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COMMUNITY VOICE

It is easier for government to oppress an unarmed populace

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 12:01 am

As our government grows more tyrannical and authoritarian it is only natural it will move to disarm its subjects.

The drumbeat to confiscate citizens’ guns is quiet while disarmament activists wait for the next mentally troubled young man taking massive doses of psychotropic drugs to go on a killing spree so they can once again demand seizing Americans’ firearms.

The argument disarmament advocates make is that guns are the cause of homicides, and by disarming everyone but the regimes, we will have no crime.

They claim the only reason the Constitution specifically states citizens can have guns is because of the prevalence of hunting in the late 18th century, and that maintaining this provision no longer makes sense in our advanced society.

First and foremost, the founders were very clear on why they wanted the population to be armed: It was their very wise distrust of government.

In Europe the nobles were allowed to carry firearms, but the peasants were not. Needless to say, this inflamed abuses by the governing class over the governed that would never have occurred if the peasants were armed to the teeth.

Knowing this, the founders wanted those without power to have the same right to bear arms as those with power. Not surprisingly, today it is the same people who want an unrestrained autocratic government lording over the citizens that cry out the loudest for disarmament.

As to the issue of guns and crime, there can be no question that disarming the nation’s citizens will not reduce homicides or crime.

The homicide rate per 100,000 in Mexico is 21.5, El Salvador 41.2, Belize 44.7 and Venezuela 53.7. What all of those countries have in common is extremely strict gun laws. Yet their murder rates dwarf that of the U.S. at 4.8 homicides per 100,000. How can that be if guns are the cause of murders and crime?

More problematic is Switzerland. Switzerland not only has far more accommodating gun laws that the U.S., but Swiss men between 21-34 until very recently were required to keep a machine gun in their house, and prior to 2008 also had to house rounds of ammo. Most still do keep their army-issued machine gun at home, and Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe.

If what we have been told is true, then Switzerland must be consumed in a bloodbath. On the contrary, Switzerland has one of the lowest murder rates in the world at 0.6 per 100,000. In 2006, of the reported cases of assault resulting in bodily harm, 89 of them involved a firearm while 526 involved a bladed weapon.

So, in a country where everyone has a machine gun, you are five times more likely to get stabbed than shot.

The same principle holds true inside of the states where regions like Chicago with very strict gun laws tend to have high crime rates, while those with almost no gun laws, like North Dakota, have nearly none. John Lott, in his famous book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” proved that gun ownership reduces crime.

So why the push for disarming? For the same reason that Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin and Fidel Castro disarmed their victims. It is easier to oppress an unarmed populace.

Ric Runestad is a resident of Fort Wayne.