August 31, 2015: Mentally Ill

Gun control advocates will be energized by the latest tragedy. Expect proposals from State and Federal legislations to: ban magazines over 10 rounds, impose additional taxes on ammunition, ban Modern Sporting Rifles (they will be referred to by the misnomer assault rifles), ban handguns, allow the EPA to regulate gun ranges, make firearm gifts to family members illegal, make firearm inheritance illegal, ban gun shows, declare business that sell firearms nuisances and subject them to more restrictions, register all gun owners in a Federal database, confiscate all registered firearms into the National Amory, make firearm possession (except for law enforcement and professional security) illegal. Oh and repeal that annoying Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

The justification will be examples of the murders of innocents by criminals employing firearms. Supporters of gun controls will always claim that the common element in these tragedies is a firearm. The reasoning will be that if there were no guns, there would be no murder, or the number of murders would be decreased.

What gun control advocates ignore is that murder is committed with many instruments, not just firearms.  

 

According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States (CIUS) statistics for 2013 (Table 1), the population has risen from 1994 through 2013 from 260,327,021 to 316,128,839. The number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters had declined from 23,326 to 14,196.

For the same year (Table 14), the total number of justifiable homicides by private citizens (the killing of a felon during the commission of a felony), was 461. Of those 332 are categorized as by handguns, 9 by shotguns, 46 by rifles, and 71 by uncategorized firearms. What is harder to quantify is the number of encounters with criminals that were stopped by use of a firearm, either shooting or brandishing that did not result in the death of the attacker. Estimates range wildly from 50,000 to 2.5 million.

The point is for all the thousands of innocents that die from firearms each year, there are also thousands that are saved by firearms (displaying or firing).

Gun Control Advocates only look at the death of innocents as justification to remove firearms from our society, they fail to address the innocents that are saved by having firearms in our society.

For every family member of a shooting victim that demands guns be removed, there are living victims of violent crime who are only alive because of having guns. No one has the right to demand the removal of a tool for self-defense in the United States because that basic tenant is a foundation of the United States of America.

“If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.”

– Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 29

“That the people have a Right to mass and to bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the Body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper natural and safe defense of a free State…”

– George Mason

“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, “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776

Putting the statistics of Citizens on both sides of the barrel aside, look at what was present in 100% of the murders that were committed in the United States. It was present at the deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. It was present in the attack on Melinda Herman and her two children.   It was present when Marcus Henley defended himself and Maurice Harris with deadly force.

It’s not the gun, it’s the criminal who cannot interact with Citizens. It’s the mentally unbalanced who lash out irrationally with violent acts. It’s the mentally defective who doesn’t regard the rights of others. It’s the human that cannot resolve conflicts, only eliminate them. It is a human using his/her hands with or without the assistance of any other object to extinguish the life out of another human being. It is the fanatic that kills anyone who does not believe as he does. That is what is present at every violent crime, every murder, assault, and rape.

In every case, it is the human being who is wielding the object used as a weapon. There is no object that is used as a weapon, that has the ability to overcome the will of a human being to cause them to become a killer.   The revolver, lead pipe, pipe wrench, knife, and candle stick are all inanimate objects. They have no will or volition of their own. They can all be used as useful tools for some human endeavor or become murder weapons in the hands of the mentally defective.

Gun control advocates are lazy. They think eliminating guns in American society is the obtainable low hanging fruit that will reduce murder. Making gun ownership illegal will push undiagnosed potential killers to choose other weapons. Since there is no way to physically remove all guns from American soil, the criminals will be the ones using them and they will be emboldened because the entire United States will become a gun-free zone.

I have a suggestion for anyone who wants to promote legislation or executive action to take away my firearms, emigrate to an English speaking country that has already banned its subjects from owning firearms. I can think of two without consulting Google, the United Kingdom and Australia.  

There are members of the House of Representatives who are addressing the mental health issue by proposing and supporting H.R. 2646 – Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015. In an Op-Ed piece in the August 29, 2015 Tampa Tribune, Dottie Pacharis discusses the issue of involuntary treatment and the protected civil liberties of the mentally ill. The civil liberties of the mentally ill are in conflict with the civil liberties of ordinary Citizens. Citizens who are in jeopardy when exposed to the mentally ill who refuse treatment, or do not raise to the criteria for police intervention.

Until the Second Amendment is repealed, the only gun control debate that is valid in the United States is: how do you keep your guns secure from unauthorized access. All the money wasted on campaigns to eliminate guns could have been used to subsidize education and safes.

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