With the shooting at Umpqua Community College having reanimated the Progressives’ demands that we withdraw guns from citizens’ hands and leave them solely in the hands of government operatives (a strange demand from the BLM-supporting crowd if you think about it), it’s time for me to rehash my five-point argument explaining why, the risks of guns notwithstanding, we are much safer with guns than without them. I originally published this post in June 2014 and have made only a few changes to enhance clarity:
God forgive me, but I used to be so anti-gun that I donated to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. I know. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Since that time, I’ve done a complete 180 and become a fervent gun supporter and a proud member of the NRA.
This change did not come about because I suddenly became a psychopathic killer, with guns as my weapon of choice. I do kill (spiders, fleas, and ticks) and I do eat dead bodies (cows, pigs, chicken, and fish), but I’m scarcely Hannibal Lecter.
Instead, my reversal on guns came about because I realized that gun’s are a predicate requirement for individual freedom and security. I’ve created five principles that justify this conclusion. These principles are: (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) I am a Jew; (3) I am not a racist; (4) a self-defended society is a safe society; and (5) the only way gun-control activists can support their position is to lie.
I develop each of these principles below.
A. Armed Citizens Are The Best Defense Against The World’s Most Dangerous Killer: Government.
1. Progressives fear individuals, who kill only in small numbers; Second Amendment supporters fear government, which kills in the tens of millions.
a. Mad or predatory individuals, ideologically motivated groups, and mean or careless corporations have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.
Progressives and conservatives alike share the same concerns: they don’t want killers to have guns. It’s just that Progressives haven’t quite figured out who the real killers are. Their obsessive focus is on individuals and corporations. Let’s humor their fears and look at the number of deaths those particular killers have achieved, both with and without guns, from the beginning of the 20th century through to the present day.
Individual Killers Who Did Not Use Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did not use a gun: Gameel al-Batouti. On October 31, 1999, he cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he piloted a plane full of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.
The worst ideologically driven collective of mass murderers who did not use guns: The 19 al Qaeda members who, on September 11, 2001, used box cutters to hijack four planes, crashed those planes into three buildings and one into a field, and killed 2,996 people in a matter of hours.
The worst corporate mass murderer that did not use guns: In December 1984, the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released toxic gas from its facility, killing 3,787 people.
CONCLUSION: When dedicated mass murderers use something other than guns, they’re able to achieve deaths that range from a few hundreds dead to a few thousand dead.
Individual Killers Who Used Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did use a gun: Anders Behring Breivik who, on July 22, 2011, shot and killed 69 people in Norway – mostly teenagers. This rampage came after he’d already set off a bomb, killing 8 people. Norway has strict gun control.
The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers who did use guns: Given Islamists’ tendency to use all weapons available to shoot as many people as possible in as many countries as they can, this is a tough one to call. I believe, though, that the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 is the largest ideologically driven mass murder that relied solely on guns. Throughout the city of Mumbai, Islamic terrorists engaged in a coordinated attack that killed 154 people. Even the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.
The worst corporate mass murder that did use guns: I can’t find any. To the extent that numerous workers died in any given 19th century labor dispute, those deaths occurred because state government, siding with management, sent out the state’s militia to disperse the strikers. For example, in November 1887, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the state militia killed between 35 and 300 black sugar plantation strikers. The 20th and 21st century did not offer such examples.
CONCLUSION: To the extent Progressives fear individual killers or small groups of killers with guns, their fears are misplaced. Guns simply aren’t that effective in these contexts, especially when compared to those who use planes or bombs. Moreover, when it comes to corporations and guns, outside of crazed Hollywood movies, the corporations vanish from the scene entirely.
It’s clear that both individuals (singularly and collectively) and corporations can kill. However, even when given optimal killing situations (e.g., acts of terrorism or corporate negligence), the numbers stay in the low thousands – and sink even further when guns are involved.
Progressives could conceivably argue that, once you start adding up small killing events (a murder here, a murder there), you’re going to find a lot of dead bodies piled around you. For example, if one adds up America’s annual murder statistics from 1960 through 2012, the total number of Americans killed in those 52 years is 914,191. (This number encompasses all murders, not just those with guns, but we’ll still use it as the most extreme illustration of Americans’ alleged propensity to violence.)
