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Walter E. Williams
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Are Guns the Problem?

Comment

When I attended primary and secondary school — during the 1940s and '50s — one didn't hear of the kind of shooting mayhem that's become routine today. Why? It surely wasn't because of strict firearm laws. My replica of the 1902 Sears mail-order catalog shows 35 pages of firearm advertisements. People just sent in their money, and a firearm was shipped.

Dr. John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime," reports that until the 1960s, some New York City public high schools had shooting clubs where students competed in citywide shooting contests for university scholarships. They carried their rifles to school on the subways and, upon arrival, turned them over to their homeroom teacher or the gym coach and retrieved their rifles after school for target practice. Virginia's rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school and sometimes storing their rifles in the trunks of their cars that were parked on school grounds. Often a youngster's 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to him by his father.

Today's level of civility can't match yesteryear's. Many of today's youngsters begin the school day passing through metal detectors. Guards patrol school hallways, and police cars patrol outside. Despite these measures, assaults, knifings and shootings occur. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010 there were 828,000 nonfatal criminal incidents in schools. There were 470,000 thefts and 359,000 violent attacks, of which 91,400 were serious. In the same year, 145,100 public-school teachers were physically attacked, and 276,700 were threatened.

What explains today's behavior versus yesteryear's? For well over a half-century, the nation's liberals and progressives — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what's moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus.

During the '50s and '60s, the education establishment launched its agenda to undermine lessons children learned from their parents and the church with fads such as "values clarification." So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that sought to undermine family and church strictures against premarital sex.

Lessons of abstinence were ridiculed and considered passé and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor consent.

Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms — transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. The more uncivilized we become the more laws that are needed to regulate behavior.

Many customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now we're paying the price. What's worse is that instead of a return to what worked, people want to replace what worked with what sounds good, such as zero-tolerance policies in which bringing a water pistol, drawing a picture of a pistol, or pointing a finger and shouting "bang-bang" produces a school suspension or arrest. Seeing as we've decided that we should rely on gun laws to control behavior, what should be done to regulate clubs and hammers? After all, FBI crime statistics show that more people are murdered by clubs and hammers than rifles and shotguns.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

