Addressing 'Gun Violence' Isn't a Euphemism for Gun Control

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Even without Lewiston, we’d have plenty of gun control talk floating around. That’s because there are a number of people who a certain degree of myopathy regarding solutions to violent crime, particularly so-called gun violence.


To them, the only possible solution is to restrict firearms as heavily as possible.

Now, I disagree with this view, but I can at least accept that many who support it actually think it will do some good. I’m sure not all of them see it that way, but your rank and file gun control advocate? Sure.

Unfortunately, they can’t fathom anyone who opposes gun control standing for anything but maintaining the status quo on so-called gun violence.

We have come to the point that when 18 people are massacred in Lewiston, Maine — or 49 in Orlando or 60 in Las Vegas—we accept it as a way of life.

No one accepts it as a way of life. We simply differ on how to deal with it.

Well, you know, we have the Second Amendment, people say, as if words written over 230 years ago condemn us, without recourse, to the constant gun violence.

Again, no. The Second Amendment doesn’t “condemn us” to anything. However, I’ll note that we can find plenty of gun control states with violent crime problems. Gun control isn’t the solution to “gun violence.”

America has a gun violence problem it is powerless to solve, and the problem exists because of a disconnect between gun zealots, who control the political scene, and what the majority of Americans want.

Buddy, if we “gun zealots” controlled the political scene, I’d have an M240 on its way directly to my house from Amazon and I’d be able to buy a suppressor at the local store right over the counter.

The fact that we can’t makes it pretty clear we don’t control the political scene.


Further, I don’t really care what this supposed majority of Americans want. We don’t determine rights based on popular opinion.

Before getting to the disconnect, let’s look at the numbers.

This year, the Johns Hopkins School of Health published data from the Centers for Disease Control. In 2022, American had 48,177 gun deaths—26,993 suicides; 19,592 homicides; and 1532 deaths attributed to unintentional shootings, legal intervention, and undetermined circumstances.

So he’s acknowledging that most so-called gun deaths are suicides. That’s important because contrary to what many people think, suicide isn’t a gun issue. It’s a mental health issue. Take guns out of the picture and these people would just take their own life with some other method.

This is the equivalent of a fully loaded Boeing 787-8 falling out of the sky every other day.


I hate to break it to you, but we’re a pretty big country. Making these scary metaphors doesn’t actually provide the scope of what the issue is.

For example, there’s no note that most of those killed are also involved in criminal activity or that most of these homicides are centered in heavily urban, typically underprivileged parts of our cities. Funny that.

With so much carnage, even the dimmest of wits would ask, “Why not change gun laws?”

Meanwhile, those who have actual intelligence can look at this “carnage” and realize there’s more at work here than just the existence of firearms. For example, we have a non-gun homicide rate higher than many other developed nations’ total homicide rate.


That means that while the dimmest of wits talk about changing gun laws, those with actual brains look and recognize that the problem goes far deeper than the tool being used. It’s the tool using them.

Most Americans think the same.

Fox News poll in April 2023 found that 87 percent of respondents favor background checks for all gun purchases, and 81 percent want to raise the minimum age to purchase to 21. Sixty-one percent favor banning semi-automatic weapons. GallupPew Research and AP News polls show similar results.

Why the disconnect between gun zealots and what most Americans want?

First, let’s understand that those polls often have problems. I’ve looked them up and when I can find the questions being asked, it turns out that most people aren’t as in favor of a background check for every gun transfer as the polls would suggest.

That’s not me speculating. That’s based on actual data.

As for this supposed disconnect, it’s based in part of this actual data but also the fact that, again, we don’t determine rights based on popular opinion. There’s a reason the Supreme Court isn’t elected and doesn’t stand for reelection. It’s because they need to be able to determine cases based on the law, not what the mob wants.

For example, there was once a whole thing about flag burning.

The Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting the burning of the flag. Their argument was that it was an act of free speech and, as such, could not be prohibited by law.

This led to a lengthy debate and argument and the majority of people actually opposed flag burning. Not just in principle, either, but were ready to support a constitutional amendment prohibiting it.


We didn’t change the law, though, because despite the majority of people supporting it, the legislatures declined to vote for such an amendment.

It was a matter of free speech and popular opinion doesn’t change what the Constitution says and what it protects. It doesn’t matter how much you call us “gun zealots” or anything else. We’ll wear the moniker with pride even as the anti-gun jihadists try to infringe on our rights.

And the author can learn to deal with disappointment because our preferred approach to dealing with gun violence isn’t gun control.

Instead, it has to start with actually prosecuting criminals and permitting law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. If the bad guys learn there’s a cost to their illegal actions, they’re going to eventually figure out that there are better ways to make a living.

And no one’s rights are being infringed.

Which I know will be a disappointment for this author.

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