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Here is a link to a video that I sent to about a dozen friends last week:

It is one of a series of videos by Bill Whittle called “Virtual President.”  The folks to whom I sent the email ranged from the far right to the far left on gun control and most other things political.  One email that I received in return was from a friend who is considerably more liberal than I.  We’ll call her Jane Doe.  Here is her email:

As usual, we disagree! It seems to me that this presentation is highly misleading, starting with its staging. Bill Whittle makes it look as if he is addressing a joint session of congress, alternating views of him speaking with closeups of senators and representatives (John Kerry, Pau Ryan) listening. But of course he never addressed a joint session of congress so that these images are taken out of context. 

Then he goes on to give statistics for the number of people murdered by rifles, but he doesn’t mention that the great majority of murder victims were killed, not by rifles, but by handguns. In 2010, there were 6,009 handgun murders to 358 rifle murders, so his argument is clearly deceptive. 

Then he talks about the “fact” that a million to 2.5 million murders were prevented by firearms. Any statistics with this kind of range are clearly unreliable, but in this case Whittle seems to be basing his argument on a thoroughly discredited survey by Gary Kleck. In fact, a study from 2014 of police records and media reports found 1,600 reports of successful defensive use firearms. 

There have been a number of comparative studies of states with similar ethnic and economic situations which show that strict laws reduce gun violence. Also, one can compare the U.S. to Canada which has rigorous gun laws. We lived in Canada for two years and my husband was an avid hunter so he was allowed to keep his guns, but the rate of death by firearms is much, much lower in Canada, presumably as a result of regulation. According to an article in Wikipedia, comparing gun deaths in various countries, the rate in Canada is 1.97 per 100,000, whereas in the U.S. it is 10.54. 

I then wrote back to her at about the same time another friend wrote to her.  Below is my email followed by my other friend’s letter to her:

Dear Jane Doe,

Bill Whittle does a series called Virtual President in which he portrays himself as the Virtual President and what he would say if speaking to Congress.  This is one of those videos.  No deception intended, just a way of expressing his opinions.

I agree with you that he has cherry picked statistics to use rifles, not the more prevalent tool, the handgun.  He was, however, speaking to the issue of “military assault rifles.”  He did not address the handgun issue, I don’t believe.

I also agree with your feeling that the 1,000,000 to 2.5M gun defenses is fishy at best.  It is neither his strongest point, nor do I feel, one he should be making lacking provable numbers.

I accept your numbers comparing Canada and the U.S. as to gun deaths.  I have seen quite a few different numbers, but, each study I have seen comes to the same general conclusion that Canada suffers significantly fewer gun deaths per capita than the U.S.  Is that due to increased availability of guns? Or, might it be other societal issues?

What I don’t see is your comparison of other statistics between the U.S. and Canada.  The U.S. has about 16 times as many rapes as Canada.  Is that due to increased availability of guns?  The U.S. appears to have about three times the number of murders per capita than Canada.  Is that due to increased availability of guns?  The U.S. seems to have about 6 times more prisoners than Canada.  Is that due to increased availability of guns?   Why not compare Canada to the U.S. as to highway deaths?  According to your source, Wikipedia, the USA has 12% more highway deaths per Capita than Canada, over 26% more highway fatalities per 100,000 vehicles, and 43% more highway fatalities per million miles driven than Canada.   You might want to suggest that the U.S. ban automobiles.  In fact, why is there no significant anti-auto lobby, like there is an anti-gun lobby?

The main point of Mr. Whittle’s piece is to defend the Constitution and in particular, the 2nd Amendment.  It is his belief that the reason for the 2nd Amendment is first and foremost to allow free citizens to protect themselves from tyranny.  Significantly, it is the tyranny of government that triggered the need for the 2nd Amendment.  He also feels that there is a political element in our society that finds it very easy to demonize guns and gun ownership for political gain.

See some interesting comparisons between USA and Canada at:

(http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Canada/United-States/Crime)

I think Mr. Whittle makes a strong point that the anti-gun politicians need to propose a 28th Amendment (to repeal the 2nd Amendment) and see how that flies.  That would be the honest way to see how their constituents feel about the issue.  Unfortunately, it is much easier for them to repeal parts of the Constitution by nibbling with one new regulation/law after another until the Constitution is neutered. It makes me wonder if the goal of the “gun control politicians” is truly gun control or if it is not “People Control.”

Thanks for taking the time to watch the video.

Then the letter from the other friend to Jane Doe:

 

Dear Jane Doe,

And a good thing it is!
All discussions of firearms, right to self-defense, who should own what and the like are “highly deceptive,” regardless of position.

I would put Whittle’s hoax up against the Press’ sticking a camera into the face of a mother first viewing a dead child – both are obscene.

I will be the first to admit that I do not know the “statistics” of murder-by-firearms, and point that there are a good many such: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=firearm+murders&go=Go&searchToken=4xc39euwfkqjyo2suzdfmc7hs

One could spend much time arming oneself with poignant fact (and many advocates do), but I wish for (inter)national debate on the subject, involving scholars, legislators, think tanks (Brookings, CATO and other serious ponderers) – and just plain people, selected for interest and common sense.