18 Comments | Post Comment
The NRA was also a quiet group dedicated to marksmanship and hunting and not a political activist group calling the US Government ATF agents Jack-Booted thugs and attacking any politician who even thought about reasonable limits on guns. The GOP was a moderate political party which espoused respect for the institutions of the US government and not "drowning it in a bathtub", thus feeding the frenzy of gun sales. The point of the type of guns being sold was target shooting and hunting, not military kill power. Many things have changed. The question is one of finding the best paths forward from where we are now and your article certainly points to an important part of the problem. Thank you.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Mark
Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:52 AM
Sir;... I am surprise you haven't noticed Court ordered desegregation as the cause of all the violence in our schools...
In fact; where some have preached unity of purpose and nation, others have preached disunion and hatred, and even today people are elected on a message of hate and the denial of justice for women, for blacks and for all... And if you find it hard to sympathize with all the church sponsored hatred of humanity, the denial of science and the use of government institutions to sponsor hate, violence, and war; then you become the automatic enemy of the unreasoned madness that is condemning this society to decline and failure... In stark terms, we have those few of the middle classes in the process of being dispossed by taxes in the effort to support the poor in their poverty without giving them hope of improvement... The last thing anyone has to offer the poor of this land is justice which offers in turn, peace and hope...
It is easy to abuse the poor for their violence, but where were the poor not always violent??? We cheer the rapacity of capital though it robs us and robs fruture generations of the resources they will need to survive...We have feasted and glutted ourselves off our third world conquest, and any claim we have now to justice when our country is snatched from under us rings hollow... Those who demand justice must suffer it...
If the poor are more inclined to violence, why is our nation, our government inclined even more to violence... This people is not blind to the little evidence required to drag us all into pointless war with a people in no sense our enemies... Do the Iraqis have WMD??? Maybe... Let's kill them, and find out... We cannot rid ourselves of our tyrants, or of the threat of attack by our own government, and yet we want them to bring the full force of our military against an innocent people to rid us of their tyrant who has abused them with threat and terror... It is one thing to demand sanity and society out of ones own people, but how can the people demand the same of their unresponsive government???...
Sir; people as ignorant as yourself about morality should not write on the subject... Morals are no place for rationality... As much as wise men have tried to find a rational system of morality they have failed; but you fail for another reason entirely... Your economic system, and the system of laws upon which it depends are built upon accepted immorality, but no one can deny that they are rational within a certain frame of mind... When the Catholic Church lost the battle for fair profits long ago, it should have been a sign that their day was done, and they should have closed up shop...It was all rather like the pot calling the kettle, for there was no natural limit to the amount the church dispossessed their people...
The church had no problem with exploiting people, and no problem with violence for what they considered a good cause... But in the process of establishing control of society it was they, through law, and through the concept of the individual who have ultimately been responsible for the establishment of nation states on the break down of all communities...Community control, community responsibility, and community justice are still denied by law... Even our native communities are forbidden to practice native justice though the government allows them to suffer an epidemic of crime, rape, and violence without raising a finger...
It is obvious that the greatest victims of crime and violence are the poor suffering the poor... There are more private police than public police even while the rich demand an extreme amount of public police protection... Without communities, without any public spirit of any sort, people form themselves again into tribes, or worse, act as individuals out of their own sense of psychic self defense...
It is out of the desire to have the poor as victims, unable to offer any collective self defense that customs, traditions, and moral values were trashed to begin with... Not a part of the exploitation of environment and humanity practiced by capitalism bears the scrutiny of moral judgment... We know it is wrong and think a little vice like greed can be controlled; and there is simply no end to it...
Morality is community, but the individual, the philosophy and legal conception of the individual is the end of community... And some of what you refer to as morality is in fact culture, and culture is the knowledge of a community, including moral knowledge, the knowledge of right and wrong... When your morality, when your economy, and your law are founded on abstract principals that are all rather self serving; then they exist in contradiction to true morality which is not an abstraction, but an adaptation of human behavior to reality...
Capitalism has not simply wrecked the environment, but made a wasteland of every culture it has touched... No people can withstand the profit motive... How many families has the false morality of the churches destroyed because they would not help the family intact, but help it broken??? Forcing mothers and fathers to work for nothing if they can find work at all does not improve the moral environment in their homes, but leaves everyone sullen and explosive...
Is it right that anyone should feel put out of their community so much as being without defense against exploitation does??? Look into the past for some example of any community intact taking the abuse individuals must now suffer legally and without recourse...
Your mind is a place where the ignorance of the republican holds hands with the want of understanding common to all moralist with no sense of morality...History is repleat with examples of people standing and dying as one because the sense of community was their morality, and they would defend their individuals against the many with the same fury... Before money was honor, when honor was honor, and honor was ones place in ones community no one would stand for the abuse we witness and take for granted...What you want is morality, you say; and you think it is what people are preached and taught, but that is of little moment... What people learn in their lives before they are rational is what makes them moral...But morality can be easily broken by abuse, and once broken cannot be mended by more abuse...
Try as you might to understand morality through reason, it is more easy to understand immorality in that fashion... Injustice is always justified, but people try in vain to justify morality when easy profit has their ear... As much as you want to blame the left for the immorality of society is the right who are behind it... The left seeks a moral thread that can bind this nation as one, but the profit- is in immorality and disunion...Do not blame the left for teaching a higher morality that cannot possibly take under the circumstances... The schools, and churches are teaching the lesson of futility, and they are bound to fail... The poor look at the rich, and see wealth is honor, and though it makes the notion of honor pointless, they seek wealth as honor...What does it matter who they hurt, who they kill, or what laws they break so long as they die with a dollar in their pockets...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:20 PM
