With overall crime rates still declining, shooting deaths continue to go on unabated. Yes, this is true on both counts. During 2009, the latest year available, violent crime declined an estimated 5.3 percent from 2008. This was the third year in a row. So why do we see so many daily reports of shootings, many of which result in death? The answer is lax gun laws, and it is time to confront the National Rifle Assn. and its membership to relax their stronghold on Congress. I can hear you now, “Yeah, that will be the day.”
The NRA might be wise to start cooperating with the gun control advocates since members of congress are already talking new legislation, and President Obama has said he will explore executive orders to get around certain gun laws. But gun owners are so sure of their 2nd Amendment rights that this complacency might be just what is needed to develop the momentum for new gun control.
It is time to challenge the 2nd amendment, not to repeal it, but to enact more reasonable federal legislation that would overrule the lunacy of states like Arizona where firearms can be had at the drop of a hat. Things like banning AK47 weapons, closing the gun show loophole, limit concealed carrying to those in need, and establish a national registry for handguns. We need to know where these “weapons of mass destruction” are going.
I did some analysis of handgun murders in the U.S. based on FBI data and came up with the following. The density of a state (number of people per square mile) seems to have some effect on handgun murders per 100,000 populations. They are raised for states with a higher density. California, New York and Illinois, where gun laws are tighter, have above average per 100-thousand handgun murders; 3.70, 4.47 and 2.99 respectively. But density levels for the three are 239, 411.2 and 231.
Now compare that with states like Arizona with a population density of only 56.3 but per 100-thousand handgun murders of 3.04. Likewise Texas density is 96.3 with murders at 3.49 and Louisiana is 104.9 and a whopping 10.46. All three states have loose gun laws. Alabama leads the nation in per 100,000 pop. Deaths for all kinds of firearms, Alaska is second and Arizona is third.
There is one bright spot on the horizon, due to the efforts of the Brady Campaign and other gun control advocates; legislation has been defeated 51 times in 27 states following the Virginia Tech massacre. Arizona was inches away from allowing guns on campus recently when legislation by State Sen. Russell Pearce was stopped due to an uproar from local business leaders and state university and college heads.
Marc Victor, an Arizona State Bar certified specialist in criminal law, says “Don’t cherish the 2nd Amendment.” He goes on to say, “Like everything else in the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment is subject to interpretation.” Now Victor is a 2nd Amendment proponent so gun control advocates have nothing to shout about. His statement is a reflection of later dialogue that ponders over the possibility of Supreme Court decisions which, of late, have been all in favor of the 2nd Amendment. Or how this group of nine might interpret the 9th Amendment.
To end on a laugh, Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry, was recently asked how he felt about gun control. His answer: “I am actually for gun control.” Pause. “Use both hands.” That ranks up there with this wacko’s statement on evolution. “It’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it.” Pathetic.