FL Op-Ed Nails Where "Gun Control" Efforts Should Focus

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Gun control basically hinges on the idea that if you remove a weapon from the equation, you won’t have violent crime. At least, you won’t anywhere near to the degree we currently have. It seems none of these people have ever heard of any other weapon with which to kill someone other than a firearm.

Yet people kill with all kinds of things. For example, more people are murdered with blunt instruments than with AR-15s every year.

So it was refreshing to see a column from Ocala, Florida where the author thinks gun control efforts should be focused elsewhere.

Responding to Thomas Gabor, he may have written a book, but his grasp of facts is wanting. To begin with, he claims the AR-15 is a “military-style weapon.” In actuality, the AR-15 was originally a civilian rifle and the cartridge was developed to kill varmints (prairie dogs, gophers, etc.). It only became the basis, with select-fire capability, of a military rifle after the Army decided to test it primarily due to the fact that the smaller cartridge was lighter than the 7.62 x 58 mm (.308) cartridge and a soldier could carry more of them.

Like everyone else crying for gun control, he ignores the cause and focuses on the symptom. Semi-automatic firearms have been around since at least 1893 (Borchardt pistol). The Germans used extended box magazines late in World War I. Only recently have we seen the horrific increase in mass shootings. So, what changed?

The change has been in teaching people “It’s all about me.” Trophies and ribbons for participating. Graduation from pre-school, elementary school, and middle school. The drum-beat of evolution, where Dawkins says “We are merely dancing to the tune of our genes.”. Even though we have never been a truly Christian nation, we were taught there was a God who said it was wrong to kill another human being and our court system generally brought swift punishment. Now, even if (not when) the killers are caught, justice is dragged out for many years. So it becomes a sense of killing doesn’t matter.

Even if you don’t agree with the author’s particular focus, there’s really no argument against focusing on the people who commit these horrible acts rather than on the tool they used. As I tend to put it, stop focusing on the tool and start focusing on the tool using it.

If you don’t, you won’t create a less violent society. Instead, at best, you’re only going to shift them to use other weapons.

In 2019, there were almost 1,500 murders with knives or other cutting tools. When compared with 6,368 murders with handguns listed from the same source, that doesn’t sound like a problem. But do you really think that if you did away with handguns entirely, the number of knife murders would remain the same?

Or, do you think that at least some of those handgun users would have used a knife instead? If some of them would, why wouldn’t many of the rest of them?

You’re not stopping the problem. You’re just shifting it.

But if you focus on the real problem, which is people, then maybe you can actually put a stop to it overall. Address the people issue and it won’t matter if there’s access to guns or not because they won’t be trying to kill anyone.

Focus not on the tool but the tool using it. That way you can stop the problem at the source and not just shift the statistic.