Mr. Williams
what an excellent article and you state what a lot of us said for years. I too. was a member of the rifle range at my high school and brought my rifle in to shoot. It is a shame the liberal mind set it is to be socialistic and ruin this great Nation. Keep up the statistics because this is what the liberal does not want to acknowledge the truth just their own fantasy and the high cost that goes with it
Stephen
Comment: #3
Posted by: Stephen Burchett
Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:56 AM
As is so often the case it is easier to recognize what is wrong than to know what is right. Prof. Williams correctly describes many of the wrongs of our culture, but his assumption that we need to return to "customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette" is shallow and disappointing. Which customs? Slavery? Which traditions? Subjugation of women? Moral values? Prof. Williams often uses that as a euphemism for religion, which here he is more explicit about. But which religion? Perhaps Islam? As much as I respect Prof. Williams, this makes me question where he stands on the separation of church and state. And as for etiquette, politeness is a consequence of a healthy culture, not a way to achieve one. In short, Prof. Williams falls into the age-old error of believing that only religion can be a source of moral values, which implies that morality cannot be grounded in reason or reality. What is needed is a secular code of ethics that can be demonstrated as true. But for differing reasons, both the Left and Right reject any such notion, as demonstrated by over 50 years of attacks from both sides on Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. Prof. Williams cannot be ignorant of her, but I suspect he rejected her long ago for her atheism because of that assumption that atheists cannot be moral. Yet religious people are constantly astonished when they meet atheists who are good people. Religion has a 2000-year headstart, so 50 years hasn't been enough time to break religion's stanglehold on morality, but that is what our culture truly needs, as long as it may take.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Phillip Schearer
Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:55 AM
So... how many of those guns in the 1902 Sears catalog could handle a 100 cartridge magazine and spit the bullets out at 20 or so per second?
Comment: #5
Posted by: ABarkus
Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:16 AM
The unfortunate reality of your comments herein is that they are true. When we as a country decided to take those first large steps toward socialism and large government we threw out the concept of personal responsibility and family, neighborhood, etc values. Without values throughout history major civilizations and societies soon found themselves in a death spiral toward oblivion.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Chet Przygoda
Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:49 AM
Mr. Williams makes several good points in his editorial. Key, is the fact that war has been declared on moral absolutes. Guns do not carry out evil plans, evil-hearted people do (see the Bible, Mark 7:20-23).
1. Presently, criminals go unpunished. (Let us not equate a term in our modern jails with punishment.) “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.” (Eccl. 8:11). When punishment is not immediate, criminals think they have eluded the appropriate consequences of an evil lifestyle and will not have to pay their due. They will not personally restrain themselves from evil under those conditions. They are fully given to do it.
Let's take a cue from the King who asked God for “discernment to understand justice” and was given “a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.” (1 Kings 3:11-12). Wise King Solomon lived under a Law that was given by God to govern His people so that the nation would flourish in righteousness and blessings (Prov. 14:34; Psalm 33:12a). Murder was punished by death (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:12). That is the only way to minimize the occurrence of such a heinous crime. Society can do without their murderous influence on others and their repeated crimes. [Note the recent case of William Spengler, in Webster, NY, who in 1981 admitted to killing his grandmother with a hammer and served only a 17-year sentence, only to set fire to his home and attempt to murder all the responders. Two were killed and two were critically injured.] Murderers will not thrive where their crimes are not tolerated.
Thieves in Solomon's kingdom had to make adequate restitution to their victims with an added punitive amount (Lev. 6:1-5). Never did they serve a short term in a climate-controlled cell while the victim suffered the financial loss and paid higher insurance premiums.
2. There is little regard for human life. Our children are taught that human beings are a sort of high-grade ani¬mals with no souls, that all we are is some sort of improved ape. We live in a society that fails to regard and uphold the sacredness of human life. Prime-time news anchors get all bent out of shape when two dozen children are murdered at an elementary school, but there is not one extended edition of the nightly news in response to the thousands that are murdered every day in this country by abortions. “God created man in His own image” (Gen. 1:27), and taught men to respect that. To the first recorded murderer God said, “The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.” (Gen. 4:10). Until we reverse this ungodly philosophy which devalues the estimation of human life, we will not succeed in minimizing crime.
3. God's word is ignored. The Bible is even ridiculed and jeered at by people in positions of powerful influence, such as educators and news commentators. God has been dethroned and laughed out of his own world. The Apostle Paul provided an eye-opening list of specific sins (and crimes) that would characterize any people who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Of them, he said that they “did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,” (Rom. 1:18-22). Among the sins of those who “did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer” were “unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, … murder, strife, deceit, malice, … haters of God, insolent, … inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, … untrustworthy,” etc. (Rom. 1:28-31). Whenever men reject the high and holy way of righteousness, horrible consequences are the result, and men become dark-hearted fools. “Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.” (Hosea 4:6b-7; cf. Deut. 32:18-20).
It is foolish to expect anything but an increase in crime so long as these conditions prevail. Crime will never be totally eliminated among men on this earth, but three things will decrease crime rates: (1) quick and sure punishment of the criminal, (2) a higher regard for human life, and (3) a deeper reverence of God and his word. God is the rightful Ruler of men's lives, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the remedy for sins [crimes] (Rom. 1:16-17). Moral absolutes reside in our Creator.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Gary Smalley
Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:52 AM
Mr. Williams
I just read this article and wanted to say thank you for giving voice to all of us who know what the break down is. The stats from the National Center for Education are staggering. Many in my community have recognized that the lack of basic value placed on human life has delivered a huge tole. We have taught generations now through millions of abortions that there is no value to human life. This devaluation is a root cause of the violence we are seeing.
Thanks again, debra
Comment: #8
Posted by: Debra
Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:05 AM
Re: Debra

