crime rates are found in the States and cities with the strictest controls on citizens. Look it up. Do your research. Don’t be a puppet.
Facts are stubborn things. If you don’t like the facts, it’s ok to say so. Some will say, “I don’t care about the facts, I think…” Can you imagine a world where everyone got to make up the rules based on how they feel about right and wrong?
Guns are amoral. They are used to liberate nations and used murder the innocent. They are used for good and for evil. When used for evil, the criminal should be punished severely. The innocent citizen should never be left without access to self defense. The constitution says so.
That’s a fact.