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The Foolishness and Immorality of Gun Control

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I sent a pro-gun commentary from a British newspaper to a liberal friend of mine, and he replied that if we just banned the manufacture of firearms on a worldwide level there wouldn’t be any crime or genocides like the one going on in Darfur. He then suggested that I had joined a militia group. I replied,

“I’m sure there were a lot of Rwandans who wish they’d had a gun — especially a good weapon like the Kalashnikov — to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from rampaging Hutus. Cutting off firearms ‘at the manufacturers’ level’ — or more accurately, at the level where only the government could legally import weapons and only government soldiers could legally have one — left literally hundreds of thousands — some estimates say upwards of a million — at the mercy of machete-wielding thugs who chopped them and their families and their communities to bits. The absence of firearms did not save anyone, did not deter anyone. Instead, it cost about a million lives. And it only took about three months.”

In the 20th century, tyrannical governments were responsible for approximately 170,000,000 nonmilitary deaths: Armenian Christians in Turkey, “undesirables” of all sorts in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, political dissenters in Nationalist and later Communist China, Mayan aboriginals in Guatemala, Ugandans, Cambodians, and the ethnic Tutsis of Rwanda. In every single case, the victims were first subjected to mass disarmament.

The National Academy of Sciences — hardly a pro-gun organization — admitted that after years of researching the effects of “gun control” it could not conclude that any measure had been effective at reducing crime or saving lives.

Even honest liberals will tell you that millions of people, in the United States alone, use guns to defend themselves every year — far more than the number of people who use guns to commit violent crimes.

One does not have to be a member of a militia group to see that gun control only leaves people at the mercy of thugs and dictators. You can cling to the fantasy that gun control works, contrary to all reason and despite all evidence to the contrary, but it has been demonstrated time and again to be a universal failure. It is, frankly, foolish and immoral.

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    Scott McPherson is policy adviser at The Future of Freedom Foundation. An advocate of the Free State Project, he lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.