Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Colorado Shooting and Gun Control

Flags at half mast in reverence of the Aurora, CO victims.

The massacre in Aurora, Colorado is one of the worst tragedies in this generation. For any teenager too young to have understood 9/11 or the Virginia Tech massacre, this is most likely the first introduction to the reality of wickedness in the world. James Eagan Holmes had no apparent motive or cause, only a thirst for violence. We must all keep the victims, those still recovering and those departed, and their families in our prayers. Their livelihood should be our greatest concern. Despite that fact, when a tragedy like this occurs the political world invariably reverts itself to a debate on gun control. Unfortunately, the gun control debate has taken center stage; however, we cannot forget the victims, the message, the lives, the love and the people of Aurora, Colorado.

Gun control is a very politically charged subject, and I feel it would do an injustice to the victims if I wrote today with passion and solidarity about gun control, so I tread lightly, hoping not to start a heated argument or discussion, but hoping that each reader will consider the facts, think objectively about what I am saying, come to their own conclusions, and go hug their family and loved ones, thankful we are each alive to have this debate.

Gun control is one of those political anomalies that baffle law enforcement and political scientists continuously. Patriotslog lives and writes by the evidence given, even when we disagree with the conclusion, the bottom line is this; we cannot argue with evidence, and the truth is the most meaningful message we can send; even if we do not always like the truth. This topic has been researched for decades, and many hours have personally been put into researching it. Gun control, for some unexplainable reason, seems to always have the opposite of the expected effect. What I mean is that it is like higher taxes, you would expect that to hurt the economy and take away jobs, but the evidence shows it does exactly the opposite. That is why Reagan and Clinton economies were so strong. Gun control is similar. You would expect fewer guns to mean less crime; however, the fact is that for some reason, it is the opposite. More guns does not always mean less crime, but less guns usually does end up meaning more crime, more violent crime. I do not know why that is, but consider the evidence. Canada, which has much more strict gun laws than the United States as nearly double the violent crimes per 100,000 people than we do. The key is per 100,000 people. The United States seems to be the most violent western nation simply because we have such a large population, but the statistics are clear; England, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, and most other developed nations with gun restrictions have a higher (many significantly higher) violent crime rate than the United States. I lived in Australia and have personally seen that the general public has far more violent tendencies than the general public in America. It shocks people when I say this, but I have never heard of someone in our nation being murdered because of a dispute over who was in line first at Burger King.

In the mid 90’s Congress passed a ban on assault weapons and what is called the Brady Bill. The Brady Bill, which Patriotslog supports, created a federal database for background checks on potential gun buyers. Before these were passed gun violence was already on a steady decline in our nation; the interesting thing is that these laws had no effect on that. The rate of decline stayed constant. Under President Bush, when these laws expired, experts expected crime to soar overnight. They were shocked when letting these laws expire ended up having no affect whatsoever on the crime rate. Gun deaths on school property, despite Columbine, Virginia Tech, and others, are down 78%. You are now far less likely to encounter a violent incident in your daily activities than you were in 1990.

We have examples to support this as well. Not only are the other western nations more violent than the United States, but in our own Capital we have a perfect example. After the Supreme Court upheld the gun ban in D.C. it was expected that crime would decline: it did not. In fact, it showed that banning guns had no effect at all on the city. Consider the shootings just this decade. In Trolley Square, a mall in Utah an armed off duty police officer was able to stop the shooting, keeping the loss of life minimal. Joel Myrick an assistant principal in Pearl, Mississippi  was able to stop an armed student with minimal loss of life as well. This same thing happened at the Appalachian School of Law, when a student retrieved a gun from his car, and put an end to a shooting spree in the first moments. Students interviewed at various universities around the nation, including Virginia Tech, stated they would feel safer if they could carry guns on campus. People who support gun control often make a critical logical fallacy; they believe guns kill people. The fact is guns do not kill people, people kill people. Even if the nation were to ban all guns effective today, people—deranged, disturbed, terrible people—like James Eagan Holmes will not be stopped. Someone hell-bent on murder will be able to obtain a gun one way or another, just as they have in nations like Australia, where there is a gun ban. Consider Anders Behring Breivik, who killed or injured nearly 200 in Norway last year. Do we really think a man who believes himself to be the Joker is any different? Even in the best of circumstances, where no gun would possibly be available, Holmes still could have caused the same damage. His Apartment was rigged with as many as 12 Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)—homemade bombs—set to kill police when they entered. Suppose he could not get any weapons, he still could have used IED’s to attack the Aurora theatre. Moreover, the worst attack in U.S. history was carried out without weapons. Crazed men determined to kill as many people as possible used box cutters to take over planes and fly them into crowded buildings.

It would make no sense to read this evidence and take an NRA stand, saying that we clearly should not regulate guns at all, but we cannot assume limiting guns will help us. In fact, if anything, it means people cannot stop these shootings as they have in the past. We could make the punishment much more severe for someone carrying a handgun with no permit, we could make sale of firearms over the internet require background checks as well. There are things we can do to make people safer without taking away guns, and thereby, according to the evidence, making them less safe. 100 round magazines, as Holmes had, are probably excessive, as is purchasing so much ammunition at one time, like he did. Of course we cannot allow automatic weapons, nobody reasonably needs those to defend themselves; they would only be used for killing; we can also keep bans on armor piercing bullets, and explosive ammunition, but there is still nothing we can do to stop something like this from happening again. Gun bans will accomplish nothing. The evidence shows that guns are not the problem, people are. Taking away a gun only means a killer will be more creative, and possibly more destructive.

 

–Matt Young

24 July, 2012

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The Paterno Statue Needs to Come Down

Joe Paterno was a good man. The Freeh report cannot change that. I refuse to let one dark cloud, even if it is of the blackest kind, define the decades of service and good deeds he has done. Jeopa insisted on his players going to class; his graduation rate was far above that of nearly all division-1 NCAA football programs. Coaches these days rarely have the character Coach Paterno had. I once heard him say if he could not make his ball players better people, then he failed as a coach. He was the longest tenured coach in football, and the most successful up to the day he was fired. Even with all that success he lived in a modest middle class home. His football program gave to the University, rather than the University give him millions of dollars. As a Wildcat I would be elated to see Coach John Calipari live and give the way Joe Paterno did; for all but one event. Read the rest of this entry

Why Immigration Reform Will not Happen

Turn on your TV, over and over you will hear about immigration reform. Time after time every political candidate, from every political party and sphere of thought will tell you exactly what they think; few poll punches on immigration. The media frames the debate in two polar opposites, as we can always count on our beloved media to do, despite the fact that there is so much more to the immigration problem than can be depicted in two ideas. Nonetheless, many in this nation are falsely led to believe there are only two policies; absolute deportation, and absolute amnesty. This is still being peddled by cable news propaganda stations despite the fact that very few people in very few places actually believe either of these ideas are beneficial. The fact is both universal deportation and amnesty would hurt our nation for many reasons, the two largest of which would be an interpreted invitation for more illegal immigration, while on the other side it would be a huge economic hit.

However, illegal immigration is a problem for our nation. Illegal immigrants are a strain on our resources, and contribute to the crime rate. This is not to say all illegal immigrants are bad; in fact, far from it. Most are great people, and illegal immigration gives them a bad stigma because of those who do come solely to take advantage of our systems and make money illegally. Most illegal immigrants even believe immigration reform is needed. Coyote running, below minimum wage pay, multi-family housing, and discrimination are not the American dream. The reason this has not happened can be stated in one word: power. Read the rest of this entry

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