Max Brantley of The Arkansas Times again on 2-18-13 is complaining about those who believe strongly in the 2nd amendment.
Another good cartoon from Dan Mitchell’s blog on gun control. It seems that Colorado is the only state that has passed sensible gun control laws after a gun tragedy and that was after the 1999 Columbine shootings.
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Thank you for your interest in my and the Cato Institute’s perspective regarding the various legislative proposals that have been offered in response to the tragedy at Newtown. As you know, Cato is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty and limited government and so we are at the forefront of all public debates regarding constitutional civil rights — including the Second Amendment’s protection of the natural right to armed self-defense.
Being an advocate for individual rights and civil liberties can be difficult. When terrorists attack, when the economy fails, and yes, when evil visits elementary schools, the natural instinct is to demand security above all else. Politicians’ natural instinct is just do something, anything, that seems responsive to the crisis of the day.
A good example of this tendency is the law signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last month, which Cato research fellow Trevor Burrus dissects in a blogpost (“A Cosmetic Gun Law”) that I enclose here. See also the absurd situations that the District of Columbia’s draconian — but ineffectual — restrictions provoke, as I describe in a second attached blogpost (“D.C. Treats Celebrities Better Than Veterans, Illustrating the Absurdity of Gun Laws”).
Yet, as Cato’s chairman Bob Levy wrote after the Tucson shooting — I enclose his op-ed (“Gun Control Measures Don’t Stop Violence”) — no gun regulation has ever been shown to reduce the incidence of violent crime, suicide, or accidents. So found a 2004 National Academy of Sciences study that reviewed 253 journal articles, 99 books, and 43 government publications evaluating 80 gun-control measures. A year earlier, the Centers for Disease Control examined a host of policies, ranging from ammunition bans to waiting periods, registration to zero-tolerance laws — and likewise found no evidence that the laws reduced gun violence.
The problem, as I write in a second op-ed that I enclose (“Why I Still Support the Right to Bear Arms,” on which this letter is based), is that no law could make the 300 million firearms in America disappear, even if we wanted to do that. Even making it illegal to own a gun, were that constitutional, wouldn’t prevent a criminal or madman from doing his malevolent deed. Robust policies to prevent legal gun ownership only translate to guns being overwhelmingly possessed by those willing to break the law.
Indeed, Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and Sandy Hook Elementary is a “gun-free zone” — as was the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado (which is why the killer there chose it, passing up more convenient venues).
None of the measures at the top of gun-control advocates’ agenda — such as banning so-called assault weapons and closing gun-show loopholes — would’ve averted these shootings. And as you yourself demonstrated during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on January 30, adding certain cosmetic features such as pistol grips and bayonet mounts to ordinary hunting rifles does not in any way affect their functionality or otherwise transform them into weapons of war.
As Cato associate policy analyst David Kopel wrote in the third op-ed I’m enclosing (“Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown”), we’d be better off focusing on the identification and treatment of mental illness — the common factor in all these incidents — and ensuring that disqualifying records make it into the database used for background checks (which would’ve stopped the Virginia Tech shooter from buying his guns).
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have any gun regulations. Cracking down on “straw purchasers” is a good idea and military-grade weapons like fully automatic “machine guns” — or rocket launchers, as I told Stephen Colbert on his July 8, 2010 show — indeed have no place in civilian life.
On the other hand, it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to have a gun to protect herself or her family. That’s why the Second Amendment is so important: Americans cherish their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness so much that they instituted a government that protects their right to defend against anyone who would threaten them.
After the 1999 Columbine shootings, Colorado passed a series of laws that should serve as a national model (for states; the Constitution doesn’t give the federal government the power to enact most of the legislation that’s been floated lately.) As Kopel details in the fourth op-ed I’m enclosing (“Colorado Consensus on Gun Laws”), some of them consist of what people call “gun control,” while others are in the “gun rights” category. The most important one was the Concealed Carry Act, which has already saved countless lives, including at an Aurora church — three months before the theater shooting — where an off-duty cop killed a career criminal who was targeting congregants.
