December 18, 2012
Although the tragic, senseless murder of 20 children in a Connecticut shooting last Friday has been hyped to demonize the 2nd Amendment, is it possible to ban everything that causes children harm just because one sick person decides to commit a heinous crime?
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, firearm homicides account for 2.7 child deaths (which includes all children under the age of 19) per 100,000 people here in America. To put this statistic in perspective, motor vehicle injuries account for nearly three times as many deaths at 8.1 children per 100,000. School bus accidents have killed whole classes of children in one fatal moment, but no one is clamoring to ban cars and school buses.
The 2011 F.B.I. Uniform Crime Report actually shows that American violence is down across the country. Violent crimes such as murder have officially dropped for the 5th year in a row; the number of American murders is now the lowest it has been in more than 40 years.
Children are the most fragile members of society. Unfortunately, history shows that gun bans do not stop mentally disturbed people from finding ways to commit school massacres.
Private ownership of guns is banned in China and almost completely forbidden in Japan. Over the years, gruesome mass school stabbings have become a familiar happening in those countries. In June 2001, a former janitor diagnosed with numerous mental disorders entered an Osaka elementary school and began stabbing children and teachers. He ultimately killed eight children and seriously wounded another 13 before he could be stopped. The crime reportedly took place in only ten minutes.
A Chinese man stabbed eight children to death as they were waiting for their parents outside an elementary school in March 2010. Elsewhere in China the following month, a man broke into a primary school and stabbed 18 students and a teacher. The very next day, the nation mourned when a man locked himself inside a kindergarten class with a knife and committed what was dubbed a copycat crime. Four more children died that day, and another 28 were wounded, including five left in critical condition.
In fact, just hours before Adam Lanza broke in to Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut and opened fire, another man walked into a Chinese elementary school armed with a kitchen knife and stabbed 23 children, reportedly because he was “psychologically affected” by the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world. Reports claim some of these children were found to have had their ears and fingers cut off. This terrible scene is starting to become a common occurrence.
Knives are useful tools for many things, but the UK has banned carrying a knife in public “without good reason” unless the blade is three inches long or less. UK hospitals are not required to report knife-related crimes like gun crimes there, so there is no official reliable data on them. Still, should we ban knives here too, just in case?
While the Connecticut massacre is horrible, it is not the worst school massacre in American history. In 1927, a man decided to bomb a school in Bath Township, Michigan, ultimately killing 38 elementary children before killing himself in the final of three explosions. In his insanity, the man was able to murder nearly 40 children at a school with a single weapon, no gun involved. Nearly 170 children died in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building included an onsite daycare, again, no gun involved.
Hands are used to set incendiary devices. Should hands be banned?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of four and the second-leading cause for children between ages one and 14. Water kills lots of children every year. Should we ban water?
More people get fat with the aid of a fork and spoon than any other object, and obesity has been found to cause detrimental health effects that can lead to death. Should we ban eating utensils? After all, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has now launched a campaign against guns, has already banned large sugary drinks.
The National Safety Council reports that more people die of intentional self-harm each year than either auto accidents or assault. Should we ban ourselves?
Gun control has been shown to increase crime. Not to make light of the Connecticut tragedy, but where does it end?
The Transportation and Security Administration‘s (TSA) business is groping Americans and treating us like criminals. We are guilty until proven innocent every time we want to fly, even though the agency has never stopped a single terrorist. Harrowing stories of the TSA abusing people at the airport flood the news all the time. Is this illusion of safety keeping us safe?
Our criminal government is armed to the teeth. Banning guns will mean criminals and the criminal government will be the only ones left to have them. Banning guns will definitely infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear them.
But if we are going to ban firearms, here’s another statistic: our president’s off-the-record drone strikes have killed over 170 children in Pakistan alone. Can we ban drones? (Can we ban Obama, too?)
If a psychologically unwound person snaps and decides to harm helpless children in mass, they target a school for obvious reasons. America’s schools are already gun-free zones, a fact that has not kept mass shootings from occurring there. Criminals are criminals because they do not abide by society’s laws. In many cases, a lot of planning goes into these mass killings. Gun or no gun, these people are not deterred from carrying out such random horrible acts.
A 2006 Harvard study titled, “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” exhaustively reviewed American and European firearm laws and found no correlation between gun ownership and violent gun crimes. Instead, evidence showed that murders and suicides were usually based upon social, economic, and cultural factors regardless of weapon availability. Data also showed that the nine European nations with the most private gun owners had three times fewer murders than the nine nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership.
As for the blatant anti-gun agenda now being foisted upon us on nearly every news channel in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting, none of it is about keeping our children safe. It’s ultimately about taking away our rights and the government maintaining its power and control over the people.
Like Rahm Emanuel said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”