If we then engaged in the risible pretense that these numbers were stable for all 233 years of America’s existence (900,000 murdered citizens per every 50 years), we could claim that citizens of the most murderous nation in history (which is how Progressives view their own country) would have managed to achieve only around 4,000,000 murders in 233 years, using all weapons available.
Wow! 4,000,000 murders in 233 years! No wonder the Progressives are so desperate to keep guns out of their fellow citizens’ hands. As they see it, Americans are stone-cold killers, wholly capable of killing almost a million of each other in just 50 years. However, as is shown below, even taking this worst case scenario, Progressives’ fears about guns in individual hands are unfounded.
b. The serious killers in the last century haven’t been individuals or small groups. The serious killers have been governments acting against unarmed (usually disarmed) citizens.
Let’s talk now about the real killers of the 20th and 21st centuries: Governments killing their own people or engaging in genocidal attacks against specifically selected religious, cultural, or racial groups – all of them unarmed and defenseless.
Turkey: In 1915, the Turkish government ordered and carried out the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians.
Soviet Union: In the 1920s through mid-1930s, the Soviet government under Stalin declared war on the independent Ukrainian farmers known as Kulaks. Through government engineered starvation, deportation, and execution, the Soviets are estimated to have killed approximately 7 million Kulaks.
The Kulaks were just one group who died off in a specific mass killing. In fact, nobody really knows how many of its citizens the Soviet Union killed, whether using starvation, outright execution, or penal colonies. Estimates range from 7 million to 20 million people dying due to the Soviet government’s policies and purges.
China in the 1960s through 1970s: When it comes to a government killing its own citizens, the Soviets were pikers compared to the Chinese. Current estimates for those who died during the Great Leap Forward due to government engineered famine, executions, and slave labor range from between 23 million to 46 million Chinese. Some estimates (outliers, admittedly) posit even 50 million or more Chinese dying to appease Chairman Mao’s statist vision.
Nazi Germany, from 1933-1945: You knew I’d get to the Nazis, of course. Not satisfied with purging their own country of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and handicapped people, the Nazis conquered Europe from France to Poland to Denmark and embarked upon a purge in those countries too.
Without exception, the civilians that the Nazis targeted were already unarmed (voluntarily or involuntarily) before the Nazis came to power or ended up disarmed when the Nazis achieved power. With their pick of helpless victims, the Nazis executed 6 million Jews; 250,000 gypsies; 220,000 homosexuals, and, through slave labor, executions, and starvation, as many as 10 million Slavic people. (The number of handicapped people killed is unknown.) As an aside, when the Nazi gun-control gang got the bit in their teeth and went to war, the war itself resulted in the deaths of another 19,315,000 Europeans who weren’t targeted because of race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability but who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Cambodia: Following the Cambodian Civil War, Pol Pot rose to power in Cambodia. Once in power, in the years between 1975 and 1979, his government killed between 1.7 and 2.2 million of its own citizens, out of a population of around 8 million people. Were the U.S. to have a Pol Pot moment today, that would be the equivalent of having the federal government kill 66 million to 85 million people in four years.
North Korea: Nobody knows how many North Koreans have died since the murderous Kim regime came into power. One estimate is that 1,293,000 North Koreans have died at their government’s hands. That number, of course, is entirely separate from the hundreds of thousands of North Koreans residing in concentration camps throughout that hellish little nation.
The above are the government-engineered mass murders that spring most readily to my mind. I’ve obviously left out many that properly belong on the list, everything from Iran, to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to Cuba, to just about every tin-pot dictatorship in Africa and Latin America. If you would like the full body of statistics for government-engineered mass murders in the 20th and 21st centuries, I recommend R. J. Rummel’s Statistics of Democide, which examines 214 regimes. I’ve picked my way through some of this opus and, even though Rummel’s writing is scholarly not scintillating, I was able to catch the depressing gist: Governments kill and, given the chance, they kill often, in staggering numbers.
So think about this: Progressives are terrified of leaving guns in the hands of individuals even though individuals, even with spectacular effort or negligence, manage to kill people in numbers equaling, at their highest, the low five figures. At the same time, they castigate as crazy those Second Amendment supporters who have noticed that armed governments, when they have an unarmed population at their mercy, kill in the millions, with a few million dead here and another fifty million dead there.
