Gun control: an American fantasy

fantasy
Democrat National Committee headquarters.

(The following is an editorial in today’s Washington Examiner.)

The shooter who perpetrated the recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., succeeded in killing 17 people. He also got Americans talking about gun control again.

Once again, too, there were those whose contribution to debate was to sneer at people who offered prayers for the victims and their families, instead of advocating or promising gun control. Even if you set aside the sneers, there is a problem with their attitude, no matter how good their intentions are otherwise. Prayer might actually help. Gun control, on the other hand, doesn’t work and can’t work in the U.S. and is a fantasy now just as it ever was.

By “fantasy,” we mean to express several important facts that are ignored in this debate. It is fantasy as policy because stricter gun control, within the limits of what is considered reasonable today (i.e., anything short of a total ban on sales or even gun confiscation), does not guarantee or even statistically correlate with lower gun homicide rates in any given state. This fact merits your time for some research, but to give just one prominent example from the FBI data, Texas and California have comparable gun homicide rates each year (they were actually tied in 2015).

If gun control were effective, that is not what you’d expect in the nation’s two most populous states with two of the most different gun policies. And that is by no means the only observation of its kind that you’ll take away from the FBI’s annual numbers.

Gun control is a political fantasy because the Second Amendment and various states’ constitutions protect the right to bear arms. This will not be changed, full stop. You don’t need to support or even like the Bill of Rights to see that gun control is an administrative fantasy as well.

In a country where private citizens own more than 300 million firearms, no effective form of gun control can be practical, and no practical form can be effective. Even an obviously unconstitutional ban on all new sales would take a century to make its effects felt. Universal confiscation of hundreds of millions of firearms would be several orders of magnitude more difficult than deporting every illegal immigrant in the U.S.

Gun control advocates seem frustrated that this country is not and cannot ever be Luxembourg. But the sooner they accept that reality, the closer everyone will be to starting a productive conversation about how to prevent the next Parkland.

This conversation ought to begin with the question of why the nation’s existing background check system and law enforcement agencies are so woefully ineffective in preventing known threats, like that from the Parkland shooter, whose irregular and threatening behavior was no secret, from becoming school shooters.

Why is the government so bad at keeping guns out of the hands not only of people who arguably shouldn’t have them, but even of people who by law are already not allowed to have them? The Charleston church shooter was a felon who should not have been permitted to buy his gun, but for an FBI error during the background check process.

The Parkland shooter, like the Pulse Nightclub terrorist and the Boston Marathon bombers before him, had been flagged for FBI attention long before his crimes. In each case, the bureau shrugged.

Is the government incapable of safeguarding citizens’ rights and safety? Could it do so with more resources, or with more authority? Congress should at least consider granting money to the states to pay for the personnel and computer resources required to make the background check database work as intended.

Meanwhile, it should also consider creating a universally accessible, voluntary background check system, as we have recommended in the past, to replace or supplement the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The next step will likely fall to state governments, which may want to consider new ideas such as temporary gun violence restraining orders. They probably ought also to be reconsidering procedures for officially identifying and legally recognizing mental illness in people who are suspected threats to themselves and others.

There is also an entire universe of discussion that hasn’t been had in decades, about whether we as a society are inappropriately neglecting to prescribe and perhaps heavily subsidize assisted living arrangements and even partial physical confinement for certain disturbed individuals. In today’s technological context, many of these might benefit and even become productive members of society, without posing a threat.

These ideas should be at the center of this debate. Once we’re talking about them instead of trying to drink from the dry well of gun control, we’ll actually be making some progress.

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(Note: A more accurate headline would have been Gun Control: a Leftist Fantasy. Conservatives tend to be more realistic. We are people with our feet on the ground, with some exceptions. The Democrat Party, i.e. leftists, excel at dreaming.)

Diversity unveiled

BILL WHITTLE knocks it out of the park yet again.

Slandering of America

BEEN FOLLOWING the news lately?

If you have, you’ve no doubt heard, time after sickening time, that America is a nation steeped in “white supremacy.” That accusation is being tossed about liberally, pardon the expression, by people who desperately want to denigrate the U.S. and our history.

To them, Dylann Roof is far more than an evil psycho who slaughtered innocents in a Charleston church. He is, to America-bashers, a natural consequence of our “white supremacist” culture — driven to kill by his hatred of blacks and his love of the Confederate flag.

The misguided people using Charleston to denounce America should answer a simple question: Why are so many “people of color,” to use that trendy phrase, clamoring to move to the U.S.? Are they ignorant, masochistic or blind? Perhaps all of the above?

flagNever mind the tens of millions of Mexicans who have found their way north. What about the immigrants from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and other black nations in sub-Saharan Africa?

According to a report put out by the pro-immigration Migration Policy Institute, “Black Africans are among the fastest-growing groups of U.S. immigrants.” In fact, the number of blacks moving from Africa to the U.S. doubled over the past decade.

Again, why are they so eager to come to a country where “white supremacy” rules? It would be akin to black Africans migrating to South Africa in the heyday of Apartheid.

These black immigrants are living proof that many on the left are flat-out lying about America. Lying on a nightly basis, lying with impunity, lying without any fear of being challenged by our sniveling, cowardly media.

Our opinion-shapers deserve credit for accomplishing something truly astounding. Thanks to them, it is now considered racially insensitive to describe America as a “land of opportunity.” If you want respect and tenure at a prestigious university, forget that “opportunity” stuff and start talking about “white supremacy.” Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Consider a few of the ridiculous statements put out by academic types on national TV over the past week. “We are a society that values white people over people of color.” … “We are mired in prejudice and racism.” … “The source of the problem is white supremacy.”

The hosts and the anchors tend to nod in passive agreement, terrified of challenging the slander and thus being accused of racism themselves. Yes, we have reached a very strange point where running down your own country is considered a badge of honor, a sign of intelligence and sophistication.

This shameful episode is more proof of the adage put forth by ol’ Mark Twain: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Well, right now the truth is standing in its bare feet while a bare-faced lie is being spread around the globe.

The truth is evident to most clear-thinking Americans. Our nation, like all others, is flawed. Many of our forefathers condoned slavery, brutalized American Indians, and looked the other way when racial discrimination was codified by law.

More truth: There are still anti-black bigots in the U.S., but it is a grotesque lie to claim the country is defined by them. They wield little influence and power; they are generally dismissed as solitary losers. Even when one of them, namely Dylann Roof, takes out his gun and becomes a terrorist.

Roof’s carnage inspired the very best in many precincts. There was the immediate and incredible willingness of many Christians, particularly black Christians, to offer forgiveness. The act of terror also brought out America’s worst — the politicians and pundits who seem almost gleeful now that they have another opportunity to diminish this country.

When it comes to race and America, not only do many on the left see the glass as half-empty, they’re certain it’s about to fall and small into thousands of shards that will injure people. And most of the victims will, of course, be minorities.

Sadly, the race hustlers and liars are winning the war of words right now. They will continue to win unless and until truth-tellers fight back. Yes, we may get labeled bigots or worse, but the truth is on our side: This is the greatest, most welcoming and most diverse country in the history of the planet Earth.

The U.S. remains a land of opportunity. But don’t ask an Ivy League humanities professor about that. Ask a Nigerian cab driver or a Kenyan scientist. They know the real truth about the United States of America.

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The above is The Unseen Moon’s first-ever guest column. It was authored by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News.