RON HART: Self-Control Before Gun Control
With the help of a sensationalizing press and of the entertainment business, which makes the pernicious and violent video games and movies that I think play the biggest role in mass shootings, liberals predictably seized upon the Parkland shooting rampage to call for more gun control.
There are two hypocrisies here: First, Democrats, Hollywood, government officials and the mainstream press are all protected by gun-toting security. They are safe precisely because their guards have guns — which ghettos, farms and trailer parks do not. The Mayor of Nashville has a personal security guard; she even found extra government work for him on the side.
Second, if more laws and gun control really worked, all mass shootings could just be outlawed. The FBI didn’t follow up on tips. And the deranged shooter, Cruz, was visited by police 39 times, once after he put a gun to someone’s head. If you cannot enforce laws you have, why do you want to layer more laws on the current ones? Oh yeah — and the cowardly sheriff’s deputy at the school resigned, presumably to join the French Army.
Senate Minority Leader Up-Chuck Schumer aligns himself with other famous world leaders who forced gun control: Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jung-Il, Moammar Gadhafi and Hugo Chavez.
When you are told by politicians that you do not need the Second Amendment, that’s when you need it most. John Adams said, “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of country, overthrow of tyranny or private defense.” With Obama weaponizing agencies like the IRS and FBI against citizens, we might have needed guns sooner.
We live in an increasingly divided country. Half of us want to be protected by Trump and the other half wants to be protected from him — although, surprisingly, Trump is open to gun law changes. Mass shootings play to Trump’s themes. As Ann Coulter has observed, first- and second-generation immigrants have committed a large and notable number of all mass shootings since 2000. That’s Trump’s sweet spot.
If done with reason and not emotion, I could see streamlining the many gun laws we have that are not enforced now and replacing them with better ones.
Sadly, facts seldom matter in politics. You’d think we are a gun-murder based economy. Not so. According to Dr. Alan Bates, “Murder rates nationwide have dropped 52 percent over 20 years …violent crime by 49 percent to a 41-year low (FBI stats), synchronous with 41 states adopting ‘right to carry’ laws.”
In every one of my columns about guns, I have said that we need a balanced study on guns – and not from the hysterical hyenas on opposing sides. We shouldn’t use polls just from the NRA or Chuck Schumer’s Upper Eastside condo board. With the results, and after the emotion of a school shooting has faded and reason can prevail, perhaps we can dispel myths and reduce some of the bureaucracy surrounding gun ownership.
Only 323 deaths a year are caused by assault weapons. In one recent year, 496 Americans were killed with hammers, 650 with knives, and 12,000 people died because of drunk drivers. Millions of Americans are dying from obesity-related causes; perhaps a one-week waiting period to buy a Twinkie is next? Or confiscation of all forks?
Delta Air Lines cowarded and said it was no longer going to award members of the NRA discounts on flights. It was later determined that 13 folks took those discounts last year. Bold move, Delta. Then Dick’s Sporting Goods said it will stop selling certain “assault rifles,” and celebs predictably applauded. Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres and k.d. lang, who had never much been into Dick’s their whole lives, suddenly were.
Of course, George Clooney, protected in his jets by armed security guards, gave money for an anti-gun march. George is at that awkward career stage, too old for leading man roles but too young for Life Alert or a Jitterbug phone, so he opines on politics for attention.
Manly stars of the 60s were different than the knee-jerk liberal actors of today. The great Dean Martin summed up the gun debate best when he was charged by a district attorney with two felony counts of carrying a loaded .38 handgun. The media threw him into the debate by asking as he was leaving the jail, “Mr. Martin, do you think everyone should have a gun?” He said, “No, preferably just me.”
A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron is a frequent guest on CNN. He can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.