Dennis Campbell
February 19, 2008
College shooting reveals muddled thinking by the left
By Dennis Campbell

Comments by liberal politicians and bloggers following the recent shooting at Northern Illinois University clearly demonstrate the struggle the Left has with clear, rational thinking.

Sen. Barack Obama, would-be Democrat candidate for President, said the country must do "whatever it takes" to end gun violence. Whatever it takes? That opens the door to serious violations of individual liberty.

Of course, he paid lip-service to our constitutional right to bear arms so, apparently, "whatever it takes" does not include confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens.


Obama then made this puzzling statement: "The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn't borne out by our Constitution." What does "gun safety" have to do with keeping firearms from criminals? Better that we simply prosecute them and keep them locked up for a long time.

Sen. Hillary Clinton, another Democrat hopeful, said, "We've got to figure out how to get guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, gang members and people with mental health problems."

But you will not keep guns from criminals and terrorists with another 20,000 laws, because they would have the same effect as the current 20,000: None, since criminals and terrorists do not obey the law. This is meaningless rhetoric.

One liberal blogger wrote, "We need strict gun control and if that means getting rid of them all together all the better." Aside from the fact that our Constitution specifically guarantees our right to keep and bear arms, simple rational thinking tells us that to believe banning guns will keep them from criminals is plainly nonsensical.

Another wrote in typically elegant Leftist prose that "the more guns we have the safer we are. why is it that conservatives, or rarther american conservatives clling to this stupid argument like drowning men on a raft. In their world its never the fault of the gun lobby or a society that allows just about anybody even criminals to have guns. No they only see what they want to and the most insane solution is of course 'to arm the children.' Yeah that makes so much sense. Why don't we just arm everybody with an offical gun and ammo and we'll just see how safe you are."

Actually, he could answer his own question with some basic research. Alaska, which allows anyone to own a handgun, reported a violent crime rate of 634.5 per 100,000 residents. Washington, D.C., which pretty much prohibits anyone from owning a functioning handgun, has a rate of 1,371.2 per 100,000.

(As far as "arming the children," one genuinely wonders where liberals get their inane notions. Teaching children gun safety does not mean arming them).

What is the truth about gun ownership? Although the data have been recounted endlessly, they always are worth repeating, since efforts by the Left to infringe on 2nd Amendment guarantees never cease.

Researcher John Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime, says that "States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes."

He continues, "Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect, the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent."

When Texas allowed citizens to carry, liberals, as always, predicted shootouts at Wal-Mart and bloodshed on Main Street. Of course, that did not happen, nor did it happen in Florida, or in any other state or city that has honored our right to keep and bear arms.

The statistics are available, the history is there to be reviewed, and the lessons are clear. Unfortunately, liberals seem to be guided by that popular aphorism, "I've made up my mind. Don't confuse me with the facts."

There is a question I would like to ask Clinton and Obama: If their child was being threatened by someone with a gun and I came around the corner, would they want me to be carrying a cellphone, an iPod or a Glock?

I am sure I know how the parents of those dead college students would answer.

© Dennis Campbell


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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