Stalin spoke from personal experience when he said “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” While the Progressives are weeping over the tragedies, the NRA and its supporters are trying to avoid the statistics.
2. America’s Founding Fathers recognized that government is the greatest threat to individual life and liberty, and drafted the Second Amendment accordingly
Speaking of overpowering, armed government, Progressives like to forget that the American Revolution’s victory was by no means assured. The colonists, after all, had been so foolhardy (or insane) that they’d taken up arms against the most powerful military in the world. Anyone placing bets in 1776 or 1778 would have been smart to wager against the revolutionaries.
Moreover, if the revolutionaries had lived in the home country of England, it’s likely that those placing bets against the revolution would have been correct. England, an old, stable culture that had weathered a devastating revolution slightly more than 100 years before, was not much given to having individual citizens bearing arms. (Indeed, one writer has posited that the rebellion began in part because the British sought to disarm the colonists.)
It was only in the Americas, far from “civilization,” that arms were a necessity. One does not go into the frontier unarmed. Too many people had untamed forests pressing against their fragile communities to manage without at least one musket, rifle, or pistol in their possession.
Because of their circumstances, the American colonists didn’t just possess arms; they knew how to use them. While George Washington despaired of turning his volunteers into a well-drilled, spit-and-polish military, the one thing he didn’t have to worry about was weapons training. His rag-tag army knew how to load, aim, and shoot (especially those Tennessee mountain boys). If the Continental Congress could provide the bullets, many of the colonists willingly provided their own guns and know-how.
The Revolutionary war had already been over for eight years when the Founders enacted the Bill of Rights. It was in that context – the aftermath of a small colony’s successful revolution against the most powerful nation in the world – that the Founders determined that American citizens would never again be subordinate to their government.
For this reason, the first ten amendments to the Constitution do not define government power; they limit it. Significantly, they limit it, not by having the government graciously extend a few privileges to America’s citizens, privileges that the government can as easily revoke, but instead by stating rights that are inherent in individuals without regard to the government’s powers.
The second of these amendments – and the only one that is dedicated exclusively to a single principle, rather than a blend of related principles – refers to every citizen’s inherent right to possess arms:
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.
If the Second Amendment were written in modern English, the Founders might have phrased it this way:
The only way citizens can defend themselves against a tyrannical government is to create their own army (which, obviously, is separate from the government’s army). The people therefore have an overarching and innate right to have guns, and the government may not interfere with that right.
Progressives loves to hang their hat on the “well regulated militia” phrase. Hah! they say. The only way you gun nuts can have those guns is if you get together with your friends on a regular basis and create an army, complete with drilling and officers and such-like. (Never mind that, when groups do precisely that, they’re denounced as proto-military terrorist organizations and the government uses its armed might to shut those groups down.)
What Progressives refuse to recognize is that the Founders, although looking at a very weak federal government, were nevertheless considering the possibility that American citizens might in the future need to rebel against a government that had grown too powerful. The Founder’s own experience had shown them that citizens don’t need to have a standing militia that is always ready to fight. Instead, the citizens must only have the ability to constitute a well-regulated militia on an as needed basis (the need being the necessity to secure individual freedom against government). This ability to transform from peaceful citizens into an effective militia when needed requires a citizenry that’s both well-armed and competent with those arms.
Here’s another good thing about those Second Amendment arms we possess: Imagine a Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or Pol Pot somehow attaining the White House through the ordinary election process. Because Americans would never elect someone who announced in advance his intention to become a murderous dictator, that candidate would have campaigned dishonestly, so as to sound as if he supported a free, republican democracy. The only tip-off that he in fact intended to govern without the consent of the governed would be his running on the Leftist platform of disarming all citizens.
The Founders had seen tyranny face-to-face and they recognized that every government has the potential to become tyrannical (although they couldn’t have predicted in their wildest dreams the mad scope of government killing in the 20th and 21st centuries). They therefore embedded in the Bill of Rights the ultimate bulwark against tyranny: an armed population that, if needed, can instantly transform itself into a citizen army.
Yes, some of those armed citizens will do bad things with their guns, but even at their worst, they are insignificant killers compared to rogue governments. As a matter of principle, supported by data, an armed citizenry is safer than an unarmed one when it comes to the biggest, most blood-thirsty, most deadly predator known to man: Government.
