Thursday, February 28, 2008

Guns, the Press and Hard Work

John Stossel's latest column begins [excerpts]:

It's all too predictable. A day after a gunman killed six people and wounded 18 others at Northern Illinois University, The New York Times criticized the U.S. Interior Department for preparing to rethink its ban on guns in national parks.

The editorial board wants "the 51 senators who like the thought of guns in the parks -- and everywhere else, it seems -- to realize that the innocence of Americans is better protected by carefully controlling guns than it is by arming everyone to the teeth."

As usual, the Times editors seem unaware of how silly their argument is.

To them, the choice is between "carefully controlling guns" and "arming everyone to the teeth." But no one favors "arming everyone to the teeth" (whatever that means).

Instead, gun advocates favor freedom, choice and self-responsibility. If someone wishes to be prepared to defend himself, he should be free to do so. No one has the right to deprive others of the means of effective self-defense, like a handgun.

As for the first option, "carefully controlling guns," how many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere.

No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm. The intellectuals and politicians who make pious declarations about controlling guns should explain how their gunless utopia is to be realized.

While they search for -- excuse me -- their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless.

That's because laws that make it difficult or impossible to carry a concealed handgun do deter one group of people: law-abiding citizens who might have used a gun to stop crime. Gun laws are laws against self-defense.

Criminals have the initiative. They choose the time, place and manner of their crimes, and they tend to make choices that maximize their own, not their victims', success. So criminals don't attack people they know are armed, and anyone thinking of committing mass murder is likely to be attracted to a gun-free zone, such as schools and malls.

Government may promise to protect us from criminals, but it cannot deliver on that promise. This was neatly summed up in book title a few years ago: "Dial 911 and Die." If you are the target of a crime, only one other person besides the criminal is sure to be on the scene: you. ...

How, then, does it make sense to create mandatory gun-free zones, which in reality are free-crime zones?

The usual suspects keep calling for more gun control laws. But this idea that gun control is crime control is just a myth. The National Academy of Sciences reviewed dozens of studies and could not find a single gun regulation that clearly led to reduced violent crime or murder.

When Washington, D.C., passed its tough handgun ban years ago, gun violence rose.

The press ignores the fact that often guns save lives. ....


You can read all of Stossel's column here.

I think the press mostly ignores the fact that guns save lives for two reasons:

1) most of the press tilts liberal and liberals, we all know, are "anti-gun violence."

2) being "anti-gun" is an "easy sell" for the press. Someone was shot last night? Our paper is "anti-gun." Don't forget to renew your subscription.

And don't expect us to read, analyze and report on studies such as those the National Academy of Sciences reviewed.

That's such hard work.

Hat tips: Right Wing News,


Anonymous said...

Guns. I grew up in a home filled with guns, in a town filled with guns, we all had guns from the time we were twelve or so. In my memory, we never had any intentional gun violence--hunting accidents occasionally, shot while cleaning, etc, but no mass murders, no school shootings, none of today's social eruptions. What's different today? Well, for openers, when there is a case of murder, today we try to "understand" the perpetrator, and talk about "rehabilitating" him. In my day, if it was Murder-1 we fried the peckerhead. When I had a dispute with a schoolmate, we duked it out on the playground and afterward were probably good buddies; it never even occurred to us to get a gun and spray the classroom with lead. What else is different? We didn't glorify violence in our music; we didn't play electronic games where the objective is to wipe out as many other people as we can in order to win; we didn't listen to "singers" rapping about how cool it is to "bitch-slap a Ho" or to kick a faggot in the face. If anyone is so naive as to believe these current cultural practices aren't to blame for today's gun violence, then there really is no hope. Forget gun control, let's control the worship of violence and the acceptance of race-hatred from the likes of the Black Panthers and the Black Muslims as well as the KKK.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

Can't agree with you more, John.
Guns saves lives and are the mark of a free and civil and civilized society. Recall, that one of the first things the Nazis did was to register guns, and then they confiscated them. Britain has done similar, banning the private ownership of gun in 1996 or 1997. Since then, it has seen its violent crime rate quintuple. At the same time, violence in the US, where guns are easily available (except Washington DC) has declined (again except in Washington DC). On this issue, I would recommend John Lott's two books about guns and crime. They are: More Guns Less Crime, and The Bias Against Guns; I would also recommend Joyce Lee Malcom's Guns and Violence, The English Experience.

Jack in Silver Spring

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

How can the MSM have missed their own contribution to every sort of mass violence in the last fifty years or more?

Joe Blow shoots, or bombs, or incites a left-wing political riot that slaughters numbers of innocents. The press duly covers this action in the most lurid way it possibly can, with photos of people crying on the front page, billowing smoke and emergency vehicles in the background, and lavish quotes of bystanders and politicians making resounding statements to mark what an Important Event this is and how it must never be allowed to be repeated.

And out of the multitudes who read this overdramatized account there emerge a few who realize that this behavior can be their own Big Chance to really be Noticed. And off they go to arm themselves to commit the next six copycat versions.

So do we want to have a gummint-controlled press that responsibly reports on current events without glamorizing despicable behavior, or shall we have every reporter and editor and TV producer in the country competing for the grand prize for overdramatization and inspiration of the Next Big Blowup?

Obviously, the sale and distribution of printing presses and TV cameras cannot be left up to individual choice. Citizens must immediately demand that their representatives act now! to impose rigid restrictions on all mass-media equipment, to end copycat crimes once and for all.