The Government and Guns
There is so much to read and so little time for reading! I have a stack of about fifteen books on my desk right now I am reading and I’m not counting the theology books. American taxpayers are growing weary of every time they turn around a government agency has its hand out for more of our hard-earned money. At times, I think the colonists had it substantially better with the English than we have it now. Probably not, but it’s getting close!
Grover G. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, has written a real page-turner entitled Leave Us Alone, Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives. Speaking of guns, it’s time I began to write something else to cheese McLaren and Wallis off—and all their spiritual progeny—which will be the matter of guns and gun control. Since there is a case pending before the Supreme Court regarding guns (District of Columbia v. Heller), it seems like an appropriate time to discuss some of the many misconceptions about guns, gun owners, and gun controls.
For starters, radio talk show host Larry Elder has produced an excellent DVD entitled Michael & Me available from his web site (www.larryelder.com). For those remotely interested in informed dialogue on the subject, let me suggest getting Elder’s DVD. For those of us who live in the
One of the greatest difficulties when you write or speak about guns and gun ownership is cutting through the deluge of disinformation we’ve been subjected to by those who are anti-gun. The propaganda machine has cranked out reams of paper and scare tactics designed to reduce—severely—the number of legal guns in the homes of free Americans. Occasionally, a lone voice of reason has been heard in the debate, but as often as not, it resolves itself around emotional responses and, at times, outright lies. One surprising voice was Harvard law professor, Laurence Tribe, who wrote an article for USA Today entitled, “Scholar’s Views on Arms Rights Anger Liberals” (August 27, 1999). Tribe, a liberal himself, opined that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees to every American the right to keep and bear arms.
A little bit of history might be helpful here. When the framers were composing our founding documents, they leaned heavily on English tradition, common law, and natural law. “One of those traditions held that every Englishman had both the right and the duty to bear arms, in self-defense and for defense of the realm.” There is a document called The Militia Act (1792) that decreed that “every free able bodied white male citizen” was part of the United States militia. The word “white” was removed in 1867. In 1939, the Supreme Court upheld this interpretation and defined the militia as “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.” (cf. United States v. Miller.)
Today, political hacks, wonks, and pundits want to eradicate the Second Amendment. They’re all still for a full and robust First Amendment that allows them to say anything they want anytime they want, but they want to rid the world of the Second Amendment. Occasionally, their hypocrisy is noticed, but then quickly fades into the white noise of a media that grows quickly tired of yesterday’s news. One such instance is Bill Maher. Who quipped once, “I say if you really insist on keeping (the second) amendment in the Constitution, then we must keep to the spirit of it, which means you can still own a gun, but it must be a musket.” What is more than hilarious is that when the riots broke out in Los Angeles in 1992, where Maher lives, he borrowed a handgun from a friend for self-defense. Had he been consistent, he would have rushed out to his local Turners Outdoorsman and applied to undergo a background check so he could purchase his blunderbuss. Liberals are a scream. All of his “bravado” and pacifism left the building the moment the riots got up close and personal for him.
The Second Amendment grants free U.S. citizens the right to bear arms—not the right of bare arms. Of course, the moment you begin suggesting that gun ownership is a “right” granted by the Constitution there is the typical cry about how the government needs to step in and control everything. Otherwise, so the emotional outpouring goes, we’ll be thrust back into the Wild West, which, upon investigation wasn’t quite as wild as we tend to think it was. It’s a tough sell—even though it’s true—that an armed society is a polite society. So at the outset, let me lay my cards on the table and state that as a free member of society, as a parent, grandparent, and pastor I believe it is the right of American citizens to bear arms. In fact, I am strongly in favor of every citizen who has passed the background check and has not, like most of my friends, been committed into an insane asylum at some point in their life, should, if they want, be issued a concealed carry permit.
But why the heading “
In the six-year span of time, the number of firearm-related fatalities actually dropped in Michigan. In addition, criminal activity dwindled (for Presbyterians, that means that the number got smaller) even though the number of residents in Michigan legally licensed to carry a concealed handgun increased 600% The expectation was the opposite; the expectation was that there would be bedlam in the streets, people killed on the freeways by handgun related road rage, club and barroom fights that ended in gunfights. Nope. Why was that? It’s simply because people who have to go through the process to get a concealed carry permit are—in general—kind, gentle, and law-abiding people. Many are former military personnel who carried weapons while they served the country. The background check is quite extensive and rules out previous felons.
