Eroding your rights |

Eroding your rights

Tom Riggins

Imagine that in order to write for a media source you must be licensed by state and federal agencies. In order to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or submit a comment to a media source such as Facebook you must first undergo a background check to determine your suitability to participate.

States could impose greater restrictions than the federal government. For example, in one state you might have to be 16 to purchase pens or paper. Your smart phone or tablet and their installed apps may not be legal from state to state.

Some states become so concerned about the influence your writings may have on others they pass laws enabling virtually anyone to register a complaint about your mental stability. That could be anything from the church you attend, the company you keep, or your views that may run counter to the prevailing moving target of political correctness. If you are arrested, searched, and pertinent items seized, you have no due process. You are required to prove your innocence.

Think the infringement on that right can’t happen? Think again. It is already happening. Simple substitute “firearm” for “writing” in the preceding paragraphs and it is perfectly clear that eroding your rights is alive and well.

With the spate of recent mass shootings a discussion of the Second Amendment seems appropriate. All politicians seem to see that “government must do something.” What is never entirely clear, facts be damned. The bottom line is that more restrictions are proposed on firearms ownership. The problem is the idea that government can solve this problem. They have done so well with other problems like poverty, veteran care, and education so what can go wrong?

The facts are on the side of gun owners. Facts are never listened to when they get in the way of an agenda. You will never change the mind of a gun control advocate. Nonetheless, facts can be useful when you engage a gun control advocate. Just keep in mind that the discussion is for the benefit of anyone else listening to the discussion, not for the control advocate.

Here are a few facts that might help. Of all the mass shootings in the last few years, it has been publicly admitted that either existing laws were not properly enforced or that proposed “solutions” such as universal background checks would not have prevented the shooting.

The municipalities with the highest gun crime and murder rates are universally those with the most restrictive firearms laws. More people were killed by firearms in Chicago in one weekend than the total casualties in the last three mass shootings. Likewise, nearly all the successful mass shootings occurred in venues where guns were banned.

There are 30,000 reported gun related deaths per year in the U.S. Subtracting suicides, law enforcement, and accidental discharges leaves about 5,100 deaths due to gun violence. There are about 325 million people, plus a few uncounted illegals, in the U.S. 5,100 is two ten-thousandths percent of the population. There are 393 million firearms legally owned in the U.S. Violent deaths are one ten-thousandth of a percent of total legal guns.

There are 276 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. and about 37,500 traffic fatalities annually. So there are 19 times more traffic deaths than violent gun deaths yet you can obtain a driver’s license with only a test. If you are illegal, that might even be waived. There are no background checks, no red flag laws, and no fear causes by that lethal piece of metal and plastic.

Of those 5,100 deaths, 25 percent occur in four cities, Chicago, rat-infested Baltimore, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. Those cities have the strictest gun laws in the nation. Add California’s additional 23 percent and that leaves 2,650 for the rest of the nation.

200,000 people die annually from preventable medical errors. 710,000 people die from heart disease. 40,000 die from drug overdoses. So why are guns the problem?

They want your guns. In any government overthrow, the first thing that happens is gun confiscation. The second is a takeover of the media. The first act enables the second.

I maintain that gun control is sexist. A firearm equalizes the difference between a woman and her usually larger attacker. It could also be considered racist, as many of the high crime cities are predominantly minorities. Regardless, one short-term solution to gun violence is less gun-free zones and more guns in the hands of the good guys.