These cohesive measures are based on an obvious principle that enjoys broad public support: Guns in the wrong hands are dangerous, while guns in the right hands protect public safety — as Burrus details in the fifth op-ed that I enclose (“Face It: Guns Are Here to Stay”). The Second Amendment exists to protect the grand American experiment in self-government. Call me a “Constitution nut,” but I’m crazy about allowing people to live their lives with the maximum freedom possible.
If I could snap my fingers and end gun violence, I would. I would even take guns away from hunters and sportsmen if it meant better self-defense for the rest of us. Men aren’t angels, however, and, by definition, criminals don’t follow the law. Yes, in the wake of Newtown, my colleagues and I still support the right to bear arms.
Taking on Ark Times bloggers on the issue of “gun control” (Part 3) “Did Hitler advocate gun control?”
Gun Free Zones???? Stalin and gun control On 1-31-13 ”Arkie” on the Arkansas Times Blog the following: “Remember that the biggest gun control advocate was Hitler and every other tyrant that every lived.” Except that under Hitler, Germany liberalized its gun control laws. __________ After reading the link from Wikipedia that Arkie provided then I responded: [...]
Taking on Ark Times bloggers on the issue of “gun control” (Part 2) “Did Hitler advocate gun control?”
On 1-31-13 I posted on the Arkansas Times Blog the following: I like the poster of the lady holding the rifle and next to her are these words: I am compensating for being smaller and weaker than more violent criminals. __________ Then I gave a link to this poster below: On 1-31-13 also I posted [...]
Taking on Ark Times bloggers on the issue of “gun control” (Part 1) “Bill Clinton responsible some for Ft Hood gun control policy?”
Will “CARRYING HANDGUN IS PROHIBITED” poster work? Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute on gun control On 1-13-13 on the Arkansas Times Blog the person with the username “ArkDemocrat” stated, “I visited a church in another state that allows guns, and there was a sign similar to the “No Smoking” signs (i.e. smoking cigarette with [...]
Poster for November 2008 benefit for Pressly family, held at Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. ______________ Max Brantley of the Ark Times Blog often attacks those on my side of the gun control debate and that makes me argue even harder for the 2nd amendment. Several months ago Lindsey Miller and Max Brantley were talking [...]
I have posted some cartoons featured on Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they are very funny. An Amusing Look at Gun-Free Zones September 26, 2012 by Dan Mitchell I’ve shared a very clever Chuck Asay cartoon about gun-free zones, so let’s now enjoy four posters on the topic. Let’s begin with a good jab at one [...]
The recent killing by a mad gunman in CT is not indicating a trend. School killings have gone down and probably peaked in 1929. Nick Gillespie reported in the below video, “Across the board, schools are less dangerous than they used be. Over the past 20 years, the rate of theft per 1,000 students dropped [...]
Pretty shocking admissions from the liberal Jeffrey Goldberg on gun control. An Honest Liberal Writes about Gun Control December 16, 2012 by Dan Mitchell I wrote earlier this month about an honest liberal who acknowledged the problems created by government dependency. Well, it happened again. First, some background. Like every other decent person, I was horrified [...]
Despite what Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times Blog (1-9-13) would have you believe gun control does not make since unless you suspend your reasoning ability. There are so many examples that show how silly gun control is. Mocking Gun Control Fanatics October 18, 2012 by Dan Mitchell Last month, I shared some very amusing images [...]
It seems to me that most of the gun control arguments I have heard are not very logical. Deciphering How Statists Think about Gun Control September 9, 2012 by Dan Mitchell Even though I don’t own that many guns, I’m an unyielding supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Indeed, I use gun control as a quick and [...]
John Stossel report “Myth: Gun Control Reduces Crime After this horrible shooting in the school the other day it seems the gun control debate has fired up again. Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times jumped on Charlie Collins concerning his position on concealed weapons but I think that would lower gun crimes and not raise [...]