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I am sorry about Newtown but Guns Save Lives

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 24 December 2012

In the wake of the dreadful slaughter of the innocents at Newtown Connecticut the response of the liberal left has been to argue for tighter controls on gun ownership. In bankrupt Britain the usual suspects at the Guardian and BBC say “is it not time that America caught up with us and banned gun ownership as we did after Dunblane?” In the US, Obama and the other liberals want to go down the British route. They are all wrong. Guns save lives.

One can play whatever games you want with statistics. But here are a few. In Scotland (no guns) the murder rate is higher than in ten US states at 2.35. In the US the murder rate is falling in Scotland it is rising. Were it in a league table of US states Scotland would be zooming up the rankings. The England & Wales murder rate is greater than 4 US States and we are also climbing fast.

In Israel, where everyone has a gun the murder rate is 2.4 per 100,000. That would but it about 38th in the US. But if you strip out “honour killings” in Muslim families and murders committed by the EU’s pals at Hamas, the Israeli murder rate would be lower than any US State. So too would that of Switzerland which has very high gun ownership rates.

In the US those states where there is high gun ownership end to have lower murder rates than those where there is lower gun ownership.

There will always be mad folk and criminals intent on slaughter. Such folk will – because they are driven by insanity or greed somehow manage to obtain a weapon and probably a gun. The thing is that when you open fire in a “gun free zone” you tend to be able to kill a lot of folk but when you open fire in an area where there are folks with concealed weapons wandering around you get shot yourself before that many are dead.

And so while Obama can point to two or three large scale gun massacres committed by loons what he does not refer to is the long list of potential massacres in the US where the gunmen was stopped after just one or two deaths because someone shot him. Ann Coulter provides a helpful list of these “non massacre gun attacks” in an article on this very matter here.

The point is that folks like Obama have ensured that most US Schools are gun free. Which is exactly why the crazies go there to be crazy. And to kill.

Prohibition never works. In 1920s Chicago alcoholism increase and the criminals made a fortune when booze was banned. In Britain today it is estimated that 3.5 million (5% of the population) have used illegal drugs in the past year. So prohibition is clearly not working but the criminals who control that trade are very rich and 80% of petty crime is drug related. And with gun control, prohibition does not work. The criminally insane and the plain criminals will always be able to get their hands on firearms. It is just that the rest of us will then not be in a position to deter them, defend ourselves and, yes, if needed shoot them dead in order to save innocent lives.

I have never understood why the left hates guns. Maybe it is because they associate them with hunting toffs or in the US “redneck conservatives.” I suspect it is just that they appreciate that guns allow the citizen the liberty to protect himself, imposing lack of guns is a chance for the State to deny free men yet another liberty and to make us reliant on the State to protect us all. Not that it does a very good job of it.

The right to carry firearms is part of the US Constitution. It makes sense. It saves lives. America should not follow Britain. We should follow America.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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