Just think – what if we, as a nation, actually THOUGHT about it?!  Imagine a new way of exploring issues, where the interest of the Nation, not just of the Party, is at stake!  An alternative to our Brave New World?    (May God help us!)

Discussions of Canada – such as Michael Moore’s film on guns – make the point that Canadians own at least as many guns per capita as we, yet do not use them on each other.  (He also pointed out that many do not lock their door.)

How/why are we different?

  • we are a spectacular target for many – terrorists and nuts.  But denying us self-defense will not help that.
  • we have huge crime areas, and their denizens kill each other, far and away more frequently than ordinary americans bump each other off.   Such areas already forbid ownership of guns, but that clearly does not help; they get them anyhow.  (And would use knives or clubs if they couldn’t).
  • our government fosters and keeps alive simmering suspicion of various groups for each other, racial, ethnic and economic, by rhetoric and ukase.  This does nothing to ease tensions; quite the contrary, our parties encourage Us vs Them sentiments, so that we live in a Lockean Hell of all against all.  When bad feeling erupts, people reach for whatever weapon is at hand.  But if it were not a gun, it would be something else – also deadly.
  • there are more reasons, of course, but I am not writing a dissertation.

What are the unspoken, unacknowledged positions of the parties on Gun Control?  How do they view the inhabitants of the US?

Republicans – Jefferson’s view of us: mature, responsible citizens, answerable (and called upon to answer) for our deeds, who have as much to fear from government as to hope for from it.  He builds upon the long-standing lessons derived from english civil history as well as upon the brilliance of certain french enlightenment thinkers in formulating a simple, compelling contract between the citizen and the law – than which there never to this day has been better, and whose sanctity approaches that of God’s Covenant, and we would do well to heed His edict: “not a jot or tittle!”

Democrats – helpless, lost and forlorn children whom they must rescue, succor and elevate.  Privileged with as-yet unnumbered Entitlements, many more to come, they, the Dems, as their custodians are pledged to enforce these – against the Rest, those uninformed, uncaring and largely indifferent Masses out there who would selfishly deny privilege (citizenship, ability to use any bathroom, marry anyone, have television and cellphones et cetera) and money (that of the Masses) to those whom the Dems have selected as Worthy.

Small wonder at the difference of positions; who would give guns to children?

The larger problem is not guns/se, but what is becoming of us: are we wards of Big Brother?  It seems that many are rushing to become so.

Maybe that is why the rest voted for Trump?!

 

I sure like his description of the unspoken, unacknowledged positions of the parties on gun control.  It could apply to their positions on most things.

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The current “gun control” drive by politicians in Washington, D.C. and state capitals has little if anything to do with gun control and everything to do with people control and politics.

What do you think is the likelihood that passing gun control laws will reduce gun crime?

Thanks to InsiderLouisville.com

Thanks to InsiderLouisville.com

An article today on the Political Outcast Blog describes murders committed with microwave ovens, kitchen spatulas, and toilet tank lids.  The obvious rhetorical question is, “Should we do background checks before you can buy one of these?  The equally obvious answer is, “No.”

About two thirds of all gun related deaths in the United States are suicides.  Do you think that limiting the size of a magazine would have any effect on this statistic?  So why all the noise and new laws?

I think that much of the law passed in Congress and at the state level is politicians looking for ways to show their constituents that they are doing something.  I also think that very little of it does much other than buy a few votes here and there.

Gun Control laws are far less likely to prevent a single death than they are to do two other things that I think are really important to the politicians:

1.  They help secure votes;

2.  They increase political control over the population and increase the need for more government employees to handle the paperwork and enforcement issues created by the bills.

It appears that the areas of our country with the strictest gun controls may have the highest gun death statistics.  However, the opposite conclusion recently came from a carefully crafted study by the CDC.  The facts seem to lie somewhere in between.

Trying to say this city or that state has higher gun related deaths because it has stricter or more lax gun control measures is just part of the politicization of the topic.  It would now appear that demographics may play a bigger part than laws or lack of them.  As a general rule, more gun homicides occur in urban poor areas than rural moderate income areas.  More suicides by firearm occur in rural areas than urban.

Gun related homicides are far greater in urban areas which tend to have much stricter gun control laws and denser, poorer populations.  Especially when only gun related homicides are included, it appears that more gun restrictions equals more homicides.   Gun related suicides and accidental deaths (hunting accidents, etc.) are far greater in rural areas and the West where gun laws are generally more lax.   When suicides and accidental deaths are included with homicides, it appears that lax gun laws cause more gun deaths.  So studies that want to show statistics in favor of gun control, look at total gun deaths.  Those studies and media reports that want to show that restrictive gun laws do not lower gun related deaths emphasize only the homicide numbers.  Again, it’s politics, not solutions to problems.

An honest discussion of the problem would have a very large component concerning mental health, family breakdown, PTSD, gangs, etc., and less talk of how we can take guns from those who hold them legally.

What do you think?

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