B. I Am A Jew.
American Jews are almost reflexively anti-gun, due in large part to a false syllogism: “The Nazis (or the Cossacks or any other group that’s persecuted Jews in the last 150 years) used guns to round us up and kill us; therefore guns are bad.” It’s almost impossible to convince them that (a) if Jews were armed, they could have fought back; and (b) if Jews were known for fighting back, it’s unlikely that the anti-Semites would have so readily attacked.
Since the Jews came under Roman control in 63 B.C., their collective history is an apt parable for the principle that individual citizens or disfavored minorities should have arms. It was in 63 B.C. that the Jews last exercised arms before the modern era.
The Jewish God is a jealous God, and the Jewish people a stiff-necked one. Religious Jews saw Roman control (and taxes) as offensive to their God and themselves. The Jews accordingly engaged in three major rebellions: The First Jewish–Roman War, or Great Revolt, was from 66-73; the Kitos War was from 115-117, and Bar Kokhba’s revolt was from 132-135.
Although these rebellions took place in a geographically small corner of the great Roman Empire, these were not little regional spats. Armed Jews were a force to be reckoned with. By the time of the final Bar Kokhba revolt, it took six full legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions to crush the revolt.
The lesson from these three revolts was plain to both Jews and non-Jews: Jews can’t be trusted with weapons although the Jews and their adversaries approached this reality in entirely different ways. The Jews took away the idea that, if they fought, they might lose and lose big. The non-Jews took away the idea that Jews with weapons are really scary and fight with a ferocity far out of proportion to their numbers, so they are best disarmed. Jews did not have weapons again for another 1,813 years. During those 1,813 years, the Jews learned that there are many things worse than dying while fighting for freedom.
In those 1,813 years, Jews were perpetual victims. They were slaughtered by Muslims intent upon purging them after the Jews rejected Mohamed’s claim that he was the Prophet. They were slaughtered by Christians intent upon purging the world of a religion that was tied to the death of Christ, a Jew. They were slaughtered by medieval monarchs who borrowed vast sums of money from those Jews who made a living as money-lenders only to realize that it was easier to kill than repay the creditor.
And most commonly, for almost two thousand years, Jews have been slaughtered by peasants the world over for just about any reason. If these peasants were asked, they would have said they killed because Jews were different, Jews were clannish, Jews purportedly slaughtered children for blood; Jews (who lived in dirt) made peasants (who lived in slightly nicer dirt) poor; and any other half-assed reason a debased human mind can imagine. The real reason peasants killed was the same reason that Muslim governments today revile Jews: tyrannical governments (dictatorships, monarchs, oligarchies, etc.) need a scapegoat to explain away the fact that its their fault that their enslaved citizens are starved, abused, enslaved, and degraded. The Jews are every tyrant’s perfect distraction.
The Jewish slaughter culminated in the modern era with the Nazis, who brought efficiency to anti-Semitism, successfully killing 6 million Jews in 6 years. By comparison, using myriad weapons from guns, to knives, to hammers, to booted feet, to fists, to garrotes, individual Americans managed to murder only 24,700 of their countrymen in 1991, the deadliest murder year in American history.
It took the Nazi’s maddened slaughter, along with emotionally devastating pictures of unarmed Jews being rounded up at gunpoint, for Israelis to get the message: being unarmed won’t pacify your enemy, it will embolden him. Israeli Jews therefore got armed, heavily, heavily armed. Indeed, they got so armed that, despite living in the most dangerous part of the world, Israeli Jews managed to defend themselves against genocidal anti-Semitic attacks by myriad countries in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 2006. Like the porcupine, Israelis bristle with weapons, warning all comers that trying to get too close will be a painful exercise.
Israel knows that fighting back inevitably means her citizens will die in combat. But 1,813 years of history proves that, even when Jews don’t fight back, they die anyway, and in greater numbers than Israel has lost in any of her five major wars. Either way, Jews die. But as those who staged the Warsaw Uprising understood, it’s still better to die by the hundreds or thousands on your feet and to take the enemy with you as a warning to the next wave of Jew killers than to die on your knees by the millions.
Every Jew should know how to shoot and, even better, should own a weapon. If there’s anything Jewish history teaches us it’s that, too often, disarmed equals dead.
