•Gun rights activists speak out with both barrels
By Victor Thorn
Amid the latest furor, caused by a shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, John Lott, author of the book More Guns, Less Crime, asked a most telling question. “Would you feel safer with a sign in front of your home that said: ‘Gun-Free Zone’?”
During a July 25 interview with this writer, Lott expanded on this notion.
“Guns were banned from the movie theater where that shooting took place,” said Lott. “So, law-abiding citizens obeyed, but the criminal didn’t. Obviously, these gun-free zones make it easier for lawbreakers to engage in this type of violent behavior, producing the opposite effect of what we want to see happen.”
“The bottom line is: If you wouldn’t put one of these signs in front of your home, why place them in front of movie theaters or schools?”
Lott illustrated another under-reported element of the story: “4% of Colorado residents have concealed carry permits, but none could have taken his gun into that Aurora theater. Why do we so rarely see news reports about how often these events take place in gun-free zones? The media refuses to do it. Also, these same people in the media constantly tell us how bad guns are, but how frequently do we hear good stories about the defensive measures associated with guns? Primarily, they want to disarm law-abiding citizens.”
Alan Korwin, the author of nine books, who has twice presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court and is a national TV guest, couldn’t agree more with Lott’s analysis.
During a July 25 interview, Korwin told AMERICAN FREE PRESS: “Gun control is a euphemism for disarming the public. This entire issue pits those who are pro-rights against those who are anti-rights. It’s not even a debate. The anti-rights crowd asks: What guns can we outlaw from private hands? They’ll talk about only banning one type of weapon, but once the bill comes out it’s 16 pages long and bans everything in sight.”
Korwin shifted the parameters of this argument: “We should be looking at the behavior and cultural side of this problem,” he said. “When I grew up, kids didn’t randomly shoot up schools. It was unfathomable. Yet guns were more available then. There was no paperwork and no FBI background checks, and you could buy guns via mail order. What changed in America? Kids used to bring guns to school for show and tell, plus there were high school rifle teams. Availability of guns isn’t the problem.”
Instead, Korwin insists other factors must be considered: “Imagine the irony of that Batman film,” he said. “Those people got to experience mass murder firsthand while waiting to watch gratuitous mass murder on a movie screen.”
Korwin turned his attention to demographics: “Here is what no one will tell you,” he said. “Of the 30K gun deaths per year, over half of them occur as elder suicides. It’s not a firearms issue; it’s a medical issue. Some 90% of the other half of gun deaths result from black-on-black murders in the ghetto. They’re gang-and drug-related. But liberals have a skewed perspective on guns. They won’t talk about how blacks are angry and hostile and own illegal weapons. They’re people without hope. So, it’s not about the presence of legal firearms, but a socioeconomic problem in the ghetto.”
According to Korwin, talking heads on TV bear much of the blame for anti-gun hysteria: “80 people die in car accidents every day, while 12 people died in that movie theater,” he said. “But the media is still obsessed over this shooting. They have a fetish and a rampant hatred of guns. It’s called ‘hoplophobia’—a morbid fear of guns. This so-called political problem is actually a medical condition. The anti-rights crowd is afraid that if they had a gun, they’d shoot someone. So, they psychologically project this fear onto everyone else. Because they don’t trust themselves, they don’t trust their fellow man.”
Korwin feels that more citizens should be armed: “Chicago and Washington, D.C. had strict gun laws, but it didn’t lower crime,” he said. “In fact, there’s an inverse relationship. When the public is allowed to protect itself, criminals are at a disadvantage. We live in a safer world now than when there were no guns. A perfect example is the reign of Genghis Khan. If all guns were ever taken away, the good guys would have to reinvent them. The most important purpose of owning a weapon is to protect and defend oneself.”
Korwin agreed with Lott in regard to gun-free zones: “They’re a cruel hoax,” he stated. “They don’t work, and it’s dangerous, reckless and negligent of those who promote them. In 1991 during the Killeen, Texas massacre, the restaurant where it occurred was a gun-free zone. A woman dining there intentionally left her weapon in the car because it was illegal to bring it inside. She could have stopped that rampage before it got any worse.”
George Hennard killed 23 people and wounded 20 more that day at a Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, firing repeatedly at customers, without fear, because every law-abiding citizen was required to leave his handgun outside the restaurant.
In this light, Korwin has proposed a Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act in Arizona, where any business that establishes a gun-free zone would be fully liable for the harm it causes.
Shootings Among Law-Abiding Gun Owners Rare
By Victor Thorn
Regardless of the anti-gun propaganda that occurs following a mass shooting, homicides committed by law-abiding firearm owners in the United States are rare. By best estimates, 300M guns exist in America. If suicides and black-on-black ghetto murders are removed from the equation, only one in every 100K firearms is used in murder and manslaughter. When self-defense is considered, it becomes even clearer that gun ownership does not constitute the plague that many in the media scream about.