So I guess the moral of the story is..."Guns don't kill people, Liberals kill people [by undercutting moral values over the last half-century]"

Sounds like a stretch to me.
Comment: #9
Posted by: ABarkus
Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:06 PM
Outstanding article, you nailed it. So much hype on blaming guns. Guns are not at fault for society. We are for letting our society lose its roots such as our traditons, customs & moral values which you stated in article. I hope our society turns it around before it is to late.
Comment: #10
Posted by: David Gelaer
Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:41 PM
Dear Mr. Williams,
My wife and I deeply enjoy your columns; keep people thinking about truth. Your "Loss of traditions, customs..." column appeared in today's Oakland Press, Pontiac, MI.
I could not help but think of the Biblical wisdom proffered in Proverbs 29:18 (offered next from 2 versions of the Bible)....Proverbs 29:18 ¶ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
Proverbs 29:18 ¶ Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (NKJV)
In addition I wanted to add several explanatory statements from several widely recognized Bible commentators to assess the breadth and depth of the quotes from the Bible.
- from British Family Bible
“Where there is none to instruct the people, and expound the will of God to them.”
- from Family Bible Notes
“The faithful dispensation of divine truth is the only hope of a nation. Where this is wanting the people will sink into ignorance and corruption, till their destruction becomes inevitable.”
- from 1599 Geneva Bible Notes
“Where there are not faithful ministers of the word of God.”
- from Adam Clarke's Commentary
“Where Divine revelation, and the faithful preaching of the sacred testimonies, are neither reverenced nor attended, the ruin of that land is at no great distance.”
- from Jamieson/Fausset/Brown Commentary
“…no vision--instruction in God's truth, which was by prophets, through visions…”
“…people perish-- are deprived of moral restraints.”
- from John Wesley's Notes on the Old and New Testaments
“No vision-No prophecy; no publick preaching of God's word.”
- from Hall's Explication of Hard Texts
"Where God withdraweth himself, and doth not reveal his will to any nation or people, there is no ordinary means of keeping their souls from perishing.”
- from Patrick/Lowth/Whitby/Lowman Commentary
“Where there are none to instruct the people, and expound the will of God unto them, and first grow idle and careless, and run into all licentiousness; till, growing refractory and ungovernable, they be abandoned by God to destruction; but when they are not only well taught, but also strictly observe the laws of God, they remain in a prosperous, happy condition.”
- from Thomas Haweis Commentary
“Miserable is the state of that people who are left destitute of revelation, and the ministry of the word; they perish for lack of knowledge, in their sins; or are made naked, as in the margin, stripped both of their armour and ornaments; or become idle, careless in their walk for want of warning; or go backward, as is usually seen where the gospel is taken away from a place, that many fall away quickly from their professions; or are rebellious, destitute of the fear of God, they have no restraint, but cast off the yoke of authority, and grow factious and turbulent; for all these senses the word bears: but he that keepeth the law, not only hears, but obeys it, finds the blessing and comfort of his fidelity.”
- from Thomas Scott Commentary
“Where the light of Revelation has not reached, the people live in ignorance and ungodliness, and perish in their sins. The Bible and faithful teachers are therefore great mercies; yet men should not deceive themselves by being hearers only, without being also doers of the word; for “he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” At the same time, this maxim points out those who have no scriptural instruction as the objects of deep compassion; and inculcates the duty of sending missions, forwarding every design for the instruction of the ignorant, and praying for an increase of faithful laborers in every part of the vineyard, and of the world.”
Comment: #11
Posted by: Dan Gehman
Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:12 PM
Re: Gary Smalley;... Let me attend to your nonsense... The religious and their religions are no respecters of life, and where ever they have taken hold they have only taken over the traditional morality which no people has managed to live without... That is why, for example, the European Christian Holiday calender mirrors closely the pagan feast day calender, and even uses many of the same symbols... Easter is pagan, for example, and so it the bunny...
The changes made by Christianity were slight and slow, and even today we invoke magic, more or less in our traditions, saying luck, and wish invoking pagan gods, and having four of our week days named after pagan gods... The terrible sad fact of that matter is that so many think of Jusus as but a variation of a pagan god, open for bribes, accepting of the sacrifices we draw, even out of the pain of others...No more than a fraction dare think and read about their religion... Some refuse to see the evolution in their own religon as much as the evolution in nature... They look for absolutes and find absolute ignorance...
I would not say that morality does not approach an absolute only because Christians are not generally moral, but only specifically moral in regard to their denominations or sects...Essentially, there has never been a general morality, and never a human morality, and this nation state of ours, if a success- would have given us a national feeling and a national morality that has long escaped us...
