Thursday, August 04, 2016

Democrats renew gun control measures for the campaign and beyond

The New York Times sees a renewal of Democrat’s efforts to increase restrictions on guns. The newspaper says that after 20 years of holding back on the gun control initiative, “a string of mass shootings involving high-powered weapons, rising anxiety about domestic terrorism, and killings of and by police officers have emboldened Democrats. They say the shootings are intensifying support for gun control, elevating weapons policy to a top-tier issue, with particularly strong appeal to suburban female voters.”

Democrats, The Times says, will press the case for new restrictions in political races across the country that will include expanded background checks, new limits on gun purchases and increased scrutiny on gun makers and dealers, all of which is buoyed by polls they say show strong support for these measures.

National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, however, the American public would ultimately reject added gun control because Democrats, while cloaking their gun agenda in the language of “common sense,” really want to go much further. “The political elites and D.C. politicians don’t understand Middle America,” she said. “They don’t understand that voters support the Second Amendment and the individual right to self-protection.” The NRA says Clinton would put an individual’s right to self-defense at risk.

Connecticut Democrat Senator Christopher Murphy agrees that Clinton and other gun control advocates are committed to making the issue a major theme of the campaign, and should she win the November election will continue it in her presidency. “This issue is a core value for Hillary Clinton and it is good politics,” Murphy said. 

Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, also supports the idea that gun control will be a presidential initiative. Kaine has long been an advocate for stricter gun laws, moved by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 when he was Virginia’s Governor. The shooting, in which a South Korean student with mental health problems killed 32 students and faculty, prompted Kaine to seek to bar the mentally ill from acquiring guns. 

This idea has merit, but is fraught with potential danger in the hands of liberals, who so often fail to use due care in creating policy, and create as many problems as they solve. Liberals have the bad habit of indulging in what Dr. Thomas Sowell calls “stage-one thinking,” which ignores possible downstream results in order to rush through some “wonderful” idea.

In fact, the 2016 Democrat Party Platform states: “While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe.” 

One of the favored talking points in support of restricting the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families, and restrict their use of firearms for sport and recreation is that 30,000 people die in America each year from guns.

For the sake of discussion, let’s accept that 30,000 figure, which – taken all by itself, without context – is shocking. That’s a lot of people. 

However, when context is applied, that number seems substantially less damning. Considered as part of the roughly 320,000,000 total population of the United States, it represents just .0001 percent. That means each American has a one in ten thousand chance of dying from a gunshot each year. And that doesn’t dig down into the details of gun deaths, showing how many are accidents, suicides, or justified shootings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 20 times more people die from heart disease each year than from guns, and nearly that many die from cancer. More people – 42,700 – die from “intentional self-harm (suicide)” than from gun violence. 

In 2013, according to, which cites data from the CDC, motor vehicle deaths totaled 35,369, all homicides were 16,121, and in 2014, drug overdoses claimed 47,055 lives. 

Gun deaths do not appear on the list of the top ten causes of death in America. In fact, The Times quotes FBI data showing slightly more than 8,000 gun homicides in 2014, quite a difference from the overhyped 30,000 figure.

Conspicuously missing from the liberal tirade is that guns are inanimate objects, incapable of doing anything on their own. Like such things as hammers, kitchen knives and automobiles, guns are under the control of their user. Is this simple concept too complex for liberals to understand?

Or perhaps it just gets in their way: They know and understand that a disarmed populace is a compliant populace.

The Patriot Post notes, “This year’s [DNC] platform doesn’t even bother to mention the words ‘Second Amendment’ … Drafters opted instead for the meaningless tripe about how ‘gun ownership is a part of the fabric of many communities.’ Fabric can be changed. Rights endowed by our Creator cannot.”

The actions of average Americans tell a story different from Democrats. reports that women obtaining concealed carry permits increased at twice the rate of men from 2012 to 2016. And the Crime Prevention Research Center notes that the murder rate fell by16 percent between 2007 and 2015.

Yet again Democrats are wrong about what Americans think.

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