Stricter gun control means government tyranny

The gun smoke had barely cleared from the 32nd floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where Stephen Paddock committed his atrocity, before Democrat politicians, late-night TV hosts and other left-wing types were calling for “common sense gun laws” to prevent further such acts. It is remarkable how these folks focus on the weapon rather than the person who used it. For example, if Mr. Paddock had driven a truck into the 22,000 people at that concert, would they focus on the truck or the driver? Keep in mind that an ISIS inspired Moroccan drove a truck into a Bastille Day crown in Nice France in July 2016 and killed 86 and injured another 458 people. The whole focus was on the driver and his heinous act and not the tool he used, but that is not what happens in this country.

It is estimated that approximately 100 million people are gun owners in the United States, and clearly they are overwhelmingly law abiding citizens. That is almost one third of the population of the country, so this is not a small minority who keep and bear arms. For some reason the left views the Second Amendment as a right for only the law enforcement community, personal bodyguards of the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, and the military, while the rest of the hoi polloi should be disarmed. There is a fundamental failure on the part of the gun control crowd to understand the origins of the 2nd Amendment and why it was such a high priority of the Founding Fathers. When the Constitution was formulated, the country had just finished a war with Great Britain, in which armed citizens had defeated one of the most powerful armies in the world at that time. The anti-gun crowd focuses on the word “militia” as if it is some form of a national or local military organization, but it is not. The militia of the period were ordinary males between the ages of 18 and 43 who were called to muster one weekend a month to practice military maneuvers and shooting their weapons. Each was required to bring his personal weapon with powder and shot to the muster field. In 1775, General Gage send an expedition to Concord Massachusetts to disarm the militia and seize their weapons and stores, and we know how that turned out. The framers of the Constitution believed that an armed citizenry was the greatest deterrent to a tyrannical government, and to this day, that premise still holds true. If you disarm the people, you control them, as did Hitler, Joseph Stalin and other despots throughout history.

One area of gun violence the politicians seem to ignore completely is that perpetrated in the inner cities of this country. In Chicago alone, there have been 533 homicides of which 499 people were shot, out of a total of 2,880 shootings, mostly committed by blacks on other blacks. If you look at homicide rates in the inner cities, you find this is where gun violence occurs at alarming rates and this is never the focus of the gun control crowd. These are cities with some of the toughest gun control laws on the books, as in Chicago, but that makes no difference. Why is this? These cities have been run by democrats for decades, so it may be politically expedient by the left to avoid bringing this to the public’s awareness. Better to attack gun owning citizens than those who use them to commit crimes.

Then we come to the issue of “assault weapons” and how they should not be sold to ordinary citizens as they are not like hunting rifles and so forth. Black guns are “scary” to the uninitiated and must be banned. These so called “assault weapons” are merely semiautomatic rifles like a whole host of other semiautomatic rifles, shotguns and pistols about which there is little concern. People own firearms for a variety of reasons including hunting, shooting sports, personal protection, collecting, and so forth, all of which are legal. There is no question that certain people should be denied the right to own a firearm, including convicted criminals, the legally insane, domestic abusers and others of that ilk. Background checks are a routine part of gun ownership, but nothing we do today would have denied Stephan Paddock the assembly of his arsenal, nor short of a ban, does there appear to be anything to change that fact. There are crazy people in this country who will find a way to commit acts of violence whether by guns, trucks, knives or bombs, as in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. This is a terrible price to pay for freedom, but the alternative is government tyranny as the ultimate control of our society. No thanks.

Jim Coull is a resident of Amherst.