WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014 – American mass media’s sensationalized reporting of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the movie theater killing in Aurora, Colorado and the rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., has led several states to consider legislation that makes acquiring a firearm more difficult, and creates a bureaucratic paper trail of every purchase.
These gun control measures have received little traction at the federal level, but another sensationalized event is likely to prompt a new salvo against gun owners.
The rationale for the proposed hindrances to average citizens and their lawful rights to own firearms is that some simple equation exists between guns and gun violence. Boil it down to its essence and the argument is childishly simple – eliminate guns and you eliminate gun violence. But does the prevalence of a particular inanimate object (in this case, guns), or the absence thereof, equate to eradication of violence and criminal assault?
The more you examine the lack of logic behind the politics of gun control, the more obvious it becomes that either the proponents of more restrictions are themselves succumbing to a complex equivalence or that they are attempting to perpetrate one. Politicians framing the issue of more difficult access to guns equals less violence are typically not confronted with a challenge to their presumptions. But in the rare instances where they are summoned to prove up on them, they are forced to concede that gun control will have an inconsequential effect. Then, in desperation, they trot out the tired cliche, “but if we only save one life, it will be worth it.” You can translate that into, “you cruel, insensitive bitter clinging brute, have you no concern for the welfare of society?”
It’s said by friends and foes of the Second Amendment that America is a gun culture. It’s true, and as such, when a crime of opportunity or a crime of passion is committed, there’s a good chance that a gun is involved. Even so, the gun is not quite the predominant weapon of choice that the anti-gun forces would have you believe. Nearly a third of homicides between 2006 and 2010 (the latest statistics available), were committed without the utility of a firearm. Instead, the assailants used blunt objects (baseball bats, clubs, hammers), ‘personal weapons’ (hands, fists, feet), edged weapons (knives / cutting instruments), and rounding out the list were poisons, explosives, arson, strangulation, asphyxiation, narcotics and drowning.
It might also come as a surprise that rifles of any type – bolt action or semi-automatic — accounted for less than 3 percent of the total ‘devices’ involved in fatal crimes. What are pejoratively dubbed “assault rifles” are really nothing more than a potent symbol in the campaign to disarm citizens. By now it is glaringly evident that the ‘assault weapons ban’ was ill-conceived and ineffective and that the impetus behind the ban was based on perceptions of image. All the criteria that defined an ‘assault rifle’ from an ordinary rifle was cosmetic – the configuration of the stock, the pistol grip, bayonet mount, flash suppressor, etc.
But it was a politically viable stunt because a casual, uninformed glance at an average semi-auto rifle renders the impression that it is similar to a military issue rifle (M4) and to a lot of Americans that have a phobia about guns in general, it looks menacing. And there is a portion of the electorate, typically Democrats, that have been conditioned to see firearms through a distorted lens. Deadly intent is divined by the ‘scary’ quotient of the gun in question. When Democrat politicians look to exploit misconceptions about guns, they propose and submit legislation that are what we call ‘gesture’ laws. They don’t address the problem, but in placing a needless impediment to legal gun and ammunition buyers, provide the impression to their political base that they have accomplished something ‘important’.
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Such was the ‘assault weapon ban’. Symbolic but worthless. However, the more deeply rooted a Democrat elected official is, the more arrogant rhetoric they will display. As an example, California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein’s statement, “If I could’ve gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in — I would’ve done it. I could not do that, the votes weren’t here.” Or, incredible lack of factual understanding as exemplified by the Reverend Jesse Jackson:
“These semi-automatic weapons, these assault weapons, can only kill people and in fact are threats to national security. The young man who did the killing in Aurora, Colorado with the arsenal he had. He was right near the airport, right near the runways near the airport in Denver. He could shoot down airplanes. So this is a matter of homeland security.”
To quote former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Jason Hanson, such an event is “as likely as (Space) aliens knocking on my door tomorrow.” But then we didn’t need Mr. Hanson to confirm that.
To be consistent with the pretzel logic typical of the gun control cabal, we should head off the inevitable impending peril of mass knife violence. Yes, most of the mass knife killings have taken place in China and elsewhere in Asia, but the world is smaller now and trends move fast.
Consider the record in just the last 13 years:
- June 8, 2001 – Osaka School Massacre. 37-year-old former janitor Mamoru Takuma entered the school armed with a kitchen knife and began stabbing numerous school children and teachers. He killed eight children, mostly between the ages of seven and eight, and seriously wounded thirteen other children and two teachers.
- June 8, 2008 – Akihabara massacre. (Yes, you are reading that correctly – same day, 7 years later.) Tomohiro Kato drove into a crowd with a truck, eventually killing three people and injuring two; he then stabbed at least 12 people using a dagger (initially reported as a survival knife), killing four people and injuring eight.
- March 23, 2010 – Zheng Minsheng 41, murdered eight children with a knife in an elementary school in Nanping, Fujian province.
- April 23, 2010 – (same day as Minsheng’s sentencing), Chen Kangbing, 33 at Hongfu Primary School wounded 16 students and a teacher in Fujian Province, in Leizhou, Guangdong.
- April 29 2010 – 28 school children – mostly four-year-olds – were stabbed alongside two teachers and a security guard in Taixing, Jiangsu by Xu Yuyuan, 47.
- April 30, 2010 – Villager Wang Yonglai injured five children on Friday with a hammer, when he burst into a kindergarten in rural Shangzhuang Village in Weifang, an area in east China’s Shandong province.
- May 12, 2010 – An attacker named Wu Huanming, 48, killed seven children and two adults and injured 11 other persons with a cleaver at a kindergarten in Hanzhong, Shaanxi.
- August 4, 2010 – 26-year-old Fang Jiantang slashed more than 20 children and staff with a 60cm knife, killing 3 children and 1 teacher, at a kindergarten in Zibo, Shandong province.
- Aug 2, 2012 – A teenager was arrested after killing nine people and wounding four others in a knife attack in northeast China, state media reported Thursday.
- December 14, 2012 – 36-year-old villager Min Yingjun attacked 22 children and one adult in a knife attack outside a primary school in Chengping in Henan province.
Finally, earlier this month on March 1, 33 people and more than 140 others were injured in a deadly attack Saturday night when a group of ten knife-wielding terror suspects stormed the Kunming Railway Station in southwestern China, seemingly hacking at anyone in sight.
Not to take away anything from the tragic nature of these killings, the cumulative body count thereof, and life threatening injuries making Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora Colorado and the Washington D.C., Navy Yard victim totals pale in comparison. Perhaps knife control really is an opportunity for President Obama, Senator Feinstein, Senator Schumerand the rest, to make a huge political score.
After all, there is no National Knife Association to oppose strict limits on the purchase and ownership of bladed weapons. Senator Schumer even once enthusiastically mused, “We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!” Once you’ve flattened a gun with a hammer, don’t you essentially have something that can be fashioned into a sharp edged instrument of death? As one forward thinking commenter proposed:
“All they need to do is to add serial numbers to all knives and to start a registry system so that they can track the knives used in murders and crimes. They also need to provide a piece of leather that has been cut with each knife when you purchase it so that it can be added to a knife cutting database to determine which knife was used in a crime. For those people who use knives for legal and lawful purposes (in the kitchen), they need to submit to a background check, finger printing, and to always carry their Knife Owners Identification card.”
What gallant, resolute and trail blazing mayor is going to step forward and make a stand against the proliferation and easy access to dangerous knives in this country, before tragedy strikes? Mayors Against Knife Violence. Or, Doctors Against Edged Weapons Mayhem. Whoever heads that up would make a great nominee for Surgeon General. How about it?
After that we can look into outlawing gravity.
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