Saturday, December 14, is the first anniversary of the ghastly unprovoked attack on innocents at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and to mark the occasion Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is holding “No More Silence” anti-gun memorial rallies in 35 states in an attempt to energize the push for more gun control.
“Each event will include a communal ringing of bells — a moment of No More Silence,” according to the group's website. “Something changed after Sandy Hook,” Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts was quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek saying. “We can’t unring the bell, and we will be heard. This is not the America I want for my children.”
At the moment Watts’ efforts are being challenged by a rising tide of resistance. In April President Obama was visibly angry over the Senate’s rejection of a gun control bill he favored. And although five states enacted tougher gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting, another 16 states reacted to it by relaxing gun restrictions. The attack on Friday at a Colorado school not far from the scene of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 is so far failing to catch anything like the attention the national media lavished on Newtown.
Pew Research Center’s study released in May noted the declining trend in violent crime which is now half what it was just 20 years ago. The study found that there were fewer firearm homicides in 2011 than in 1993 despite the growth in U.S. population from 260 million to over 309 million — nearly a 20-percent increase. Pew also deflated Watts’ efforts when it observed that while “mass shootings are a matter of great public interest and concern ... they are also a relatively small share of shootings overall.” It added:
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less than 1% of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008.
And then, to prove the point, Pew went on to say that there is good evidence to show a direct link between increasing gun ownership and decreasing gun violence. This puts the lie to the shibboleth claimed by gun controllers that more guns equals more crime.
Mass murderers prepare meticulously and usually acquire their weapons legally. Comprehensive background checks … wouldn’t have stopped Newtown gunman Adam Lanza. Aaron Alexis, who killed 12 people [at the Naval Yard], used a legally acquired 12-gauge shotgun ... [which is] not on any plausible ban list.
Richard Feldman, author of Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist and president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, considered a number of questions Watts and her supporters continually fail to ask about how to prevent such attacks in the future:
Do we examine how criminals obtain guns? About 500,000 are stolen annually. No.
Do we have the open discussion Vice President Biden promised about our failed drug policy and why it encourages gun violence? No.
Do we devise and implement a non-politicized firearm safety program for our schools and communities? No.
Did we examine the inadequacies of our mental health resources to prevent future tragedies like Newtown? No, we did not.
Instead, we spent considerable time and money on another silly “food fight” over so-called assault weapons that are rarely used in crime (less than 2%).
Although there is evidence that Lanza was taking the prescription drug Fanapt with side effects which include “hostility, mania, a confused state [and] problems with impulse control,” there is a lot more at stake than just a silly “food fight.” Gun banners are determined to disarm every American citizen so that they can no longer resist an all-powerful central government. This was made abundantly clear by blogger “Sporks” at Daily Kos in a chilling but (happily) widely circulated article outlining, step-by-step, how to disarm the American people:
The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing....
Registration is the first step. [Once] the vast majority are registered, we can do what we will.
Totalitarians in the recent past agree with Sporks:
• “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns. That way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” — Mao Tse Tung
• “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” — Adolph Hitler
Complacency is fatal. The battle ebbs and flows but will not end until there is sufficient understanding of the anti-gunners’ goal: complete confiscation of all weapons from every citizen so that all power then resides in the hands of an unlimited government.
Photo of children being led from Sandy Hook Elementary School following shooting: AP Images
A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at