Bans On Scary Guns Don't Save Lives

posted on October 12, 2015
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In a recent interview with Huffington Post, the Deputy Communications Director for Moms Demand Action (MDA), a gun-ban advocacy franchise, claimed that her organization is “focused on saving lives.” This struck me as being about as honest as a claim from the Federal Communications Commission that it is solely concerned with facilitating the robust exercise of free speech rights by all Americans. Of course, both claims are nothing short of silly. 

Extensive research by the National Academy of Sciences, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice, Library of Congress and Congressional Research Service has shown every single time that the gun-control policies MDA dreams about enacting throughout the country do nothing—nothing—to save lives. Sure, Bloomberg’s minions can use a small portion of his billions to pay universities and individual professors to produce junk science that the media is predisposed to take at face value, but this doesn’t change the truth. Anyone who knows anything about firearms knows that these long guns they want to ban are functionally just like the ones they’re willing to tolerate, at least today.

So, if it’s not about saving lives, what is it all about? The answer came to me the last time the so-called “assault weapons” ban was actively sought in Congress in early 2013. The 1994 ban had sunsetted in 2004. The loud-mouthed Feinsteins, Boxers and Schumers of the world claimed that murderous chaos would ensue. Of course, violent crime rates, including homicide rates, continued to fall like a rock, as they had since long before the ban was imposed. The gun-banners are always wrong, but it never seems to phase them even for a second.

The Holy Grail for Moms and all of their running buddies is the imposition of a new ban on the “scary-looking” rifles they like to pejoratively call “assault weapons.” Anyone who knows anything about firearms knows that these long guns they want to ban are functionally just like the ones they’re willing to tolerate, at least today. In fact, in most cases they are much less “powerful” than other rifles despite all of what the ignorant talking heads on network news broadcasts say. 

If my nightmare scenario occurred and every rifle on the planet magically vanished into thin air, you would think from the antis’ rhetoric that thousands upon thousands of good, perfectly law-abiding Americans would be saved from a terrible end year in and year out, right? Well, as is the case with virtually everything the prohibitionists try to get folk to believe, this is a mighty long stretch from the truth. 

According to the FBI, from 2008 to 2013 the annual number of homicides involving a rifle of any kind, including the really “harmless-looking” ones that are currently approved for civilian ownership by the likes of MDA, was 336. This is less than one per day in a population of more than 300 million over six years, and it includes many homicides that were later determined to be justified. In other words, it includes many self-defense killings because the numbers reported to the FBI are based upon arrests, without regard for the ultimate decisions made by prosecutors, grand juries, judges or trial juries. Of course, many people who must act in self-defense are arrested until all of the facts can be determined based upon available evidence. 

Let’s look at some of the numbers associated with other “tools” used in homicides during this same six-year stretch. Hands, fists, feet, heads and other personal weapons were used to kill 768 people per year. MDA can’t ban these, so I will give them a pass on this one. Blunt objects like hammers and clubs are used to kill 538 people per year. Finally, knives are used to extinguish the lives of 1,711 per year.  

Why would MDA and their friends focus so much energy, attention and money on those 336 per year, many of which did not involve the specific type of “assault weapon” they dream of banning? On top of this, it is important to consider that many of the incidents comprising that number involved gang members, drug dealers and other sorts who chose the violent life, not anyone remotely close to the perfectly law-abiding. After all, this holds true with regard to homicides as a whole. This is an important detail when essential individual liberty hangs in the balance. 

This question regarding the priorities of the prohibitionists is precisely what I asked myself back during that congressional battle in early 2013. Honestly, I was shocked that the annual rifle number was so low. Then again, I’m not obsessed with trying to strip freedoms from my fellow Americans like they are, so there was no reason for me to know it. Now, the preposterous nature of the gun-banners’ efforts being “focused on saving lives” has never been more apparent to me. This really, really is about controlling people and eliminating individual freedom. There could be no other plausible explanation after looking at the numbers. There are more guns than ever before and fewer fatal firearms accidents in recorded history because of the NRA. That is saving lives!

MDA could learn a thing or two from the National Rifle Association of America in light of the fact that it really is about saving lives. It is the reason that the annual number of fatal firearms accidents has reached all-time lows, despite the fact that there have never been more gun owners and civilian-owned guns. If viewed from a perspective of not knowing all of the firearms safety training that the NRA does, this would be impossible, unbelievable. There are more guns than ever before and fewer fatal firearms accidents in recorded history because of the NRA. That is saving lives! 

Gun-banners tend to shun firearms education because they prefer for adults and children to remain ignorant. Yes, they actively choose ignorance over education, however nutty it sounds. They ignore that there are more than 300 million guns in the country, and this number is only going to continue to grow aggressively despite their best efforts. Why would they not want every child in America to experience NRA’s award-winning Eddie Eagle program, so that they know what to do if they come across an unsecured firearm in a neighbor’s house or anywhere else?  

Why would they not want the same for any adult, so that he or she can handle a gun safely if necessary and determine whether it is loaded or not? You don’t have to own something to be educated about it. I know how to operate a boat, but I don’t plan to buy one. MDA’s promotion of ignorance is decidedly not about saving lives. 

NRA’s tireless advocacy of laws that allow me and other backboned Americans to choose to defend ourselves and our loved ones with firearms—the most efficient means available—saves lives. It allows us to actively save our own lives instead of trusting our destinies to the winds of good fortune or catching a break from an evil killer who chooses us as the surviving victim to tell the story of his horrors. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That MDA and the others want nothing more than to impose their helpless way of life on the rest of us is nothing short of immoral. It doesn’t save lives. It does precisely the opposite, thank you very much. 

Instead of encouraging President Obama to enact a ban on “assault weapons” that every shred of federal research shows will not save lives, maybe his favorite moms could encourage him to actually enforce federal immigration laws on the books. After all, the policies that he unilaterally shoved down the throats of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities have killed more good Americans than my scary-looking guns ever will.  

Maybe MDA moms can team up with the mothers of the likes of Kathryn Steinle, Jamiel Shaw Jr. and Grant Ronnebeck to affect change. Their children are dead because of the President’s reckless and dangerous policy prohibiting authorities from deporting the criminal aliens who went on to murder them. Sadly, the true numbers of those dead due to the President’s pen will never be known. If MDA members choose this path instead of their current one, they could be honest for the first time when they say they are “focused on saving lives.”


Randy Kozuch
Randy Kozuch

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