The spate of mass shootings across America ignited a wide-ranging discussion of the Second Amendment during the Democratic debate aired on ABC last evening. The row over who has the best plan to separate Americans from their firearms occurred shortly after a long and winding discourse over health care. It’s not likely these two topics just happened at the opening of the three-hour televised program. This is an issue that Democrats wanted to talk about — and speak they did – forcefully and with passion.
At times the viewer was left wondering who or what was getting the worse beating – the Second Amendment or former Vice President Joe Biden. “Hey, Joe, instead of saying, ‘No we can’t,'” Kamala Harris sniped, “Let’s say, ‘Yes, we can.’” This after Biden invoked the US Constitution as something that needs to be considered in a discussion on gun control. Unable to tolerate Biden’s pause for the founding document, Senator Harris (D-CA) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke were in favor of acting now and asking Congress later.
But while the former VP took his fair share of incoming, several Democratic contenders saved their Gatlin guns for the National Rifle Association. The NRA was referred to as a “terrorist” organization of which the president and most Republicans live in fear. Indeed, the debate stage was hot with emotion, frequent applause, and many proposals and plans to remove firearms from the homes and hands of citizens.
Only the Privileged Few
Despite the inter-party squabbling, the Democratic field of contenders offered a cafeteria of rules and regulations with which American gun owners would be forced to comply. The dialogue essentially turns the right to bear arms into a privilege. Owning a firearm was often spoken of in the same terms as driving a car. The gun owner must register his or her weapon, and turn over those that are outlawed. Magazines of a specific size would also need to be surrendered to government authorities. And Americans would be subject to more in-depth, broader background checks.
Democrats have long held they are the party of the little guy, but the many and various gun control plans of the men and women vying for the Oval Office will undoubtedly hurt the gun owners with the least amount of resources. These public policy proposals would primarily mean that only those with enough time and treasure will be left with but a few of their government-approved firearms. Sadly, while many a law-abiding citizen will comply, there is little to suggest that criminals will be first in line for the government-sponsored “buy-backs.”
For Crying Out Loud
Without a doubt, the gun control debate is being driven by pure emotion. That’s unfortunate because it obscures the logic and statistics that should be applied to the discussion to achieve some modicum of clarity. Many politicians and those of the chattering class have harnessed these feelings into the following axiom: The number of homicides directly correlates to the number of guns. Get rid of the weapons, and fewer shootings will be the apparent result.
Using this as a “testable hypothesis,” Adam Hill of The Federalist makes a formidable case against this maxim. First, he looked at the countries “with the highest concentrations of gun ownership. Then he looked at the countries with the highest homicide rates. Lo and behold, none of the countries with the most firearms appeared on the list of those with the most murders. Thus Mr. Hill concludes there is no correlation between the two.
“It really doesn’t matter how you slice this data. The conclusion is inescapable: High concentrations of private, legal gun ownership do not correlate positively to increased murders. Indeed, you can look at almost any slice of data and conclude the opposite: Higher private ownership of guns can be strongly correlated to lower murder rates.”
Saying something is true – even loudly and with great emotion – does not make it so. The Dems, the RINOs, even the president can call for every gun-control measure under the sun, but making it more difficult for an American citizen to exercise his Second Amendment right is not going to solve this problem.
As well, strident macho sound bytes by the likes of Beto O’Rourke don’t advance the ball either and only serve to rachet up already high tensions. After hearing of the former congressman’s remark, rest assure there is many an American out there today saying, “You just go ahead and try that, Beto. Bring it on.”