Today, I'm examining an opinion by blog writer John Lake titled Children are Dying in Cities - Gun Control Is the Issue
John is writing about the murder rate in Chicago, which apparently has been big news since their murder rate is up 60%.
Sure, we all support some gun ownership. As a boy and a young man I hunted pheasants, ducks, and geese; for the last two, crouching in a chilly and cold duck blind on Wonder Lake. I kept my 12 gauge shotgun clean and well oiled, and the decoys lived in the garage.
But living now in Chicago is another matter.
Because the Second Amendment is about militias duck hunting with 12 gauge shotguns?
In one week last year, 52 people were shot, at least 8 fatally, in gang-related incidents. A one year old girl was grazed on the ear on West Hastings Street, four men were shot in that incident. That same evening, a drive-by shooting over drug turf near South Kolin Avenue resulted in five people being hospitalized in serious to critical condition. Then, 10 minutes later, police were called to Humboldt Park, a short distance from where a Puerto Rican Day Festival was in full swing: two men were shot there, on West Division Street. Later, shortly after 9 PM, a fifteen year old girl was shot in the hand on West Evergreen Street.
Ah, yes, those upstanding citizen drug dealers, that always abide by the law, are generally affected by restrictive gun laws.
We live in a much different world than the world our founding fathers knew. The old west was still new, and police were far sparser than today's law enforcers. It made sense to allow Americans to carry firearms, but it doesn't make sense today.
A little history lesson here, in 2005 the Supreme Court ruled that the police have no Constitutional duty to protect the citizens from harm. If it made sense to allow citizens to carry firearms to protect themselves then, why not now? There are over 300 million citizens in the United States and only 900,000 sworn police officers, it seems that police officers are still sparse.
Some may consider the thinking of the drafters of the Constitution, and of the members of the Supreme Court, as it applies to gun ownership for a standing militia, and to oppose a potential tyrannical government. This is a compelling argument, but it may also be outdated and unrealistic.
Yes, of course, civil rights often become outdated and unrealistic. Why on Earth do we need that 4th Amendment? If you committed a crime, the police should be able to just break into your house and get the evidence to convict you. The 1st Amendment is a little dated, too. There are too many people calling for race wars and others writing about corrupt government. Here's an idea, State Run Media. Then, the government will only tell the public about the good things they are doing. They'll report that the economy is great and everyone will live in peace and harmony. I could go on, but you get the point. Civil Rights bestowed upon you by your creator do not expire.
Children in Chicago are afraid to go to the store; they are afraid to play in their yards, afraid to step off the block. Consider the plight of eleven year old Maria Rivera: frightened of the guns and gangs in Chicago's gang-rich Little Village neighborhood, Maria is a prisoner in her own home, where she spends her after school time indoors with her mother. She created an artwork for her fifth grade social studies project, It shows a little girl standing before a barred second floor window, looking out at the gangbangers and drug dealers on the street below. Maria told schoolmates, "I feel like a prisoner because I usually can't go outside."
Again, John is calling for curtailing the civil rights of the law abiding citizens because of the criminal element that won't follow the law. I wonder how many of the gangbangers and drug dealers in the gang-rich neighborhoods have legally owned firearms. Gun control is not the problem in Chicago. Until a few years ago, Chicago didn't allow the possession of handguns, but there was still a problem with gangs using handguns to commit their crimes. Telling a drug dealer that he can't have a firearm is like telling a child he can't think about candy the night before Easter.
John then goes on to cite some information put out by the Violence Policy Center, whose main agenda is curtailing the rights of the American People.
Lets look at some relevant statistics. In homes with guns, a member of the household is almost three times as likely to be the victim of a homicide compared to a resident in a gun-free home. A study of 626 shootings in or around residences in three U.S. cities revealed that for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or a legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides. Another study concluded that regardless of good intentions, such as safe storage practice, and proper training, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide.
Two things to note. 1. The information that John is relying on is from 1997 and 2. The 'reports' have been debunked. What the VPC study failed to address is why the households had a firearm in the first place. Did the household have a firearm because the residents were simply exercising their 2A rights? Did the residents of the household have a firearm because they were already in danger of being killed? Did the residents of the household have a firearm because they were in an illicit business? Were the residents in the gun owning household killed by the firearm that was kept in the household, or by a firearm or other weapon brought into the residence by the killer?
I'll close with an excerpt from a Harvard study.
In this connection, two recent studies are pertinent. In 2004, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released its evaluation from a review of 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some original empirical research. It failed to identify any gun control that had reduced violent crime, suicide, or gun accidents. The same conclusion was reached in 2003 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s review of then‐ extant studies.[emphasis added]
What's your opinion?