The attack on law-abiding gun owners is more real today than it has ever been in the past. Just as social media has created a way for violent groups to join and incite future violence based on false accusations and fear. Anti-gun groups are also using it as a way to show stats with false representation. For example, the false claim that the ArmaLite Rifle (AR)15 is being used in most of the mass shootings and it somehow is causing more damage. When in fact it is closer to 22.5% according to the FBI data. The FBI found that 34% of mass shootings involve a long gun- 97 rifles and 50 shotguns(not at the same time). Of those rifles, not all of them were AR 15s. Violent actions are now being seen as gun violence, is it true is the question?
What this data is showing us, is that by banning the AR 15. Will only mean future mass shooters will have to pick a different weapon 22% of the time at the most. I will take it one step further and borrow from Author Michael Martin. He found that 10 out of 48 mass shootings since columbine used and AR 15. Their rate of fire in those massacres was at the same rate as a rifle made in the 1800s. Logically when they don’t get what they want from banning the sporting rifles they have mislabeled as assault rifles. What will be next? The gun used most of the time of course the handgun.
The Real Problem
Here I am going to point out some disturbing facts, these are not in question and can be looked up by anyone. In 2017 there were 15,129 murders in the U.S according to the FBI. 403 of those murders were committed with rifles, 1,591 with a knife or other sharp object. While violent criminals have used many tools. Blaming everything on gun violence seems to be a popular theme these days.
The weapon used the most was the handgun with 7,032 murders. To stop this epidemic that claims is going on their solution is to ban a sporting rifle that is used in competitions, home defense, and hunting. By this logic, we should be banning knives and other sharp objects as well. While the .22lr is 1/12 the power of the AR 15, it is the same diameter bullet. Making the AR’s cartridge one of the smaller ones compared to other rifles.
What is the real problem and its solution? The problem is not the tool or weapon as they call it. It is the violence itself. I am going to take a deep dive into the real issues in this article and you will find that banning anything is not a solution nor should it even be an option.
The Worlds Violent Deaths
Approximately 385,000 homicides were committed worldwide in 2016. That is according to a report by Small Arms Survey. I am going to break this down and take a good look at what is happening. The epidemic that we are being led to believe is happening has been decreasing for the past couple of decades. Gun Violence has also come down and yet it is being more publicized than ever.
While I agree that we need to do something to help fix these issues. The attack on the weapon being used is not going to end the violence. For example, countries like South Africa where owning a gun is legal has far more homicides from weapons other than firearms. Per Capita the United States is ranked 55 out of 167 on the homicide list. It is also considered to have a low homicide ranking according to the Small Arms Survey.
Countries like Brazil where the homicide rate is higher than any other country with 62,500 homicides in 2016. Close to half of those were done by weapons other than firearms. To put that in perspective, if the U.S is averaging close to 10k murders a year with guns as the primary tool. People can easily kill over 10k with another tool even if you remove all the firearms. I just posted proof it can and is being done.
We have seen our neighbors each have their own issues along the way. The question is how they are handling the violence and can we learn from them? Canada averages 1.8 homicides per 100,00, where Mexico 24.80 per 100,000. The U.S 5.30 homicides per 100,000, so what can we learn from Canada and Mexico? The question is what is different from Canada and the U.S, first and foremost is population. Canada has 37.59 million people, compared to 328 million in the U.S, and compared to 126.2 million in Mexico. Violence is not equal in North America. Mexico has some of the worst violence out of many countries.
Could we be looking at an issue where Canada has fewer people to focus on with more land space between them? If that is the case then how would we explain China that has the largest population and a homicide rate of 0.60 per 100,00? Mexico for example blames our liberal gun laws as the problem for their higher homicide rate. Many of their most violent encounters and murders scenes are left with the painful fact that they are recovering U.S weapons.
In contrast, the U.S. drug problem has cited many instances where the drugs have come from Mexico. Meaning they get our guns, we get their drugs, it’s a lose-lose situation. So, what is the real difference between comparable countries with lower homicide rates and the United States? For that, you would have to take a much deeper dive than I have here. In truth, it is the perception in free countries and the real threat of tyrannical Governments in others. Meaning, free countries rely on law-abiding citizens and tyrannical Governments install fear into its citizens.
