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· Beartooth Regular
1,178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Foes of gun ownership perpetuate many myths:

Baltimore Sun Article

by Gregory Kane

July 29, 2001

QUICKLY now, who said it?

"The great object is that every man be armed. ... Everyone who is able may have a gun."

Most Americans of the liberal/left persuasion, the ones who believe guns are evil, might think it's Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association. These days, lefty anti-gun nuts think of Heston as something akin to the Antichrist. They revile the NRA with a passion previously reserved for the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis. So Heston, of course, would be their prime suspect. No. 2 on the list would be anyone associated with the NRA.

But, as in their position on the Second Amendment, they'd be wrong. The one who said it was Patrick Henry. You might have heard of him. Yeah, the guy of "Give me liberty or give me death" fame. One of the Founding Fathers. A patriot. A revolutionary. One of those guys who knew the intent of the Second Amendment, because he was there when it was written.

That tidbit of information comes from The Seven Myths of Gun Control, authored by Richard Poe, editor of If you're thinking of Poe as another gawd-awful conservative, you'd be right. is the Web site of conservative upstart David Horowitz, who caused a ruckus this year by taking out an ad in several college newspapers denouncing reparations for slavery as a bad, racist idea.

But it's high time we conservatives took the offensive in the battle for the Second Amendment, isn't it? Because that's what the debate is about. This tiff between conservatives and liberals isn't about gun control. What's at stake is the very existence of the Second Amendment itself. Anti-gun nuts, in their more honest moments, will admit this.

Misinformation about the Second Amendment's intent - specifically, that it only applies to militiamen - is one of the myths Poe tackles in his book. He gives the Henry quote and another from Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and great-uncle of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."

It is on that issue of children and guns that the gun controllers get most frantic. But that's another of the seven myths that Poe challenges. It's No. 3 on his list ("Guns pose a special threat to children") and Poe destroys it with statistics that show far more children die from drowning, burning and car crashes. Those stories about kids finding daddy's gun and accidentally shooting playmates make poignant news, but, compared to other activities that put children at risk, simply don't happen that often.

Poe began his book with a tale of how the effort to keep guns away from children led to tragedy. In Merced, Calif., a man broke into the house of the Carpenter family and stabbed two children to death. All five children, ranging in ages from 14 to 7, had been trained by their father to use his .357-caliber Magnum. When the man broke in, the gun, as California law demanded, was high on a closet shelf and unloaded. Alas, the children were home alone. None could reach the gun.

The incident occurred last August. Poe stressed that news reports made no mention that a gun was in the home and that California law prevented any of the children from using it in their defense. Those passionate about gun control who are justifiably horrified when a child is shot by another playing with a handgun should consider this: 9-year-old Ashley Carpenter and her 8-year-old brother John are just as dead as any child killed accidentally with a handgun.

The other myths on Poe's list are:

Guns increase violent crime. Not so, Poe says, pointing to John Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime, which argues that states with right-to-carry laws have less crime than states that don't. Poe also says that England - one of those civilized industrial nations with strict gun laws that anti-gun nuts want us to emulate - had 40 percent more muggings than the United States in 1998. Assault and burglary rates were 100 percent higher. In the category of "hot burglaries" - where the thieves enter houses while people are at home - the rate for the United States is 13 percent of all burglaries. It's 50 percent in Canada and England.

Pulling a gun on a criminal endangers you more than the criminal. Nope. In most cases, criminals - stupid but not crazy - flee for their lives.

We should treat guns the same way we treat cars, requiring licenses for all users. Licenses, Poe argues, are for privileges. Gun ownership is a right.

Reasonable gun-control measures are no threat to law-abiding gun owners. Refer to the fate of the aforementioned Carpenter children.

The Second Amendment is an obsolete relic of the frontier era. I wonder if those Korean store owners who protected their property with shotguns and assault rifles during the 1992 Los Angeles riots have such a Pollyanna view of the innate good intentions of latter-day Americans.
The war for the Second Amendment continues to rage. Gun rights advocates should add The Seven Myths of Gun Control to their arsenal of arguments.

Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun

· Banned
65 Posts

Good info.  It is really time for those of us who are not totally ignorant of history (unlike most Americans) to inform others of the truth.  I'll have to check out that website.

Here is a letter I just had to write, after seeing two anti-gun letters to Ann Landers within a week.  She prints these letters from people who are obviously fools, and they are read all over America.  She may not print mine, but it's worth a try.

Dear Ms. Landers:

I am writing in response to the July 24th letter by “Happy to Be Safe Living in Canada.”  There are many errors and falsehoods in the letter and in your response, but the most obvious one is the statement implicit in the letter, and explicit in the title of the column: “Guns Kill People.”  

Your response promotes the erroneous view that the mere existence and availability of firearms causes violence.  This belief about firearms is as illogical as holding a belief that automobiles cause traffic deaths.  Firearms do not cause one to commit unlawful acts.  One may as well say “Steak knives cut steak,” or “Lawnmowers cut grass.”  None of these tools operate independently, but are used by human beings, correctly or incorrectly, depending upon the wishes of the person.

Firearms have been available throughout American history.  The decline of the nuclear family, decline in morality, gratuitous violence in film and video games, and the general devaluation of human life, among other factors, are reasons behind the proliferation of violence in our society, not the presence of firearms.  Given the state of morality in our society, it should not be surprising to anyone that unlawful violence is rampant.

“Happy in Canada” stated that the Founding Fathers would feel differently about the Second Amendment could they see the current state of affairs.  I believe that if the Founding Fathers could visit us today, they would be astounded that murder and other crime is rarely punished, that murderers are imprisoned, then paroled, rather than being swiftly hanged.

“Happy in Canada” also stated that “The United States leads the world in using guns to kill its children.”  As an American, I take offense to anyone accusing us of collectively killing our children.  Murders are committed by individuals.  Each individual is (or should be) accountable for his or her own actions.  

Finally, the bottom line is that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America affirms the God-given individual right to keep and bear arms.  Law-abiding citizens have the inalienable right to defend themselves, their families, and their liberty against violence and tyranny.  I refuse to surrender my rights because another person abuses his.

Incidentally, if you research a bit, you will find that since firearms have been effectively banned and confiscated in both England and Australia, crime has skyrocketed.


Ray Floyd, or, if you prefer,
Law-abiding Gun Owner in Mississippi

· Beartooth Regular
1,178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Here, Here!! Very good reply letter. It is just amazing the total ignorance of some people with regard to firearms in private hands. They live in their own little dream worlds.

It's interesting to note that the writer of the article from the Baltimore Sun above was formally a rabid anti-gunner. Being a black man in a crime ridden neighborhood in Baltimore, he changed his outlook on things and is now staunchly progun and pro self defense. He mentioned purchasing a shotgun to protect his family while drug dealers were running rampant outside his apartment where he lived with his wife and 2 kids.

Read his article "Black Liberals Finally Getting It" or something like that at the link above. Interesting story of yet another anti waking up to smell the coffee.

Regards, Another Ray

(Edited by Contender at 6:52 pm on July 31, 2001)
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