Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. suffered an unimaginable tragedy on Wednesday, June 17th. According to police shots were fired during a Bible study meeting by 21-year-old suspect Dylann Roof, killing nine people. America is mourning for the innocent lives lost, their families, and friends. It is a time for everyone to reflect. But as expected, President Obama was all too quick to take advantage of this tragedy, reconstructing it into his personal soapbox advocating gun control, even though national data shows that for the first time in over 20 years, a majority of Americans are in favor gun rights.
In a statement from the White House, President Obama called for stricter gun control:
“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”
In preference to yet another eradication of our Constitutional liberties, we should first question the effectiveness of gun control.
According to the Harvard study “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” published by Gary Mauser, Ph.D. and Don B. Kates, banning firearms is unsuccessful in preventing harm:
“If more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death, areas within nations with higher gun ownership should in general have more murders than those with less gun ownership in a similar area. But, in fact, the reverse pattern prevails.”
This isn’t the first time federal government overreach attempted to curtail our Second Amendment rights. In 1994 Congress passed “The Brady Law,” a federal assault-weapons ban in the hope of reducing gun violence. Twenty years later, research determined the bill failed at its purpose. America saw a gradual decline in gun homicides since 1993, but according to Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor of public policy, economics, and sociology, the legislation had no impact on the gun homicides it was written to protect.
“Control and treatment states had the same gun homicide rates before and after the Brady law passed…it made no discernable difference. There is no statistically significant effect.”
A spectrum of states followed suit by passing gun-control legislation, and each measure resulted in failure.
California prides itself as being the toughest state for gun rights. But in 2014 none of it;s laws prevented Elliot Rodger from going on a killing spree near the University of California Santa Barbara with three handguns all legally purchased.
The FBI statistical report “Crime in the United States,” Uniform Crime Reports (1977 and 2002), showed in the 25 years following a D.C. gun ban it’s murder rate increased 51 percent while the national rate decreased 36 percent. In defense of the ban, Democrats argued people were driving to Virginia to purchase guns. Even if that is true, gun sales in Virginia went up by 73% between 2006 and 2011 – gun related crimes fell 24%.
Obama continued his speech”
“and at some point, it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”
This despite a recent Gallup poll announcing that a record-high percentage of Americans believe that guns make homes safer. Yet again, the President is using a tragedy to score political points instead of providing serious leadership that takes into account how most Americans feel about this issue. How disappointing.