How to Lower Crime and Stay Free
I think we all agree that we want to keep our country free. It is easy to see the appeal in banning something in hopes it will change the outcome. You can read my article on mass shootings here, where I show how banning the AR 15 would not have changed the outcome in any mass shooting. I am going to stress the same thing here based on the data above. Murders are going to kill regardless of what weapons they have available. By looking at countries that have more than the 15k homicides the U.S has. You can see the weapon choice did not change the outcome.
For example countries with lower overall violence, find that guns are only used in 12% of violent crimes. Over 50% of murders around the world don’t involve guns. If you ignore the violence and blame it all on gun violence then and only then can you believe removing one tool will change the numbers. Violent criminals are not going to stop being violent because you remove a weapon. Crimes, in general, will come down if people believe they can’t get away with it. Too many people are afraid of the repercussions of their neighbors if they turn in a local criminal.
In order to find a solution to our homicide rates. I decided to look at more minor crimes in other countries and how they are lower than ours. For example, I looked at countries that enjoy their local pubs but don’t have the drunk driving rates we do. Overwhelmingly I found the difference was not the laws or the number of people. Instead, it was the people’s perception and how they treated it. In countries with lower drunk-driving rates, they would be looked down on anyone who tries to drive home after drinking even one or two. Your patron buddies would literally take your keys away to save you from jail or worse. This is especially true in countries that have zero-tolerance laws. This was accomplished by changing people’s perception of drinking and driving. Instead of thinking it’s okay because everyone else is doing it. They realize the lives that get ruined not just because of the laws but because of the consequences. They in essence are policing themselves.
If we ban a single firearm or all of them. What could possibly cause the same devastation that a firearm could? Not just the devastation but it must also have the availability of a firearm. Let’s start with the most obvious and readily available on the internet today. That is bombings, anyone can get a homemade bomb recipe online, make it up, and then plant it overnight. We have seen bombings used for mass killing since way back in May of 1927, in Bath Township, MI. That was when it took knowledge and access to explosives to pull something like that off. Today chemicals are readily available to the general public. You can end gun violence but you can’t end the violence without taking a real look at the data. Think of it this way, there is no age limit, no background checks, no training required for this kind of mass murder. Just an idea and the ability to follow a recipe, and the access to plant it.
Then of course you have the vehicles that we drive every single day. Virginia 2017 we saw James Fields drive his car into a group of protestors, injuring 19 and killing 1. Ohio 2016 we seen 14 wounded before the driver got out and started stabbing them with a butcher knife. May 19, 2017, a driver killed a Michigan tourist and injuring 22 people in Times Square. The list goes on, a 2000 pound weapon is impossible to defend against. Imagine the school buses unloading at a school and a mass murder bearing down on them with an SUV. No adult would be able to defend against it or save any reasonable number of children. Especially with defensive weapons that only work at close range.
Then of course there is the knife, baseball bat, crowbar, screwdriver, hammer, utility blade, and the walking sticks just to name a few. I think you get the point, so I won’t post all the time people have been stabbed in public, thinking they got punched in the back or stomach. Of course, the knife requires close contact and may get people to fight back once they realized what was happening.
What Would A Ban on weapons do?
Let me start with what it would do for me and my family. My wife and I are disabled, home invader breaks in with a weapon and my only option is a kitchen knife. My gun is no longer legal and has been removed. The criminal has his/her weapon of choice because he/she is not going to follow the laws. Instead, I am left without the ability and training to defend myself. He then gets to beat me to death and make me watch him rape my wife. As well as torturing us until we finally succumb to our injuries. The next day the paper reads family tortured and slain in their own home.
My neighbors are outraged and want justice. My family devastated, especially when they tell the press. He spent 1000s of hours learning how to handle a gun and to defend himself. How can we prevent this from ever happening again? The truth, you can’t, you have just given the criminals of the world free reign. On top of that, instead of robbing the local clerk for a couple of hundred dollars, they beat him to death with a baseball bat because a bat is a close contact weapon.
The rape victim in the alley, well let’s hope her pepper spray works. Not to mention if you spray pepper spray in a close area both people get hit. At least the police won’t have to worry about risking their lives in a gunfight right? How has that worked out for Mexico that only has one gun store in the whole country? Which is heavily guarded by military personnel. Would people suddenly become less violent because we took a tool away? People lose their hammers all the time, it doesn’t stop them from putting nails in the wall. Gun defense has ended but gun violence will still continue.