Only look at the word ethic compared to ethnic and you will see my point...Ethics governed ones behavior in regard to ones ethnic group, with each man standing as representative of his community, giving honor or shame to them, and with blood being thicker than water...We may dispise the Jews for acting as Jews in regard to the Arabs, and dispise the Arabs for acting as Arabs in regard to the Jews, but however inhumane their actions are, we can hardly accuse them of acting unethically... It is ethical to give as good as you get in regard to other ethnic groups, good for good, and bad for bad...
I think it is a terrible shame that the churches, divided as they are over questions of dogma have not been able to unite us better as a people... Perhaps that is why the churches were given the privilages they were given, and why they are so reluctent to allow the government any part of the task of charity though they will not do it themselves...If you only read the old testament prophets and nothing more, you will see upon what a history of unethical behavior Christianity has founded itself...No one can count the crisises Isreal has survived because they so often divided themselves between rich and poor, priestly and commoner, with the one preying upon the other till their whole society was incapable of self defense...Isreal is a nation of people in the true sense of the word, but nothing could stop the immorality of the rich from laying bare the heart of the people before their enemies for a quick profit...
It is common knowledge that in the land where Jesus talked about giving ones pants to the man who sued you for your tunic, which people would pledge in the hopes of employment in order to feed their children, that there was so much wealth in the city of Jerselem that it paid for the construction of the Coloseum which was an immense building project...The wealth held by the priestly classes could have made Isreal healthy and strong, but in their hands only made it a weak and squabbling people...
You could say the same today in my estimation... If you shook a fraction of the wealth held by the churches in this country you could feed the poor for a hundred years... Free of the churches you could actually education the population...To the extent the churches justify injustice they justify all the pain and misery that follows from it... Look at history, and tell where it was that established religions ever stood for good... In this land it was where religions were the strongest that lynchings were most common, and they defended slavery, and stood and fought for the institution of slavery in our great Civil War...
The churches in the South and in the North could have raised up and with a single voice demanded an end to segragation and discrimination... It is by their choice that they have not ever stood united against war, and it is to my shame that my church, the Catholic Church stood so long in favor of the Vietnam War because so many Catholics lost their property, and the Church lost so much of hers...
The Churches more than any institution have used their power in the support of injustice... If you read English history, it is from the English revolution of the Ironsides that we got our freedom of religion; but not as it has become where the mass of people now need relief from the interference of religion in politics -in favor of ignorance... For a time after the English revolution the tyranny of one sect, of the puritans, was so nearly complete that few groups could practice their version of Christianity in peace... When the state religion of England came to power, they made it nearly impossible for unauthorized sects to preach as they believed... The privilages granted to religions in this land was meant to cure the abuses in England that injured so many; but the privilages granted to them has never helped us to form a true nation, or to achieve those good goals of government listed in the Preamble of the Constitution...Where is the furtherance of religion mentioned??? Where does it say the churches shall be free of taxation, or be social and political clubs designed to monkey wrench the goals of society???
Freedom of religion was meant, as much as was possible, the freedom of government from religious influence, and that was accepted because the religions wanted freedom from each other in the control of government... There has been no freedom from the influence of all of them in government though it has made us international stinkers, and has put national justice out of reach...There are no moral absolutes in religion, and if you strip the ritual from it and the robes it is nothing more than the lust of raw power...
Morality does tend toward an absolute good, but morality as a form of relationship soon discards absolutes and looks for the acceptable... Absolutes kill... Death is absolute... Forms of relationship do not kill... If two people dispute over the nature of justice, they do not seek after an absolute definition for this quality infinite in examples, but define justice for themselves, in such a fashion that each can agree with, and accept, and live with...All moral forms are defined by necessity, that is by the necessity of keeping the parties in the relationship alive for another day...