With this staggering increase in concealed handgun carriers, Michigan noticed a very favorable side effect: the violent crime rate in that period decreased and, simultaneously, the number of firearm fatalities (suicide and accidents) also was less.
Why Not Call 911?
No doubt, someone is thinking: if I’m in a bad situation I’d just call 911. Well, maybe. It really depends on the “bad situation,” doesn’t it? What if you’re walking alone and are accosted or mugged on a deserted street? What if you’re broken down on the road and a carload of thugs pulls up to “help”? Or, what if you’re in the comfort of your own home and realize that an intruder has broken in? Still, for some disillusioned souls, the answer is to call 911. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not opposed to calling 911; I think you should. What is highly unrealistic, however, is to expect the police to arrive in time to save you from the “situation”. Where I live in Southern California, the fastest response from the police department is approximately ten minutes. When every second counts, ten minutes is a near eternity. The whole situation will have played itself out in substantially less than ten minutes.
According to one magazine, “Researchers believe that if holdout states had adopted conceal carry, it’s possible that they could have avoided annually as many as 1,570 murders, more than 4,000 rapes and some 60,000 aggravated assaults.” While the vast majority of Americans has been indoctrinated and brainwashed by the liberals, real researchers (and not knee-jerkers) were not surprised at what unfolded in Michigan. Reliable scholars like John Lott states that about 67% of the studies he’s reviewed indicate that right-to-carry (concealed carry) laws reduce crime. The other 33% show very little effect on the status quo.
But Just a Few States Allow This, Right?
Wrong. At present, there are 40 right-to-carry states, “with 36 now having ‘shall issue’ laws, or statutes requiring that carry permits be issued to those meeting uniform standards established by the state legislature. One of the landmark cases in the right-to-carry is what the state of Florida did in 1987. A number of nay-sayers and doomsday prophets predicted vigilante justice and a Wild West environment. If even a portion of what these people said proved to be true Florida would have to change its name to Tombstone. Here are the results of what really happened though: from 1987-1992 Florida’s murder rate decreased by a whopping 23%, while the nation’s rate continued to climb. From 1992 to the present, Florida has witnessed a continued downward trend in its murder rate.
Here’s what the Florida Licensing Division had to say about their legislation: “Florida’s concealed-carry law has been very successful. All major law enforcement groups supported the legislation. Now some of the opponents of the law admit that the program hasn’t created the problems many of them predicted.”
There is truth to the adage that once guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. We will never be able to eradicate the black market sales of illegal firearms. For those who have ever purchased a handgun legally, they are aware of a thorough process. They are also aware that joining the more than 90 million gun owners in the United States, that they will have to allay a lot of unwarranted fears and clear up innumerable misconceptions about guns, gun owners, and gun control.For example, they will have to point out that merely having a sign on campus that reads “Gun Free Zone” is no guarantee that your school is truly a gun free zone. It simply means you have a sign to that effect. The students at Virginia Tech know differently now. One can only wonder what would have happened that day if teachers and students began firing back in self-defense. So much propaganda has been spewed out by the left and gun-haters that the population needs to be re-educated. They fear guns and gun owners and so much of that fear is totally unwarranted. So the re-education process begins today with this fact: The odds of a child under the age of 10 being killed by an accident in a swimming pool are about a hundred times greater than the risk of a child being killed in a gun-related accident. When was the last time you read about a ban on private swimming pools or passing laws making it difficult—next to impossible—to own a swimming pool?
 Grover Norquist, Leave Us Alone, (NY: HarperCollins, 2008).
 Richard Poe, The Seven Myths of Gun Control, (
 Ibid., 145.
 Ibid., 153.
 Gary Lantz, “Michigan Celebrates Sixcess!” America’s 1st Freedom, (April, 2008), p.35.
 Ibid., 34.
 Ibid., 35.
Labels: Gun Control