The Real Solution
After my research into lesser crimes, I realized the solution lies with the people. Police can do their jobs; however, we all know no one is going to be there to help you until minutes after the attack is over. That is not a knock-on the police at all. I am simply pointing out it takes time to travel from one place to another. Not to mention, would you even have time to call the police. Attacks are ambushes and happen fast, making a phone call or sending a text is likely not going to happen until it is over.
In a time when being internet famous means more than helping someone. It seems to me we have to change people’s perception, rather than laws. How many times have you seen people grabbing their phones to record a video, hoping it will go viral? Rather than calling 911 or jumping in to help a victim. Gun violence has come down over the past couple of decades and even with no intervention, it will continue to go down. When crime goes up so with the use of weapons.
The real solution is picking up where the neighborhood watch has left off. We reward people for turning in crimes. We blast all over the media every time someone is stopped by a citizen. Stop showing the violence and start showing the attackers being stopped. Rather by intervention or simply contacting the police to report it. Get the public involved. Remember see something say something, the same concept. Except for this time, we don’t let it go away.
You want to report your neighbor for dealing drugs and bringing down your property value. Instead of being the neighborhood snitch, you become the neighborhood hero. Praised by the media and acknowledge on social media. Become famous for doing the right thing. Instead of becoming famous for shooting up a school. We change our focus from it’s a petty crime to you’re a criminal and are going to be reported. Instead of focusing on all the bad people and making them famous. We no longer put their names on the news, instead, let them be on a criminal website with their picture and the crime. No not a national database but your local county clerks or police website. Let others see Jim decided to drink and drive last night and got arrested. You change perception or re-brand as they call it today and you change the likelihood of it happening again.
This article was meant to show you the real problem with the violence today. As a free nation, we have to find a way to solve our problems with our freedoms intact. Owning a firearm is a choice that people have had the freedom to make for over 200 years. Yes, there are issues, but as a free nation, we need to find solutions that don’t involve removing rights. It won’t happen overnight. It will take time, hard work, and a lot re-branding to show the nation it is working. No one will want to go first but someone will.
Once we start down the road of banning items instead of working at real change, everything that can be lethal will be banned. We all know the darknet is alive and well. As a result, banning weapons or lowering magazine capacity only effects those that are already following the laws. Remember how to book banning went, the violation to free speech, and the outrage. Amplify that with legally training gun owners who follow the laws and have done nothing to warrant losing their rights.
I encourage everyone to write their congressman and woman to let them know banning is wrong. We have solutions if they will just help to put them in place. If they use their funding and powers to spread the word, we can re-brand America and make the criminals go back into hiding where they belong. No one said it was going to be easy, it will take time and work. That is what we show the world, we are willing to work at keeping our freedoms. Freedom doesn’t have to cost lives, but it does take hard work to maintain.
Today gun owners have some of the lowest crime rates out of any other group. Anti-gun groups look at the numbers and go we must put a stop to it. They completely ignore the rest of the violence being committed by criminals because they know laws don’t stop crimes. They simply punish those who break them. Remember when you get to vote for that next law. You are voting to take guns away from people that get training, pass background checks, follow the laws, and appreciate their right to bear arms. They are hard-working Americans who, in their spare time practice, sometimes join competitions, gun clubs, go hunting, and educate their families on firearm safety.
The thought never crosses anyone’s minds that putting provisions in the laws to protect legal gun owners would be in everyone’s interest. Instead, they question why they feel the need to protect their families. They wonder why they want to go to practice and follow safety rules. Why they are trained to defend themselves and others. Everyone sees the violence going on in this country, some are just willing to protect themselves against it. Not everyone is going to willing to be a victim and depend on someone else to save them.
It’s only through working together that we can lower the violence in this country. When the violence comes down, so will the gun violence. No one is forcing anyone to purchase a weapon to defend themselves. It’s okay to be a victim in this country, it is part of our freedom. The amendments granted us multiple freedoms and rights. It may not be easy to work with them at times but giving them up means giving up on the dream that our forefathers had for this country. No one can see what America will be in 200 years from now. However, if we want it to remain the free country it is today, we must struggle and work together to ensure we will take the hard road to save it.