Violence in a Gun Free Land, Part II
I do not believe that the word tragedy completely describes the feeling as I listened to the news from the Sandy Hook Massacre. Another disassociated, mental incompetent, angry at the world for an imagined slight takes his rage out on the weak, the helpless in a place of supposed safety. This morning the President called for greater restrictions on firearms in an emotional effort to prevent the next incident as if to say that someone without a gun would never do something so reprehensible.
The response to the first part of this article was incredibly enlightening as even those in the gun community are not exposed to the conditions that exist in other countries where firearms are outlawed. So I thought to tally the responses into cohesive themes to discover what Violence in a Gun Free Land looks like.
The responses largely came from former resident of three countries where firearms had all but eliminated. These were Great Britain, Australia, Singapore and Israel. Heres what they said:
Do government restrictions stop firearms from getting into the hands of those who should not have them?
Start of Chapter 10 from "A Pheasant for the Dinner, Two Pigeons for a Pie" :-The events that preceded the Dunblane massacre 13th of March 1996 were already well documented and Hamilton was well known to the Central Scotland Police. There were a number of investigations, reports filed and some of the information was made available to the general public, As far back as the summer camp in Loch Lomand in 1991, complaints were made and these were investigated by the Child Protection Agency. Hamilton was reported to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration of no less than 10 separate charges including assault, obstructing the Police and contravention of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) act 1937.
NO ACTION WAS TAKEN. So, in my case, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the authorities were to blame. Unfortunately, the victims and their families and ultimately my business and family were devastated as a result.
Following the tragedy, who led the campaign to ban guns?
Unfortunately where we were in Scotland the Dunblane tragedy quickly turned into a political issue. The pro gun Conservative government under John Major had been in power for many years and in an effort to change this, the anti-gun Labour government under Tony Blair said simply, vote us in and we will ban all handguns. That's what they did, but it didn't stop the people who still wanted them from getting them. Today, to obtain any type of hunting rifle in the UK you need permission to shoot from a landowner. If that landowner then sells the land, any hunting rifle must be turned into the authorities until written permission is granted by the new owner.
This was a sentiment echoed over and over again. The liberal media led the call for greater gun restrictions that was then picked up by politicians. There was little to no opposing voice on the other side as these organizations felt they could not combat the emotional outcry over they situation.
What is the situation today?
More than twelve years following the outlawing of guns, violence has increased with the addition of a new category on police reports for incidents with knives and other sharp objects.
The government keeps more than one database for reporting crime. One uses police reports and is often cited in government reports. The other (BCS) examines witness accounts of crimes and is more often used when police agencies discuss violent crime trending. The BCS identified Great Britain as the most violent country in Europe in 2009.
One respondent confirms the above by citing his experience as a police veteran of 21 years. In his two books, he details the genesis of the anti-gun movement and the reasons that prompted him to move his family to the United States.
Respondents repeatedly echoed the same pattern of a massacre of children being used to enact anti-gun legislation. Interesting corollaries to their comments included how:
The government spends its energy disarming the public. Agencies proactively search the homes of law abiding citizens looking for illegal arms.
Violent crime has skyrocketed. Criminals use the vastness of the Australias massive coastline to smuggle in arms for criminal activities.
Outlawing guns does not stop horrific crime.
The law makers and others should evaluate the person behind the killing and not the tools he used. IF guns were not available the killer simply changes to whatever they have on hand. In china there was a recent incident where 20 + kids were stabbed. No one is going to ban sharp metal pointy things, i.e kitchen knives. "There were six similar attacks in just seven months in 2010 that killed nearly 20 people and wounded more than 50."
Singapore has some of the toughest gun laws and murder laws around the planet and yet people are still killed in ghastly fashions. i.e.
http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_1793_2011-03-17.html (Note: Here the murderer is tried, convicted and hung in 28 ½ months).
The tools they use are inanimate objects and cannot influence the end result, only the method of operation. It is the mind of the killer that decides to complete the task of killing and what tools to use to do it. People use cars to kill other people and even crash them through playgrounds filled with children, but you will never hear the politicians say that cars must be banned.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2012/10/25/edmonton-st-paul-school-crash.html (Note: In this article, it is unclear at this point in the investigation whether the perpetrator was drunk, mentally ill or both).
Are Israeli teachers really armed? Who guards the children while they are at school?
Israeli teachers are unarmed, and Israeli kids get murdered (So do Palestinian kids by the way). The Israeli society has quite strict gun laws actually, but a lot of armed off duty soldiers. So then murderers change the method of attack, bombs being the norm.
Respondents speak to the security of both Israeli and Palestinian schools where entrances are guarded by iron gates and armed guards. Identities are verified, entrants searched and questioned. Children on outings are escorted by armed security guards or members of the military. Incidents are low as most murders dont want anyone shooting back at them. Bombs became the preferred method of the cowardly terrorist.
Would the American people support staffing schools with armed guards to prevent or diffuse this kind of incident? After all, there is a large body of evidence demonstrating that in states where an armed civilian populace exist, a significant reduction of violent crimes occurs.