C. I Am Not A Racist.
There is one specific American subgroup that uses guns most and, tragically, dies from guns the most: blacks and, more specifically, young black males. (Incidentally, if you remove this group from American gun-death statistics, America could be some peaceful European country when it comes to gun deaths.)
The Progressive answer to this painful reality is to claim that Progressives love blacks so much that they’ve come up with the only possible solution to this black-on-black slaughter: demand ever greater gun control and claim that anyone who opposes gun control is a racist. Then, when the Progressives achieve this gun-control goal over citizens trapped in Democrat-run cities, they are perplexed that black youths die in ever greater numbers.
Progressives simply cannot wrap their minds around the simply stated NRA principle that, “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Nor can they accept real-time data showing that, when law-abiding citizens in black communities are also armed, the bad guys quickly start slinking away.
I mentioned before that, in 1991, Americans killed each other in the greatest numbers ever: 24,700 Americans died that year at the hands of other Americans. Since then, the numbers have declined steadily. In 2011, only 14,661 Americans were murdered, a 40% crime drop that reverted America to murder numbers last seen in around 1969, when 14,760 Americans were murdered. As John Lott has pointed out with almost mind-numbing repetitiveness, what happened in between that peak death year and today is that law-abiding Americans armed themselves in ever greater numbers.
So how do America’s declining gun crime statistics relate to my principled stand for guns on the ground I am not a racist? It’s simple: I want blacks to live and they’re most likely to live when the predators among them are kept at bay by armed, law-abiding citizens. By contrast, the Progressives are pursuing policies that, as the numbers prove, result in more deaths, including more black deaths. Logically, then, no matter what they say, Progressives are the real racists, glorying in black self-attrition.
It was ever thus. Those Progressives who seek to keep guns from blacks are part of a proud Democrat tradition that kept blacks unarmed from the slave era through to Jim Crow. Subject to a few anomalous chapters, the NRA fought against black disarmament, reasoning correctly that giving blacks guns would protect them against slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow generally. (For more on the subject, read Ann Coulter’s article about gun rights and blacks, in which she summarizes with her usual élan the way in which the anti-black Southern hegemony worked hard to keep guns out of black hands in order to control and terrorize them more effectively.)
I want American blacks to live and to thrive. They can do this only in safe communities and the safest black communities have always been those in which moral, law-abiding black citizens have been armed.
D. A Self-Defended Society Is A Safe Society.
The principle that a self-defended society is a safe society encompasses the three previously stated principles. An armed society is protected against its government; and moral, law-abiding citizens with guns are protected from the predators amongst them. If you doubt that, just look at England: Once it banned guns, it became a country with violent crime and murder rates consistent with South Africa’s – and that’s not something any civilized country wants to boast about.
Progressives who demand total disarmament because “one death is one too many” are, pardon my language, idiots. Mankind’s civilized veneer is thin at best. Man is infinitely creative when it comes to killing. If I felt so inclined, I could kill someone by coming upon them when they’re asleep and stabbing them repeatedly in the eyeball with a Bic pen. (Don’t worry; I’m not planning this but, rather, positing the possibility.) The gun’s invention added to man’s repertoire, but it didn’t change his inclination to kill.
What the gun did change is that it increased people’s ability to defend against the predators among us. If a huge man gives every indication that he intends to use his ham-like hands and jackbooted feet to beat me to death, or that wicked knife to stab me to death, my best defense as a small women is several gunshots fired off before he can close in on me. Likewise, an armed homeowner can stop the intruder at the door before a murder, rape, or robbery even has time to get started. (This video effectively makes that point.)
The Progressives also get it wrong when they claim that we should simply arm the police even more. For one thing, even nice, neighborhood cops can get a “the King of the world” complex if they’re running around in tanks, armed to the teeth, while unarmed citizens meekly obey them. In addition, unless the gun violence that results in a 911 call is part of a rolling dispute that takes place over a long period of time, cops usually get to the scene long after the mayhem is finished. The NRA summed up this practical reality by saying “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Indeed, if you have a Hurricane Katrina situation, the police may be days, weeks, or months away.
Bad things happen. That’s life. But it’s certain that, on the whole, the best way for good people to defend themselves against bad people is for the good people to be armed.
