Crime and Public Safety

My Afternoon at the Gun Show; A Needed Study and My Pro-Gun Proposition

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Mark Stewart
My Afternoon at the Gun Show; A Needed Study and My Pro-Gun Proposition

Manchester New Hampshire's Radisson Hotel offered a beautiful confluence.
In the north side conference area was the Liberty Forum, a group dedicated to freeing us from
highly intrusive government.
In the south side area were gun dealers, dedicated to freeing us from thugs.
Both have been very successful in the past few years.
The Free State Party just reached its milestone 20,000 signatures, all of whom pledged to move to New Hampshire to
begin creating a legislative block that at the state level can engender "liberty in our lifetime".
The gun ownership movement has ratcheted gun ownership higher, despite anti-gun activism at every
level of government, from Obama to state legislatures.
(Exception: Obama's desire to disarm us did not stop his administration from arming Mexican drug rings; and the "gun
buyback" cities managed to fund new weapon "trade-up" purchases by inner-city thugs).
Yet, with most moves to restrict gun ownership, or the liberties we may take with our firearms,
the freedom movement gains. New firearm sales increase, along with the ferocity with which we protect our property rights.
Liberty MEANS having guns to protect my property.
The two movements deservedly coincide.
Those who study the issue know that more guns means LESS crime.
They witness Switzerland, with nearly 40% gun ownership having the lowest murder rate in all of
Europe. They know that among 18 -22 year old Israelis, for whom there is nearly 70% gun ownership, carry out fewer than 10 murders a year.
They recognize the nature of humanity: that American criminals are not so stupid as to commit mayhem in places where other people are
armed.They know that "gun free zones" are an invitation to criminals.
They know that the best possible defense to a malicious shooter on a rampage is a good guy with a gun.
In other words, the liberty people have common sense.
Not so the anti-gun "progressives".
These are the people who stammer when asked "if there were a shooter in your classroom, would you be relieved that a trained companion is carrying a
pistol?"
These are the people who think that if we outlaw guns, that the 350,000,000 firearms in America
would all just disappear. These are the people who refuse to realize that an evil person
can murder another with a knife or a boxcutter, and can murder many with gasoline, fertilizer and a fuse.
These are the people who think the person bent on murder will heed the law that his weapon needs to be registered.
Fortunately, liberty-minded people are not so foolish.
So the anti-liberty people then raise the argument that firearms in the home cause accidental shootings.
Here they miss another point.
CAREFUL people minimize the risk.
Gun-owners who not only bring home a shotgun to their kids, but who bring home VALUES to their kids,
teach them how to use weapons properly.
Bad guys hide their guns from family members; their kids are untrained and more likely to play with Dad's piece.
Good guys bring home a weapon and proudly show their kids how to clean it, where to store it, how to use it for enjoyment, and
how to use it for protection.
They begin, as I was told, "used wrongly, you could end up killing
someone".Some gun-owners treat their weapons as near holy items.
They are not obscured from the children, and the children have an abiding respect for them.
Some professor should study where the incidence of accidental shootings by children comes from; it's unfathomable that the majority would come in homes where parents teach their children about firearms.
In case such a study proves my supposition wrong, there's still a compelling reason to keep the
rights of gun-owners intact: freedom of choice.
Even if studies would perversely conclude that well-trained people still are more likely to kill themselves with a firearm than kill a murderous
intruder, we deserve the choice to make that decision.
If I trust my kid and myself to handle a weapon properly, I want the option to defend myself. Even if the odds of my hurting, perhaps
killing, myself are high, I want the freedom to make that choice.
Take that freedom and I'm now more likely to be killed by a thug.
We freedom-lovers find that proposition unacceptable.
I hope more Americans will join the common sense / liberty coalition in the coming years.
We will all be safer.

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