Newtown, Conn: The Failure of Gun Control

The nation was almost catatonic in reaction to the mass murder of 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut.  The first reaction now wearing off, we are hearing calls from all quarters for “meaningful action” (Obama), and for “Immediate action” (Bloomberg).

The nation is unaware of a potential mass murder in Clackamas, Oregon, at the Town Center Mall, where a gunman killed two people, was confronted by an armed civilian with a pistol, and promptly turned the rifle on himself and committed suicide.

In the meantime, no children were murdered in any of the schools of Israel, where teachers and assisting parents are armed to the teeth.

The problem is not the ready availability of guns, any more than an abundance of water is claimed to be the leading cause of drowning.  The problem is stupidity.

In every single case of firearms, whether they are obtained legally or illegally, numerous laws are broken in the illegal use of those firearms.  In the Sandy Hook shooting, gun control laws at the municipal, the state and the federal level were broken.  To say that these gun-control laws were ineffectual is to state the obvious.

What the nation’s media and politicians can’t seem to fathom is that MORE gun-control laws will simply result in an environment where more sick and evil people will pull these crimes off with maximum effect before being stopped.

Gun control laws cause mass murders!

Passing laws against drowning will not reduce the numbers of drowning each year.  Educating people will.  In the case of guns, educating and arming teachers and college students will reduce the ability of every gunman to kill large numbers of innocent victims.

The time has come to return to common sense – let’s repeal most (if not all) gun control laws, and instead let’s do the following:

  • make firearm safety education mandatory, from K-12 in our schools;
  • train our children to shoot safely, in voluntary programs, starting in grade one (using cork guns);
  • set up marksmanship teams for students in high school, who compete with other schools in tournaments, leading up to state championships, just like we do with football and basketball;
  • give bonuses to teachers willing to be armed and proficient in the use of their weapons, including contingency training on what to do when a mad man enters their school building or classroom;
  • deputize hundreds, if not thousands of citizens in every county to carry, everywhere, at all times;  (These will be responsible citizens with a good record, having passed safety and proficiency tests, and may well require testing every few years to upgrade skills, check etc.)

Will all this prevent more shootings?  No, probably not.  Will it reduce the damage that a single crazy person can inflict?  Without a doubt.

So, how about a War on Stupidity – one the government is not allowed to manage, please!  After the War on Poverty and the War on Terror, we know that government is not qualified to make any project turn out right.

With the restoration of what our Founding Fathers considered a right against which no restrictions should be placed (“unalienable”), notably the right to keep and bear arms, responsible and sensible men and women are capable of protecting the children who are under their care.

In other words, a return to Constitutional Law will solve this problem, and the hysteria can begin to subside.  More government is not the answer – government is the problem.

© December, 2012

 

Daniel D. New
P.O. Box 100
Iredell, Texas 76649

[email protected]

Update Dec 2012

Dear friends of liberty and freedom:

The election is over and “The people” have spoken.  Or, did MSM speak using “The people’ as puppets using questionable vote counting mechanisms?  We may never know for sure.

To read the Thank You message from our  presidential candidate, Virgil Goode and comments from our National Chairman, Frank Fluckiger, click here for News at a Glance #14.

For an analysis of the election by VP candidate and former National Chairman, Jim Clymer, click here.

Texas activity and inquiries have really picked up just before and after the election.  I’ve received more emails and phone calls than ever before.  A lot of people are fed up with both major parties and finding out about us.

Please mention our party to friends of like mind to help promote the party.  If you have an interest in becoming a party leader and organizing your county, please contact me.

Dues paid now are much appreciated and will be considered paid for 2013.   Donations are always welcome. CP-dual_200

For those who might be coin collectors we have a limited supply of 20th anniversary one ounce 99.9% pure copper medallions available.  Click on the picture to right of this page or visit our “Store” for more information.  These medallions make an excellent Christmas gift and promote the party as well as offer investment opportunity.

I wish all our members, friends and supporters a Merry, Memorable and Safe Christmas.

Bob Eoff

Texas Chairman

P.S.  Yes, I said “Christmas”    Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.

christ-in-christmas

A Convenient Scapegoat

In this column last week, I took sportscaster Bob Costas to task for his inane comments regarding the murder-suicide deaths committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Costas ignorantly and irrationally blamed the deaths of Jovan and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, on “our current gun culture.” Costas naively said, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

See my column on Bob Costas at:

http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/archives/5301

Well, here is another tragic story of an NFL player’s untimely death. This time the team is the Dallas Cowboys. USA Today covers the story:

“For the second time in a week, from one Saturday to the next, another young professional football player is dead at the age of 25 and another NFL team is grieving after allegations of a terrible and tragic crime.

“Last weekend, it was Kansas City. This weekend, it’s Dallas. The circumstances are different, but the results are eerily similar. Two players are gone: One by his own hand in front of his coach and general manager in the parking lot of the team’s practice facility; the second in the morgue after a night out with a teammate, who is now sitting in an Irving, Tex., jail cell while his teammates fly to Cincinnati for Sunday’s game.

“One week after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his nearly 3-month-old daughter and then killed himself, the Cowboys are mourning the loss of a teammate while another has been arrested for intoxication manslaughter.

“Nose tackle Josh Brent, who was to have started this Sunday against the Bengals, was arrested early Saturday morning after the car he was driving flipped over, killing his lone passenger, Cowboys practice-squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent’s teammate not only in Dallas but also at the University of Illinois from 2007-09.”

See the report at:

redirect.tinyurl.com/ap…

So, why didn’t Bob Costas get on national television and say, “If Josh Brent didn’t possess a car, Jerry Brown would be alive today”? Why? Because Bob Costas doesn’t think critically, that’s why! He simply regurgitates the same antiquated anti-gun rhetoric he hears from his pro-gun-control buddies.

