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No such thing as gun control

Connor Roth | Sunday, February 3, 2013

After reading anti-gun editorials ad nauseam, I figured I’d respond to many of those articles first with a political perspective and then secondly by exploring the practicality of gun control laws. With this end in mind, I would like to introduce readers to a quote made popular by blogger and radio host Stefan Molyneux: “If you are for gun control, then you’re not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. You’ll need to go around, pass laws and shoot people who resist … just to take away guns. So it’s not that you’re anti-gun … you just believe that only the government should be allowed to have guns. So there’s no such thing as gun control, there’s only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small political elite.” Molyneux is bringing up the obvious: Gun owners will not simply turn in their guns because Congress or the president tells them to. Guns will be necessary to collect guns, and thus force will be required to disarm the public. With “pro-gun centralization” laws, society will only be taking the individual’s natural right to defend him/herself away. But then again, maybe gang members will cooperate if you just say, “Please follow orders.”
As I mentioned in my previous article, Republicans and Democrats alike have the same goal – making society better off for all individuals. But what I do not understand is if classic liberalism emphasizes the importance of individual rights, why do so many liberals stand against the Second Amendment? In a recent article on the Daily Kos, widely considered a relatively progressive blog, author Kailil Joy Gray discusses how the typical liberal loves the Constitution, excluding one particular passage in the Bill of Rights. She opens her article by addressing the fact the Bill of Rights protects individual rights and analyzes the repeated diction in the document – “the right of the people” – encompassed in the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments. Gray continues her argument by stating if liberals stand for individual rights, they should also support the right to protect one’s self.
Many gun centralists will cite the passage in the Second Amendment regarding “the Militia” as exclusive to former servicemen and women, but fail to realize in chapter 13, section 311 (2b) of the U.S. Code, the document defines “militia,” reading,”The unorganized militia, consisting of [those] who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.” This includes all people, all individuals. We are all endowed by our Creator with the right to defend ourselves –  not given by Congress, but by God. Many people often forget the Second Amendment was also designed to protect society from government tyranny, which is no less relevant today than it was in 1776; look at the expansion of the military-industrial complex of the past 20 years, the Patriot Act, forced government healthcare, public surveillance, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” drone strikes abroad – the list goes on and on, whether or not people choose to admit the truth.
After catastrophes like Sandy Hook, gun centralizers will take full advantage of the public disbelief to promote their agenda. After a particularly violent weekend in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel was infamously quoted for stating, “Let no crisis go to waste.” Many of you probably saw Piers Morgan’s debates with Alex Jones and Ben Shapiro. Piers based his argument for “gun control” on the sheer number of gun-related crime in America: About 8500 homicides were committed in the United States throughout 2011, while Great Britain had only 59 (Britain has a complete gun ban for the public). But, his argument”fewer guns equal fewer crimes” falls apart when one examines the violent crime rates in each respective country. The United Kingdom was named the second most violent country in the European Union with between 766 and 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Britain has a different definition of “violent crime” than the United States, making the true number an estimate somewhere inside the given range. This is opposed to 466 per every 100,000 in the United States. Next, we hear only semi-automatic rifles should be taken away, yet no one mentions 68 of the 142 guns used in the 62 mass shootings since 1982 were semi-automatic handguns, while only 35 of the weapons were assault rifles. So, my question to gun centralizers is, “Why not start going after handguns instead of assault rifles if they are much more prevalent in mass homicides?”
Once society moves past the fear and passion left by these tragedies, hopefully we will stop taking the bait offered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and President Obama, claiming “gun owners don’t care about child safety” or that “guns make us less safe.” Violence exists in the heart and mind, not in a weapon. If we want to prevent another Sandy Hook or Columbine from occurring, society needs to tackle the root of the problem, not simply focus on the means to those catastrophic ends.

Connor Roth is a sophomore economics major and constitutional studies minor. He can be reached at
[email protected]
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.