Monday May 20, 2013
More Guns - Not Fewer - Is The AnswerSteve Siebold Special to Salem-News.com
Critical thinking suggests that reducing violent crime requires a non-linear solution, which starts with firearms training...
(MILWAUKEE, WI) - The school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut will probably go down in the books as one of the most heinous acts ever committed. 26 innocent people, mainly young children, were killed, and a nation was left heartbroken and grief-Stricken.
As sad an event as this was, the problem is it has clouded the judgment of a nation when it comes to the issue of gun control. We’re constantly hearing about the back and forth from those for and against various elements of gun control. Most interestingly, David Clarke Jr., the sheriff in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, grabbed the spotlight when he urged citizens to learn how to handle firearms so they can defend themselves, because he says, “simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.”
Gun control has always been a controversial subject in America, but it shouldn’t be. Those in favor of gun control are urging fast action, and their argument is based in emotional thinking instead of logical thinking. They are using their grief, anger, sadness and frustration to make the case for gun control. Critical thinking, devoid of emotion, suggests we need more guns, not fewer.
The irony is despite all the talk on gun control, Americans are stocking up. According to the National Rifle Association, over 100 million Americans own guns. That’s roughly 1/3 of the population, and 2.2 million background checks were performed alone last month, an increase of 58.6 percent over the same period in 2011.
Guns have the potential to save lives but we rarely hear about these stories. The fact is bad people will always have guns regardless of the laws, and good people should have the right to protect themselves. Banning guns only punishes the innocent and leaves them unable to fight back.
The current gun laws in some states protect the criminals more than the victims. Statistics from the U.S. National Crime Survey prove this. They show that if a robbery victim does not defend himself, the robbery will succeed 88% of the time, and the victim will be injured 25% of the time. If the victim resists with a gun, the robbery’s success rate falls to 30% and the injury rate falls to 17%.
The only people who win when gun control laws are enacted are the criminals. All these laws do is motivate robbers, muggers and thieves. A gun-toting public evens things out, and that’s why guns should stay legal and readily available.
Eliminating guns is parallel to outlawing cars because of drunk drivers, or banning airplanes from ever flying again because they were used in the September 11 attacks to kill so many people. It’s not guns that ultimately kill just like it’s not cars or airplanes that kill. In the case of Sandy Hook, Columbine and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings, it’s mentally ill people that caused these tragedies. As usual, we’re having the wrong debate in this country.
The delusion is rooted in linear thinking that leads people to believe banning guns reduces violence and crime. This has been tried again and again and always fails. In 1996, Australia publically destroyed over 600,000 firearms in an attempt at gun control; and in 1997, armed robberies in Australia increased by 44%.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” This is from the man who penned the Declaration of Independence. If there was a pacifist among the founders, it was Jefferson. But his logic is hard to dispute and has nothing to do with the fact he said this over 200 years ago. Human nature hasn’t changed.
Critical thinking suggests that reducing violent crime requires a non-linear solution, which starts with firearms training, education and stricter laws for criminals who use guns and fewer laws for people who fire in self-defense.
In a perfect world we wouldn’t need guns. But until that happens, critical thinking suggests that we all exercise our second amendment rights, voice our support and keep a close eye on anti-gun crusaders who want to make our decisions for us. Gun ownership is not only practical; it’s our constitutional right, and even Sheriff David Clarke Jr. agrees.
Steve Siebold is author of the book Sex, Politics and Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America, and has been called one of the world’s foremost critical thinking experts. Visit http://www.
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