But it’s true: if the gun is to blame for Belcher and Perkins’ deaths, the car is to blame for Brown’s death.

And speaking of cars and guns, the total number of deaths nationwide from the misuse of firearms pales in comparison to the total number of deaths from the misuse of automobiles. Yet, I don’t hear the Bob Costases of the world screaming for “automobile-control.” Come on, folks, get real! Plus, as Larry Pratt and others have already noted, firearms in the possession of American citizens are actually used to protect the lives of people some 4,000 to 6,000 times A DAY. When Costas said, “Handguns do not enhance our safety,” not only was he wrong, he was miserably wrong! Handguns DO enhance our safety–not to mention our liberty!

Look at the city of Chicago. More people have been murdered in the city of Chicago this year than soldiers killed in Afghanistan. One hundred and forty-four US troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012, while 228 people have been murdered so far in 2012 in The Windy City.

According to The Huffington Post, “The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.”

See the report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/chicago-homicide-rate-wor_n_1602692.html

Yet, Chicago, Illinois, has some of the strictest gun-control laws in America. Then again, maybe that’s one of the reasons why so many people are killed in Chicago. The laws of this city forbid honest citizens from being armed and, thus, they are unable to defend themselves. Let the good guys start shooting back and one will see a dramatic lapse of courage among miscreants. Don’t believe that? Check out the violent crime rates in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, or Vermont.

This modern infatuation with blaming inanimate objects for acts of immorality and impropriety is nothing short of epidemic! Of course, the reason for this madness is it facilitates the expansion of government into the minutest details of our lives. Big-Government zealots have an innate fear of power and responsibility resting in individuals. They see government as the only suitable source of power. To big-government toadies, individuals are merely the property of government. To them, government bureaucrats can do nothing wrong, while individual citizens can do nothing right. Hence, to big-government hacks, only government officials have the right to keep and bear arms.

The same reasoning applies to America’s so-called “War on Drugs.” Marijuana, especially, is blamed for all kinds of immoral and unsavory conduct, even though the overwhelming evidence simply does not support the accusation.

My youngest son, Timothy, is a former Florida Assistant State Attorney who is now in private practice. Regarding marijuana as being a source of criminal conduct, he wrote, “Drawing from my own personal experience, I see the absurdity of the ‘war on marijuana.’ During my time as a prosecutor at the Florida State Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2006 where I handled literally thousands of criminal cases and tried nearly 60 jury trials, I was never impressed that marijuana was the cause of any criminal activity. Oh sure, possession of marijuana charges comprised a large number of my criminal cases; but the criminal act was merely the man-made law of possession of marijuana. In fact, most criminal activities were in large part caused by alcohol, where one who consumed too much alcohol became violent; beat his wife; neglected his children; drove drunk and hurt someone; caused a disturbance of the peace; or other similar evils.

“I saw those alcohol-related cases every day. Yet, I cannot say the same regarding marijuana. I would estimate that of the thousands of cases I handled, at least half (if not more) were a direct cause of alcohol consumption or addiction. Yet, alcohol is legal and marijuana is illegal.”

See Tim’s column at:

http://newswithviews.com/Timothy/baldwin159.htm

In fact, marijuana was not even considered harmful or illegal in the United States until 1937, as Tim pointed out in his column. Most people would probably be surprised to learn that four out of our first five presidents not only promoted the use of the hemp plant, but also grew it. Can one imagine putting George Washington or Thomas Jefferson in jail for growing what we now call marijuana? Egad!

The idea that the use of marijuana is harmful because “it leads to hard drugs” is tantamount to saying that beer is harmful because “it leads to hard liquor.” But it’s just not true! There are tens of millions of people who drink responsibly, or who use alcohol medicinally (as prescribed even by Holy Scripture), who never become alcoholics. Likewise, there are tens of millions of marijuana users who use it responsibly or medicinally, who never go on to use hard drugs or become drug addicts. And when it comes to addictions, Americans’ addiction to sugar and laziness kills far more people than those addicted to alcohol–or even tobacco for that matter.

But by making marijuana responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it has helped provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights and create huge bureaucracies, which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.

The same is true for firearms. By making guns responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it helps provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights (in this case the Second Amendment) and create huge bureaucracies (the ATF among others), which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.

Marijuana is a convenient scapegoat. Firearms are a convenient scapegoat. Automobiles, on the other hand, are not so convenient! Hence, we hear nothing from Bob Costas about the need for more “automobile-control.” Plus, amazingly enough, neither did Costas say a word about bringing back Prohibition! In Costas’ world, only guns are sufficiently evil enough to warrant his righteous indignation.

The tragedies in Kansas City and Dallas cause all people of good will to grieve. We grieve for the people involved; we grieve for the families of the victims; and we grieve for the NFL players, coaches, and management. But what we must not do is use these tragedies as an excuse to justify and condone the suppression of our God-given liberties! In addition, it’s past time for America, at every level, to start re-emphasizing the primacy of personal responsibility. That’s something that isn’t being taught much in our nation’s schools, churches, or even families.

But the promotion and expectation of personal responsibility is what made America great; and it’s also what provides our nation with its liberties. If men cannot be expected to be accountable for their conduct, they can hardly be expected to be accountable for their freedom. This is why inanimate objects are used as scapegoats by big-government toadies: it diminishes the virtue of individualism and extols the necessity of governmentism.

In Kansas City, the problem was not the gun; the problem was Belcher. And in Dallas, the problem was not the car–or even the booze–the problem was Brent. Straighten out the man and one will have no need to worry about the objects that are at his disposal.

Taxing the Poor

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for.

Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.

Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply.

Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.

No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits— food stamps, housing subsidies and the like— if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent— far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.