This principle isn’t undermined by the stories that routinely appear about kids dying tragically from a gun accident at home. Just as the problem in World War II wasn’t the guns but was the Nazis, too often the problem in those homes isn’t the guns it’s the parents. These are the homes in which parents use drugs or too much alcohol around the children, the homes that don’t have smoke detectors, the homes with small children that nevertheless have unprotected access to swimming pools, and of course the homes in which parents don’t follow basic gun safety rules. Their kids are unsafe under any circumstances.
Additionally, sometimes freak accidents just happen, with or without guns. When I lived in Texas, a woman died instantly when she tripped and crashed into her old sliding glass door, which shattered into razor-like shards, one of which severed her aorta. There is no such thing as perfect safety.
Even factoring in crimes, carelessness, and chance, the reality is that people are most safe when they have a gun. It is the best means by which they can defend themselves against all predators: humans, animals, ideologues, and governments.
E. The Only Way Gun-Control Activists Can Support Their Position Is To Lie.
And now we get to the reason that led me to write this manifesto. I’ve had several frustrating debates on Facebook with Progressives. These debates have revealed to me that I didn’t actually need to do all the above research to know that my fundamental principle – the Second Amendment is a good thing – is correct. What absolutely confirms the rightness of my cause is the fact that gun-grab proponents have only one way to support their cause: THEY LIE.
If you have to lie to support your position, you don’t have a case. It’s as simple as that.
Here are just some of the gun-grabbers’ lies:
The most recent lie to make the rounds [in June 2014, when I originally wrote this post] is a Google map purporting to show 74 gun murders at American schools since the Newtown shooting in December 2012.
I know that this map scares the living daylights out of my credulous DemProg friends on Facebook. They needn’t fear, though, since the map exemplifies the GiGo principle: garbage in; garbage out.
Charles C.W. Cooke admirably summed up the lies in the map, noting that the Washington Post exposes some of them, while Charles Johnson exposes the rest:
The Post is admirably clear that the map includes both colleges and schools, that it counts “any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds,” and that the data isn’t “limited to mass shootings like Newtown.” This point has also been made forcefully by Charles C. Johnson, who yesterday looked into each of the 74 incidents and noted that not only did some of them not take place on campuses but that “fewer than 7 of the 74 school shootings listed by #Everytown are mass shootings,” that one or more probably didn’t happen at all, that at least one was actually a case of self-defense, and that 32 could be classified as “school shootings” only if we are to twist the meaning of the term beyond all recognition.
Why do gun-grabbers promote these lies to credulous, willfully blind Progressives? Simple. The facts don’t support the premise that America’s schools are being turned into daily bloodbaths because of armed and crazed students. Moreover, they know that Progressives respond to fear and emotion, rather than facts and logic.
Or how about the claim that mass murderers are white, a lie intended to lend credence to the idea that we must disarm white people who are, by a small margin, the majority in America? In fact, mass murderers run the racial spectrum, with Asians having a slight edge. Using data from the far-Left Mother Jones magazine, Selwyn Duke ran the numbers and summarized his conclusions:
Of the last 20 mass killings of that period, 9 were perpetrated by non-whites.
That would be 45 percent, which exceeds non-whites’ 37 percent share of the population.
Of the last 30 mass killings, 11 were committed by non-whites — right at the 37 percent mark.
And what if we go all the way back to 1982? We then have 66 mass killings in which the races of the perpetrators were known, and 22 of them, or one-third, were at the hands of non-whites. Note here that America’s demographics have been changing, with non-whites comprising only about 20 percent of the population in 1982; thus, if we consider an approximate average non-white population of 28.5 percent during the 31-year period in question, it appears that, again, mass murderers are slightly disproportionately non-white.
In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that mass killings are a characteristically white phenomenon.
And there never was.
In fact, the group most disproportionately represented on the Mother Jones chart is Americans of Asian descent. While only 6 percent of the population, they have been 15 percent of the 31-year period’s last 20 mass killers, 13 percent of the last 30, and 9 percent of the last 66. This is quite interesting, too, since Americans of Asian descent have a very low crime rate in general.
Here’s another lie, one that our president himself voiced: In a speech on June 10, 2014, after another headline about white people getting shot, President Obama said, “We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens, and it happens now once a week. . . . I mean, our levels of gun violence are off the charts, there’s no advanced developed country on earth that would put up with this.” He added at another point in his speech that this level of killing is “becoming the norm.”
