by Joe Wolverton II, J.D.
o sooner had news vans arrivedto broadcast from Tucson thanthe lobbyists and legislatorsbegan the shameful molding of this mas-sacre into a pawn in their partisan chessmatch. The chorus sang in unison of theneed to confiscate guns and clips so thatscenes as heartbreaking as this neverneed be witnessed again. Guns, theycried, are the cause of this mayhem andthe eradication of them will prevent fu-ture recurrences.Is there truth in their message? Wouldthe criminalization of gun ownership havethe concomitant effect of decreasing theuse of guns in crimes such as the heinousone committed in Tucson? Would mad-men like Jared Loughner be preventedfrom carrying out the violent ends of theirinsanity if we remove the means of accessto a gun?Suppose, in arguendo, that all gunscould be outlawed. Imagine that lawswere passed forbidding the manufacture,the sale, and the purchase of them — aProhibition for the 21st century. Wouldthat create an atmosphere of peace or areduction in violence?We needn’t be bound by hypotheticals.We have evidence from which we candraw logical conclusions. Did Prohibitionsuccessfully end alcoholism? Were fewerwomen abused by drunken husbands be-cause Congress outlawed liquor? Historyteaches us otherwise. Speakeasies, moon-shiners, and bootleggers continued tradingin the forbidden fluid, and crime was asrampant (perhaps more so) than ever.Another instructive example is thatof prisons. Prisons are gun-free zones.No inmate is allowed to possess a gun,but would anyone argue that prisons arepeaceful? Removing the gun does not re-move the criminal bent, and frustrationonly exacerbates the underlying madnessthat drives killers to kill.One final point in this regard must beconsidered. Were the national legislatureto outright forbid the citizenry from own-ing guns, in whose hands would that leavecontrol of all the confiscated weapons? If we were to react to the devastation in Tuc-son by granting to government a monop-oly on the power of guns, then we mustallow for the consequences thereof.Not only would we leave the peopleunarmed and unable to defend themselvesagainst the excesses of despotism, but wewould tacitly enable the types of geno-cide made possible by the consolidationof guns into the hands of government.Think of it this way. How many peoplecan one madman kill? How many peoplecould a hundred madmen kill? By con-trast, how many millions of people havebeen slaughtered by autocracies thatbegan their respective reigns of terrorby disarming the citizens of the coun-tries over which they rule? The atrocitiescommitted by Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, andMao Tse-tung are incomparable and in-comprehensible. And, more importantly,only possible when the ability to resistthem is removed as a reaction to horrify-ing national tragedies such as occurred inTucson.The right of people to defend them-selves from such tyranny is an obviousobstruction lying in the path to paternal-ism of the would-be dictators. To wit, thewords of former Supreme Court JusticeJoseph Story:One of the ordinary modes, by whichtyrants accomplish their purposeswithout resistance, is, by disarmingthe people, and making it an offenseto keep arms.
Not surprisingly, the lobbyists that linetheir pockets with the proceeds of fearwere among the first to turn on their bull-horns, bellowing their outrage.“If we are to avoid future massacres, our
A P I m a g e s
When “rights” are seen as permission slips from thegovernment to do something, it is little wonder that ourpolitical benefactors reduce our rights with each tragedy.
was killed by agunman while riding the Long Island ExpressRailroad in 1993. Since being elected toCongress in 1996, McCarthy has sponsored anumber of anti-gun measures, including oneshe announced in the days after the Tucsontragedy.
17 Call 1-800-727-TRUE to suscrie toda!