TAMPA, December 13, 2013 – The Washington Post is at it again. Days before the one year anniversary of the murders at Sandy Hook, the Post is running another piece asking readers “What’s your gun number? Share your gun story.”
Citing statistics is a central plank in the liberal war on private gun ownership. CNN host Piers Morgan began several televised “debates” with gun ownership proponents by asking them if they knew several statistics on gun violence or gun-related deaths. It was partly just a ploy to try to catch his opponent without an answer and make him seem uninformed. Sometimes he was successful, sometimes not, but nobody gave him the right answer.
Statistics are irrelevant to the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment protects each individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Even the Supreme Court agrees, its abysmal record protecting individual rights notwithstanding. An individual’s right cannot be infringed as a result of what someone else did. It can only be infringed as a result of what that individual did. That’s why we don’t choose people at random for prosecution when a robbery is committed. An investigation is made to determine the specific individual who committed the crime, so he or she can be tried and sentenced.
That’s why we have a Fifth Amendment requiring due process. No individual can be punished unless it’s proven that individual committed a crime.
The statistics actually don’t support the gun grabbers anyway. The FBI website’s latest statistics show that violent crime in general continued to plummet from 2008 to 2012, amidst record gun sales. Murders were similarly down over the period, with the FBI reporting 12,765 in 2012. 8,855 were committed with firearms.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population clock listed the population of the United States at 317,233,035 at the time of this writing. Assuming that each of the murders committed with a firearm in 2012 was committed by a different person, .00279 percent of the population murdered someone with a firearm that year. In response, gun control advocates want to infringe the rights of the 99.99720 percent of the population that did not commit a murder with a firearm.
As absurd as that may seem, it really wouldn’t matter if the numbers were reversed. If 317 million people committed murder with a firearm in 2012, the remaining 8,855 would still retain their right to bear arms. That’s how individual rights work. They’re individual.
Unlike economic freedom or privacy, this is one area where the advancing state seems to be losing. As confused as he might be on individual rights and the role of government, the average 21st century American seems to retain some latent common sense about the right to bear arms. Every time anti-gun propaganda intensifies, gun sales skyrocket.
Let’s hope that trend continues.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.