Our nation state was formed for good as the Preamble shows, but the reason religions were left out of the preamble is obvious... In seeking good as a moral absolute residing in their creator religions too easily lose sight of the necessity of moral good in every life... Religions are good for themselves... Religions to an extent serve themselves, but mostly keep their own in ignorance and frustration... The interfence of religions in government which is the place rational people should meet to determine and react to their future is taking us down the toilet of the past... Let the religions govern themselves, and stay out of government..
Comment: #12
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:38 AM
Re: ABarkus
Why don't you find me any gun that meets the parameters you describe that is available for purchase by anyone in the USA. No such guns are available.
What the media causes "assault weapons" are military-styled guns with semi-automatic action, i.e. one trigger pull needed for each round shot. 100 round mags do exist, but are rare. Indeed, none of the shootings in the news has involved such a magazine.
Most murders in the US are accomplished by small caliber handguns, with the humble .22 being the chief caliber. So called "assault weapons" are used in less than 1% of the shootings (fatal or otherwise) and rifle and shotguns less than 13%.
What we need to learn is why at Newtown, Columbine, the Denver theater, etc., young, middle class white males with lots to lose decided to off others and often themselves. The type of guns we have available is not the cause. I suggest it may be the treatment of ADHD, etc., with pyschotropic drugs like Prozac and Ritalin that are known to cause suicidal tendencies in young people. Many have been banned in Europe for young people, some banned outright. Do the research--you may be surprised.
Comment: #13
Posted by: bobw
Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:39 AM
Well now we know who to blame for the gun violence, according to Walter:
the nation's liberals and progressives — along with the education establishment,
pseudo-intellectuals and the courts
At what point does this kind of speech become hate rhetoric?
Comment: #14
Posted by: trurl
Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:40 PM
Re: trurl;... Anyone with a functioning brain can see it as stupidity poorly concealed behind a false predicate... Like so many on the right, Mr. Williams confuses subsequent with consequent.... A lot of things have changed, but one thing does not always lead to another...
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #15
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:35 AM
Re: bobw;... One of the reason I am not nagging my government to do something about the problem of too many guns in the wrong hands is that they will go too far as they are always inclined to do when doing anything; and that is a problem with the inertia of government, that it takes so much to move it and so much to stop it that one must think hard and long before bothering with it...
Second; much of the problem we see with guns could be resolved with the simple solution of demanding the armed people belong to a militia... How many of these nut heads would have been found out for what they were if they had ever had a serious look from their neighbors... You don't need to be a weather man to tell if its nightime, or be a PHD Psychoanalyst to tell a nut from a normal... The only problem with this is that the local insanity is likely to go unnoticed... If you formed a militia of white men in the South, they would hang the stars and bars on the wall, and have their wives sewing bedsheets in the common fashion of hate...None the less, so many followers, even if badly led are unlikely to come up with the sort of random slaughter the unguided mind is capable of...If you look at some of these mass murderers, they are unsocial, and unfit for society... I am not saying they are not smart, or determined, but they are missing the senses we most consider humane, of sympathy, and empathy... This would go as well for many ceo's, or politicians; and would no doubt apply to many police... The more ones behavior must suffer the scrutiny of one fellows the more likely it will conform to some accepted norm...IMO.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #16
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:54 AM
You only need one bullet at a time to kill one person at a time if killing a person is your intention.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Chritsine Uveges
Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:08 PM
Re: James A, Sweeney
Mr. Sweeney, your criticism of Mr. Williams' opinion is hard to read because you are so wrong in so many of your disjointed statements, I will resist answering even a minority of them. However to claim that " as much as wise men have tried to find a rational system of morality, they have failed" shows your ignorance of the short coming of the fallen nature of "men". Morality must be based on absolutes and these come from God not from man. Even "wise men" are fallen by nature and are not our source for moral guidance.
Likewise your statement that capitalism has made a wasteland of every culture it has touched begs the question - what is the better alternative and what culture has it caused to prosper? Ronald Reagan suggested that every high school student be required to read the book, "The 5000 Year Leap". It would serve you well to read it. There is indisputable evidence that capitalism and freedom have delivered what can only be described as a "leap" in so many measures of knowledge, inventiveness, and prosperity. As a man of faith, I see God's blessing on America in these measures as well.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Dad
Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:44 PM
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