Obama is wrong in every way. As the data shows, we’ve returned to murder levels last seen in 1969, which means that we’re not getting more violent, we’re getting significantly less violent. And while correlation isn’t causation, there’s compelling evidence from Western nations the world over, not to mention the individual American states, that violence goes down when legal gun ownership goes up, and that violence goes up when legal gun ownership goes down. That’s a pretty strong correlation/causation argument.
Obama is also wrong insofar as he seems to be saying in his usual muddy fashion that mass murders are increasing in number. One doesn’t have to parse Obama’s speech to hear that point. Multiple Progressives commenters make the same point. Psychology Today said it; CNN said it; the Puffington Host said it; and the New York Times said it all the way back in 1988.
All those tea leaf readers are proving to be statistical illiterates. Mass murders are not on the rise. They are now, as they always have been, statistical outliers that cannot be predicted by pointing to any trends.
Wait, I misspoke. One specific type of mass murder is on the rise, throughout the world, in every one of its four corners. I speak, of course, of jihadist strikes. The jihadis will use anything – airplanes, bombs, knives and, yes, guns. As with the Nazis, though, the problem isn’t with the guns, it’s with the ideology. Banning guns in the face of this jihadist war is tantamount to a preemptive surrender, one that will see us all consigned to burqas and daily prayers to Allah.
Those are just some of the recent lies the Progressives have offered to support their efforts to grab guns. After every headline shooting in which lots of white people are killed (you never get those racist Progressive media outlets to do bold headlines when black people kill lots of black people), all the Progressives sagely intone that, had there been better gun control, these shootings wouldn’t have happened. Then, when you point out that these shootings invariably take place using legally obtained guns in heavily gun-controlled states and in designated “gun-free zones,” the same Progressives scream that you’re an idiot, a murderer, and a Nazi. And that’s when you know that you’re right.
Let me reiterate the point I made at the beginning of this section: You know you’re right if your opponent’s only evidence is fraudulent.
Every time a white (or Asian) person uses a gun to kill, Progressives reiterate their cry to do away with the Second Amendment. Their rationale: Guns kill people. More than that, they argue, unlike cars, guns serve no useful purpose but to kill. What they fail to understand is that the fact that guns kill is a useful feature, not a bug to be stomped out.
Any sane gun supporter will freely concede that guns can be used for evil purposes. What all gun grabbers refuse to concede, though, is that history and crime statistics establish with almost boring repetition a few facts:
Individuals with guns are (thankfully) inefficient killers when compared to individuals who use other ends to achieve their murderous goals (bombs, cars, planes, etc.). Even a few individuals working in concert cannot kill more than a few hundred people at a time. (And yes, that’s a few hundred too many, but it’s still less than innocents on the wrong ends of bombs, planes, etc.)
Armed governments facing off against their unarmed populations are massively efficient killers, often leaving tens of millions of dead bodies in their wake.
In the modern era, no government has attempted to go full-bore totalitarian when its citizens are armed.
Communities that have more law-abiding citizens with guns than criminals with guns are safe communities, a reality that would most benefit black Americans.
Jews die when they’re armed. They die in infinitely greater numbers when they’re unarmed.
And finally, when forced to leave behind sheer emotionalism (“Guns are bad because people die”) and to argue in the realm of fact, Progressiveds consistently lie. When your opponent lies, he has no case.
Guns kill . . . and that’s a good thing. By doing so, they serve as a bulwark protecting individual citizens from predatory people and governments. That’s why individual citizens must be stalwart in their defense of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, resisting all government efforts to grab their guns, something that would leave them vulnerable, not only to bad guys and jihadists, but to the government itself.
UPDATE: Someone sent me a brilliantly updated version of the picture at the head of this post:
UPDATE II: Here is one other post I did in the wake of Sandy Hook (when I was in the cross hairs in my home and community because of my Second Amendment support). While the post you just read provides reasons for supporting the Second Amendment, my other post counters the invariably false arguments Leftists make to justify gun grabs.
UPDATE III: If you’ve stuck with this post all the way through and liked what you read, you may be interested in a short ebook I published. Our Second Amendment Rights In Ten Essays takes the ideas in this post, as well as several other thoughts I’ve had about the Second Amendment and consolidates them into a short, accessible series of essays.