Friday, November 23, 2007

The foolishness of gun control

11/21/2007 9:22:00 AM
The foolishness of gun control

Scott McPherson

I sent a pro-gun commentary from a British newspaper to a liberal friend of
mine, and he replied that if we just banned the manufacture of firearms on a
worldwide level there wouldn't be any crime or genocides like the one going
on in Darfur. He then suggested that I had joined a militia group. I replied,

"I'm sure there were a lot of Rwandans who wish they'd had a gun - especially
a good weapon like the Kalashnikov - to protect themselves, their families, and
their communities from rampaging Hutus. Cutting off firearms 'at the
manufacturers' level' - or more accurately, at the level where only the government
could legally import weapons and only government soldiers could legally have
one - left literally hundreds of thousands - some estimates say upwards of a
million - at the mercy of machete-wielding thugs who chopped them and their
families and their communities to bits.

"The absence of firearms did not save anyone, did not deter anyone. Instead, it
cost about a million lives. And it only took about three months."

In the 20th century, tyrannical governments were responsible for approximately
170,000,000 nonmilitary deaths: Armenian Christians in Turkey, "undesirables"
of all sorts in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, political dissenters in Nationalist
and later Communist China, Mayan aboriginals in Guatemala, Ugandans,
Cambodians, and the ethnic Tutsis of Rwanda.

In every single case, the victims were first subjected to mass disarmament.

The National Academy of Sciences - hardly a pro-gun organization - admitted
that after years of researching the effects of "gun control" it could not conclude
that any measure had been effective at reducing crime or saving lives.

Even honest liberals will tell you that millions of people, in the United States
alone, use guns to defend themselves every year - far more than the number
of people who use guns to commit violent crimes.

One does not have to be a member of a militia group to see that gun
control only leaves people at the mercy of thugs and dictators. You can
cling to the fantasy that gun control works, contrary to all reason and despite
all evidence to the contrary, but it has been demonstrated time and again to
be a universal failure. It is, frankly, foolish and immoral.

Scott McPherson is a policy adviser at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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