First and foremost, my heart goes out to the families of victims of gun violence. I am in no way trying to belittle their deaths. That said, I notice something and I am sure you do as well. Every time we have a shooting in the U.S. . . .
Celebrities, politicians and crusading Moms scream for gun control in the mainstream media and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and various other outlets. They call for an end of gun violence through what they call “common sense measures.” Gun control.
In their quest to enact legislation restricting or removing Americans’ gun rights, gun control advocates cite “gun violence” statistics, sometimes accurately, mostly inaccurately. They trumpet the number of “gun deaths” per day, month and year. They conflate teenage gangbangers’ firearms-related death with negligent discharges(one a week!) and suicides.
Regardless of gun control advocates’ deceitful and misleading tactics, I think any rational person would agree that we should do what we can to reduce the injury and death toll related to firearms. But those who cherish their gun rights do something that those who seek to degrade and destroy them do not: they see firearms-related injuries and fatalities in perspective.
Americans who understand the [clear] meaning of the Second Amendment see regrettable, tragic and sometimes horrific firearms-related injury and death as the price that free citizens must pay to keep a tyrannical government at bay. Equally important, they see it against a backdrop of other types of injury and death.
The Center for Disease Control reports that about the 480k Americans die each year from illness related to tobacco products. That’s 1,315 people a day, more than ten times as many as from firearms.
Where is the call for banning tobacco? Where are the celebrities on this is issue? When I ask my anti-gun rights friends about this issue they say, “well it’s their choice to smoke.” So what about the estimated 41k people who do not choose to smoke but die from secondhand smoke. These are innocent people. Where is the outcry for them?
Consider that again: 1,315 Americans die per day from smoking-related illness, vs. 104 a day from firearm-related injuries. Never mind the fact that there is no Constitutional protection for the ingestion of tobacco products, while the right to keep and bear arms is specifically exempted from government “infringement” (i.e. regulation.
If gun control advocates are so worried about saving innocent lives from “unnecessary” dangers, they’d focus their attention on second hand smoke, drunk driving and one of the biggest killers of all: medical malpractice.
In the post-Parkland hue and cry for gun control, a central fact is missing: people die all the time; from all sorts of diseases, accidents, regrettable choices and criminal acts.
While we should do what we can to reduce firearms-related injuries and deaths, these actions should be bounded by an understanding that restricting or eliminating civilian firearms ownership invokes the law of unintended consequences.
You don’t have to be a native American, Holocaust victim or defenseless child listening to the sound of your classmates being murdered to know that disarming Americans doesn’t prevent wholesale injury and death. It invites it.