Friday, February 04, 2005

Mocny on Gun Control

Here is an excellent piece from a cofounder of the Western Conservative Association and a good friend of mine, Anthony Mocny, on gun control. It is also featured in his school paper. Anyway, here it is:

Lock and Load for Liberty
By Anthony Mocny

Around 228 years ago, a few good men became tired of tyranny. Fed up with daily oppression, they began to look towards an idealistic future of freedom. Though it began for this great few at various hours of varying days, and though the clothes they wore were far from standard-issue imperial British uniforms, they had a tool that united them more than any coat of red could ever hope to compete with. They had an instrument of liberty, a device which breathed the first fire of liberty upon the soil of a great nation. The fire of freedom would burn in a new union, and they were its armed citizenry. They were armed with this great fire of freedom, hence that term: firearm.

Lock, load, and liberty were three “concepts” that once flowed together like clouds and the blue sky. Today, in a nation that would not have come into existence without the use of arms, gun control is something that is often at the forefront of the national political debate. Is it necessary? Is it effective? You decide, but I’ll present the following evidence suggesting that some respects of gun control hardly do much of any good, while cases in which firearm freedom is expanded lead to a safer, more secure, and freer nation.

A common argument in support of stricter gun control in the US is the notion that, because of these stricter regulations in foreign nations, these nations have a lower murder rate than the US. However, in nations where strict gun control has been implemented, though the murder rates have been statistically lower than the US, this cannot be attributed to gun control.(1) Nations such as the United Kingdom, Japan, etc., had such low rates by comparison prior to the implementation of their gun regulations. Their “better” gun restrictions made little difference in their overall homicide rates.

So then if gun control doesn’t have any real effect on murder rates, what effect does pro-gun policy have on crime? Every single time in American history that any governing body down to each individual county has ever implemented a pro-gun law, crime rates have declined.(2) One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, suggested once that “those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security.” As evidenced in More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott, Jr., in regard to firearms, where there is an increase in liberty there is a parallel increase in security itself. Men like Franklin and the Minutemen of the Revolution fought for both liberty and security, and their cause would have been a failure had it not been for liberal (that is to say, in the original meaning of the word) attitudes towards gun ownership in the colonies.

To cite a more recent example of excessive gun control being a failure, the Brady Bill, or Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban signed by President Clinton in 1994, and expired during the last few month’s of President Bush’s first term has had its effectiveness called into question on many occasions. Several research organizations have rejected the notion that the ban actually reduced crime, and have found that reports from state and local law enforcement agencies show that guns defined as "assault weapons" are used in only about 1% of violent crimes.(3) The “Assault Weapons” ban was essentially cosmetic in its nature. Overall, it prohibited installing two or more attachments (e.g., a sharply angled grip, adjustable stock, or threaded muzzle) on certain kinds of semi-automatics, and limited new ammunition magazines to 10 rounds capacity.(3) House Majority leader Tom Delay (R-TX) was quite right indeed when he labeled it a piece of “feel good legislation” in the fall of last year. The ban was ineffective, and even organizations that initially supported it found it to be so.(3) Furthermore, congressional and other governmental research organizations “have found no evidence that ‘gun control’ reduces crime.”(3) Whether it be banning certain external characteristics for an entire decade or the general action of tightened restrictions on firearm freedom, both have proven to be failed initiatives.

Stricter gun control does not work. Had there been a day when the colonists were told they “didn’t need” their firearms by their government, do you want to imagine a world in which they had willingly acquiesced to such demands? The same is true today. If stricter gun control (bans, tightened policies on ownership, etc.) statistically does not accomplish the goals it is supposed to achieve, what is the anti-gun crowd’s true objective? Why, when it does not reduce crime (theft, rape, murder, etc.) at all, should a nation founded by the existence of firearm freedom seek to ban the very tools with which our liberty was won from the very public it is supposed to defend? Our forefathers fought for freedom from an oppressive monarchy long ago. They locked and they loaded for liberty. Today we ought remember the legacy bestowed upon us from generations past, and respect the tools with which our freedom was attained. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If it does not accomplish its objective, don’t implement it. Stricter gun control is unnecessary in America today, and it would be to forget that aforesaid legacy to pursue security at the price of our liberty.

Anthony Mocny writes for, the Cardinal Student Informed News (S.I.N.),, WestConBlog and

2) Lott, Jr., John R. More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

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