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Gun Ownership and the Liberal Blame Game


Law abiding gun owners have been targeted by numerous liberal scholars, media personalities and other troublemakers (i.e. Michael Moore) since Adam Lanza's mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. This should come as no surprise to anyone who, like myself, legally owns one or more firearms. Liberals have been using knee-jerk reaction tactics to attack gun owners for decades. As far as many of them are concerned, anyone who legally owns a firearm and supports the Second Amendment is somehow culpable whenever a gun is used to commit a murder or property crime.

The Journal News, a media outlet based in New York, recently published the names and addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Gawker published the names of all gun owners in New York City yesterday. While this information is considered a matter of public record, it is peculiar that it should be painstakingly collected and posted for all to see in the form of a conveniently interactive digital map as presented by The Journal News. Does this have any journalistic merit whatsoever? Certainly no justification or underlying reason was given for it. The information was simply put out there for all to see with absolutely no elaboration at all. It is beyond ludicrous that lawful handgun permit holders should be subjected to the same level of public exposure as registered sex offenders.

No shortage of blame has been placed on Nancy Lanza either, despite the fact that she was just as much a victim of her son's homicidal rampage as his other victims. Lionel Shriver, renowned journalist and author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, recently disparaged this approach in an opinion article published by The Guardian. Shriver rightly pointed out that none of the facts in Adam's case indicate that he had a history of overt homicidal tendencies prior to his awful crime. He also had no criminal record whatsoever. Some on the left have pointed out that Adam had Aspberger's Syndrome, which is a rather mild disorder. It has never been linked to homicidal behavior by any reputable psychological study. Nancy's only "crime" was being a gun enthusiast, which is just as odious as committing murder according to the doctrine of the liberal elites.

It is both ironic and amusing that gun detractors believe lawful gun owners should be singled out and carefully monitored or even disarmed by the U.S. Government.  How can anyone really have the audacity to assert that the government is necessarily a better steward of potentially dangerous weapons than private citizens?  Was it not the U.S. Government which negligently provided Mexican drug cartels with thousands of assault weapons as part of the Justice Department's "Operation Fast and Furious?" Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and murdered by a Mexican criminal who was wielding one of those weapons.  Yet not a single government official has spent a night in jail for this tragic injustice. Other examples of such government idiocy include arming the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1970s and Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime in Iraq during the 1980s. Sadly, politicians and bureaucrats hardly ever consider the consequences of their actions in the long run.

Gun ownership rates have at best questionable statistical significance as an independent factor of murder rates. Scandinavian countries have gun ownership per capita rates which are about one-third the rate of the United States. If all other factors which can be assumed to contribute to murder rates are held constant, hypothetically it would be logical to presuppose that Scandinavian countries have about one-third the number of homicides as the United States each year.  Switzerland's murder rate would be even higher, roughly half that of the U.S.  Clearly this is not the case for any of these countries. Their murder rates are infinitesimally lower than that. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that other factors play a much more considerable role in murder rates than gun ownership.

Many countries in the world have murder rates which greatly exceed those of the United States despite much lower gun ownership rates and stringent gun control laws. Mexico and Colombia, both renowned as havens for drug cartels, are two of them. Cartels such as Los Zetas in Mexico have no problem obtaining powerful firearms despite laws which should prevent them from doing so. My gun store attracts many immigrants from countries like Mexico and Colombia who lament that they had no way to protect themselves from violent criminals in their homelands.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about violent crime and murder rates in the U.S. is that they seem incredible compared to other westernized, high-income countries with democratic governments. However, the left is blatantly committing the fallacy of using correlation to imply causation. They never consider the possibility that gun ownership rates may, in fact, be the dependent variable rather than the independent variable. What if high gun ownership rates in the U.S. are an effect of relatively high violent crime rates and not the cause? I can testify from personal experience that self-defense is the number one reason my customers purchase guns from my gun store.  There are a lot of questions that liberal thinkers prefer to ignore because such avenues of thought run contrary to their sacred agenda.

Blaming innocent gun owners for social problems like murder and violence is just another form of scapegoating. The potential root causes of the perceived American propensity toward violence and crime are too numerous to list here, but they remain very much debatable. The focus of the discussion needs to shift toward discovery and away from blame. Gun owners feel just as much sympathy for Adam's victims as those who do not own guns. We care about our families and our children no less than anyone else. We share just as much concern over the relatively high levels of violent crime which exist in the United States. So why do so many liberal elites gleefully demonize us rather than engage us in a meaningful dialog about the issues we all face together?

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