The simplistic answer to the Sandy Hook massacre is obvious: Just make all guns illegal. But is any law 100% effective?

Criminals don't obey the law. The UK experience from banning guns - the UK is now the violent crime capital of Europe according to the European Commission (see previous article) - demonstrates that simplistic answers to complex problems don't work. In contrast, Switzerland has automatic guns above every fireplace, yet is one of the safest (and most prosperous) countries in the world.

People kill Other People
The annual death toll from motor cars is enormously higher than deaths from guns. Yet although the British government tried to severely restrict cars - the notorious Red Flag Act of 1865 - no one with any sense is suggesting banning motor-cars. That's because people kill people, the driver of the car causes the accident.

Do guns kill people? Not really, guns don't jump up and go on a shooting rampage of their own volition. Guns don't go into a school and kill students and teachers by themselves, it's mentally ill people who go into a cinema and shoot their innocent victims.

So no, deranged individuals and criminals kill other people, and they use guns, or knives to do so. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are a self-defense mechanism. In Harrold School District Superintendent Thweatt's words: If something happened here, we would have to protect our children... police officers are true, everyday heroes in my book, but one of them once told me something very revealing. He said, ‘Ninety-five percent of the time, we get to the scene late.’ I can’t afford to let that happen.*

Guns are neither good nor bad, they're guns
This valuable distinction is not just semantics, it's crucial for an effective policy. Gun control advocates seem to think that guns kill people, rather than realizing that criminals and the mentally disturbed use guns to kill people. This is a common error by those who make the choice not to defend themselves, yet deny others any right to that same choice.

But statistics count the number of homicides per hundred thousand people, not as per hundred thousand guns. This is because a gun is an inert object, just like a knife or a motor-car. Knives, cars and many other objects can and have been used to kill people, but no one with any sense is suggesting banning knives or cars. That's because people kill people, the gun or the knife or the car is just the instrument they use.

Whenever someone misuses a gun to kill people, as in the Sandy Hook school massacre, then he's misusing it. Guns are protected under the US constitution so that you can protect yourself, not so you can kill other people. And when someone uses a gun to coerce you, then you have the right to protect yourself with a gun. The right to own a gun enables you to defend yourself.

What is Gun Violence?
The control-guns-at-any-cost advocates have invented the term "gun violence" to blur the distinction between self-defense and murder. Crucial question: If a police officer had arrived at the Sandy Hook school sooner and shot the deranged killer, would anyone say that the killer was a victim of “gun violence”?**

Such meaningless terms, along with the misunderstanding that it's actually people who kill people, tend to obscure viable solutions and make rational discussion more difficult.

How to Reduce Harm?
If reducing harm is the goal, how many crimes - murders, rapes, assaults, robberies - are thwarted by ordinary citizens who have the foresight and ability to use a gun? Criminals will often flee the scene when they discover that their intended target is armed. With no shots fired, no injuries, and no suspect in custody, yet another incident successfully prevented by a gun is ignored and not catalogued.

When an armed citizen shoots an assailant or holds a rapist or robber until the police arrive, the chances are that more than one crime has been prevented. If the criminal had not been stopped, he likely would have targeted other citizens later. The bottom line is that gun owners stop a lot of criminal mayhem every year.

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
"As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost"

- Marcel Proust, 1871-1922, influential French novelist and critic

* The quote from the Harrold School District superintendent is at:

** The question about a police officer shooting a deranged killer is from:

Author's Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he's been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

Explore your right to protect yourself, avoid being manipulated by others, discover how to overcome your self sabotage, and improve your enjoyment of life!