I don’t often comment on writings by certain media on gun issues, but this article deserves a special mention.
I am a competitive shooter, owner of firearms and former law-enforcement instructor. While I realize my words will have little influence on those that despise firearms, hopefully it will have the effect of encouraging them to think in terms of facts, not fallacy.
First, to blame illegal use of firearms to commit illegal acts (crimes) ON THE law abiding population is ridiculous!
New York has some of the strictest gun laws and yet has one of the highest crime rates. The reason is that criminals know few people can actually protect themselves. The irony is that only the wealthy and connected can actually legally purchase/own/carry a firearms for self defense.
Interestingly, the writer states 40% of guns in NY are purchased in other states. So does that mean that 60% (the difference) are obtained in NY? I’m sure they aren’t purchased, so I assume they are stolen; a crime in itself. So the minority (well connected) are allowing their legal firearms to fall into the hands of criminals?
I emigrated from a country (South Africa) 20 years ago, where the gun laws are so extreme its almost impossible for the average citizen to possess a firearm for self defense. Yet violence, crimes against citizens and gun related criminal acts are at an all time high.
Crimes committed with LEGALLY owned guns make up less than 1% of the legally owned firearms.
The article also states that the violence is predominantly black/hispanic. Both the victims and criminals! Is that because the victims are unable to defend themselves due to social economic conditions, location and lack of influence? Would they still be victims if they were educated armed civilians?
What I don’t get is that many (most?) New Yorkers actually believe that guns are the crime! Is this a media misrepresentation, or do the majority seriously believe making gun ownership illegal will reduce crime? I have some highly intelligent, well informed and good friends from NY.
Please explain to me, nicely and with facts, how you believe that the bad guys care about your rights and safety. Why do you feel that if there were no guns, there would be no crime?
The writer also mentions the deaths from stabbing, so can we surmise that knives will also be banned.
Of course the ridiculous statement is that cars don’t kill people, drivers do. So lets ban driving!
Criminals do not respect values, beliefs or property. They look upon the weak as a target; something to prey on. Showing you are defenseless only makes you an easier target, am makes their lives easier!
Look at the crime rates in countries like Mexico. Strict gun laws. No private ownership. While much of the violence is cartel vs cartel, there is also extensive violence committed by criminals against civilians who are obviously easy targets; unarmed and largely defenseless.
The bottom line: There is a belief that that simple possession of a gun creates a mindset of dominance and power, and that this may lead to irresponsible and /or reckless behavior.
The truth is that this is a fallacy, and that responsible ownership, training and education is the reality.
By all means punish those that commit gun violence, but don’t take that right away from those that respect it.
Living in Arizona, where we have the right to possess, purchase and carry, many people own and carry firearms.
Those that prey on the weak know that, and thus go elsewhere. Criminals are well aware of the risks of assaulting an armed individual. Its part of their “on the job training”.
In many cases, they discover a life of crime has major consequences. In my years in law enforcement, and with an interest in behavioral modification, I have often asked what makes criminals quit. In most cases it is the risk of being caught; getting shot and possibly dying.
Instead of making people easy targets, lets focus on making citizens more capable.
Lets help retire some people!
* The above is Leighton’s personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NBC EVB Live, where he works as a consultant. We just thought his opinion and background provide him with a unique view of the anti-civil rights movement demanding gun control. Leighton is also the Founder and Training Director of Partners Working Dogs. You can read more of Leighton’s thoughts at his blog, leightonblog.com.