The numbers support this sentiment. On September 28, 2011, journalist C.J. Ciaramella wrote: “Despite increased gun sales, gun crimes continued to decrease in the United States for the fourth straight year in 2010, according to the FBI. . . . At the same time that firearm murders were dropping [by 14% in 2010], gun sales were surging. In 2009, FBI background checks for guns increased by 30% over the previous year.”
If National Rifle Association estimates are accurate, there are approximately 90M gun owners in America. Yet total firearm murders in 2010 were roughly 8,700. When inner-city unlawful killings committed by blacks—who are 18 times more likely to commit these crimes than whites—are excluded from the statistics, the overall figures are undeniably low.
Still, what happens when vocal congressional leaders, such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Frank Lautenberg, Charles Schumer, Barney Frank, Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and Barbara Boxer, seek tighter bans on private gun ownership? The answer is obvious. In Chicago, notorious for its clampdown on gun rights, more police officers were killed than in any other city across the country.
Two of the three states with the highest gun murder rates are California and New York. They also tout some of the strictest gun-control legislation in America. Another example is Washington, D.C. Prior to its handgun ban being overturned by the Supreme Court, D.C. boasted the highest murder rate per capita of any U.S. city.
When The Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune offered readers an interactive map of all gun-related homicides in their cities, the results were shocking. When murders committed by blacks were removed from the totals, the overall numbers virtually disappeared.
Rather than myopically focusing on legal gun ownership, the problem is instead geographic. As journalist and researcher Alan Korwin notes: “The ‘gun problem’ is not about guns. It’s about select groups of people. . . . Crime is not spread across the streets of America. Crime, and crime using guns, happen in isolated areas, for reasons the media and politicians hide from you.”
In a moment of rare honesty, Jill Leovy of the Los Angeles Times began compiling a homicide blog in 2007. She later reported: “The truth about homicide is that it is black men in their 20s, in their 30s [and] in their 40s. . . . Homicide is not a mass syndrome in America. It’s a concentrated group of people, and that group of people is still horribly affected by homicide.”
A CBS investigation of Chicago gang warfare and street crime supported her evidence. In a September 28, 2008 report entitled “Chicago War Deaths,” CBS reported, “More than 90% of the offenders have criminal histories, and 80% of the victims have criminal histories.”
United States Has No Monopoly On Gun-Related Mass Murder
•Nations with the strictest gun control laws have had some of history’s worst gun-related massacres.
By Victor Thorn
When the subject of gun-related mass murder is examined, the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on such violence. Contrary to media campaigns that paint America as the most dangerous place on Earth, countries with highly restrictive gun control laws see similar massacres.
On June 10, 2010, John Lott revealed: “Where have the worst K-12 school shootings occurred? It has not been in the U.S. but Europe. The very worst one occurred in a high school in Erfurt, Germany in 2002, where 18 were killed. The second worst took place in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996, where 16 kindergarteners and their teacher were shot. The third worst high school attack, with 15 murdered, happened in Winnenden, Germany. The fourth worst shooting was in the U.S. — Columbine High School in 1999, leaving 13 killed. The fifth worst school related murder spree, with 11 murdered, occurred in Emsdetten, Germany.”
Of the top 12 mass murders in history that were committed with weapons, three of them took place in America. As you can determine, these violent acts transpired in all parts of the globe and involved a variety of weaponry—not just firearms. Here are some more . . .
• Finland, 2008: Matti Saari fatally shot 10 people at a university before killing himself.
• Bogota, Colombia, 1986: A disillusioned Vietnam vet, Campo Delgado, goes on a rampage inside his mother’s apartment building. Afterward, he eats a restaurant meal before firing at customers: death toll 31.
• Japan, 1938: Toi Mutsuo kills 31 with a shotgun, axe and swords.
• West Bank, Israel, 1994: Jewish Defense League member and licensed physician Baruch Goldstein dresses in a military uniform, then sneaks inside a mosque where 800 Muslims pray. Opening fire at the exit, Goldstein shoots 29 dead and wounds 125 prior to the crowd beating him to death.
• Russia, 1999: Bus driver Ahmed Ibragimov walks house to house, slaying more than 34. (After his capture, surviving family members beat him to death with sticks and iron rods.)
• Tasmania, Australia, 1996 (known as the Port Arthur massacre): Mentally deficient Martin Bryant served as the patsy for a suspected black op that killed 35. The infamous Australian gun buybacks followed, where the government confiscated virtually all firearms. The gun confiscation has done little but leave citizens defenseless against armed criminals.
• Tanganyika, 1957: After slaughtering 21 people in the Belgian Congo with an axe, William Unek flees, only to kill 36 more three years later via a stolen rifle and another axe, in addition to burning down houses.
• South Korea, 1982: Incensed by a spat with his girlfriend, Woo Bum-kon uses a rifle and hand grenades to kill 57 and injure another 35.
• Oslo, Norway, 2011: In what may be another black op, Anders Breivik slays 69 students and instructors on Utoya Island. Beforehand, a bomb he allegedly detonated killed another eight, a total of 77 killed.
Victor Thorn is a hard-hitting researcher, journalist and the author of over 30 books.