More Gun Laws Won’t Cut Violence
In her Aug. 14 article, Stephanie Wang did an outstanding job of highlighting the abysmal failures of our existing gun laws and the absolute necessity of protecting and expanding our gun rights. The five examples she provided ranged from a hunter who uses firearms as a tool to feed his family, a bail bondsman who deals with people who ignore our gun laws and who works in a system where existing gun laws are either pleaded down or dismissed by the courts, to a survivor of genocide in a country where lawful people were made defenseless by gun laws, yet were ignored by those that slaughtered innocent people by the thousands. The latter story is the most extreme example of our positive gun rights, but since Wang used it, I will remind people that protecting the ability of the individual to defend their selves against a despotic government is the foundation of our Second Amendment and the shared belief of our Founding Fathers.
One story was of a woman who had experienced a horrible tragedy of negligence, an incident that no gun law would have prevented. As much as we may wish to do so, we cannot legislate away carelessness. She also referenced the recent mass shootings America has experienced, which all occurred in gun-free zones. Gun-free zones prohibit lawful people from carrying and her own examples of shootings in schools, theaters and health centers again highlight the failure of gun laws in keeping people safe and their incredible danger in making innocent people defenseless against those that don’t obey gun laws. Some of these shootings happened in California, which is the most gun strict state in the nation and already has every gun law that is being demanded across the nation. Obviously, these gun laws have zero effect on stopping such tragedies.
Another example was of an Army veteran, a person who swore an oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution. As a veteran and elected official myself, I too swore an oath to do the same and I will not let my discomfort with the exercise of these sacred rights interfere with another individual exercising them. We must hold people accountable for their actions, not infringe on their Constitutional rights.
There are about 33,000 deaths by firearms each year, or about 1.3 percent of the 2.6 million deaths every year in America. The vast majority of these, over 21,000, are suicides. America ranks past the middle of industrialized nations in suicides and behind dozens of countries with very strict gun laws or even outright bans, proving the ineffectiveness of gun laws in preventing suicides. The next major category of gun deaths is homicides, which the FBI reports about 8,500 and are committed by people with no regard for life or law, and the remaining 3,500 are tragic negligence of a firearm. There are no gun laws that will have an affect on any of these categories.
While these stories tug at our emotions and help to sell media, the facts show gun homicides have been steadily decreasing for years and are down by 50 percent since 1993. This is in spite of record purchases by everyday people who are waking up to the fact a firearm is their best means of self-defense against those who wish to harm them. As an elected official, I will be continuing in my fight to expand and protect our gun rights, while pushing to hold people accountable for their actions.
If people and the media are truly committed in decreasing gun deaths, they should be intellectually honest enough to push for gun safety classes in our schools and to help educate people about the safe handling of a firearm. We also must recognize where the majority of these gun crimes are occurring and who is committing them. Innocent, rational people are tired of being misled and vilified for exercising their constitutionally protected gun rights, and the continued crusade against our gun rights is based on fear mongering and deception, and definitely not the actual facts.
State Rep. Jim Lucas