This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue was published December 18, 2012 on Townhall.com.
When’s the last time you heard about a deranged gunman going on a shooting spree at a shooting range? Other than a spoof article on the Onion, a shooting range isn’t the preferred venue for a murderous shooting rampage.
Despite all of the shooters, guns and ammo, I feel safer at a shooting range than just about anywhere else. It doesn’t require expert analysis to understand why gun-free areas, not shooting ranges, are the preferred venues of those who want to murder as many victims as possible before encountering return fire.
Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old murderer of 20 young children and seven adults, including his mother and himself, violated all of Connecticut’s very restrictive gun laws. That matters not a whit to witless gun-control fanatics who contend that more laws would have prevented Lanza’s monstrous crimes.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), whose workplace in the U.S. Capitol is secured by armed guards, believes the nation will go along with stronger gun control laws if President Obama “exploits” the Newtown, Conn., tragedy and nudges Congress to action, according to Ben Wolfgang of The Washington Times.
Joining Nadler’s push to exploit the tragedy is the usual array of heavily guarded Hollywood hypocrites and posturing politicians. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was surrounded by armed body guards while demanding that Obama take “immediate action” by sending a bill to Congress “to fix the problem.”
New York voters should fix the Bloomberg problem at the next election.
On Nov. 12, the Congressional Research Service released a 113-page report titled, “Gun Control Legislation,” authored by William J. Krouse, a “specialist in domestic security and crime policy.” The report cites the National Institute of Justice, which indicates that by 2009, the estimated total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States had increased to approximately 310 million, approximately one gun for each person in the country: 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns.
What gun control zealots (“let’s disarm law-abiding citizens”) refuse to admit is that the so-called “gun culture” in the United States has resulted in a safer society. Although the number of guns possessed has doubled since 1993, the murder rate involving a firearm has decreased by 42 percent. Krouse’s report cites the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, which indicate that the number of “estimated firearms related murder victims” was 17,073 in 1993. In 2011, it was 9,903.
Krouse also reports that each year from 1987 to 1992, “roughly 62,200 victims of violent crime (1% of all victims of such crimes) used guns to defend themselves,”according to the National Crime Victimization Survey(NCVS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics(BJS).
John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, discussed the Newtown shooting on Mark Levin’s radio show on Dec. 14 and with Piers Morgan on CNN. Lott referred to the Aurora, Colorado shooter who murdered 12 people in a movie theater last July during a showing of the movie, The Dark Knight Rises. According to Lott, there were seven theaters near the shooter’s residence that were showing The Dark Knight Rises. The shooter went to the one theater with a sign posted banning guns.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Thomas Jefferson
On the same day as the Connecticut school massacre, a knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for morning classes on Friday, police said.
Eighty-five years ago, the tiny village of Bath, Michigan became the site of America’s deadliest school massacre. Forty-five people — including 38 children — were killed on May 27, 1927, when the school district’s treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, detonated a series of bombs, according to Holly Fournier, writing for The Detroit News on Dec. 15.
When Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend on Dec. 1, and then shot himself to death, there were the usual demands for more gun laws.
One week later, Dallas Cowboys tackle Josh Price-Brent was charged with “intoxication manslaughter” after flipping his car and killing his passenger, Jerry Brown Jr. who had been a linebacker on the Cowboys practice squad, according to ABC News.
There were no demands to ban either alcohol or cars.
John Lott has a challenge for advocates of stricter gun control laws, but as yet, there’ve been no takers. Put a sign on your lawn or in a window of your home: “This is a gun-free zone.”