What did Goebbels say? Tell a lie enough times and people will believe it’s true. The NRA has been saying again and again that good guys with guns protect us from bad guys. And the latest polls indicate that a majority of Americans believe that your home is safer if you own a gun. There’s only one little problem. It’s not true. It’s a big lie. But it’s a lie being repeated again and again since the killings of Alison Parker and Adam Ward and it’s now been picked up and repeated by Donald Trump and every other red-meat politician who will do or say anything to coddle up to the pro-NRA vote.
I’m using the word ‘lie’ in a very objective way, namely, you know something to be true and you consciously decide to say something else. The NRA has been collecting stories about armed citizens protecting us from crime since 1978. They have never published more than 100 such incidents in any given year. Do these 100 incidents, even if it’s 200 or 300, balance out 70,000 gun homicides and injuries each year? Here’s how Trump added to the Big Lie: “He [Bryce Williams] snuck up on them, whether it was a gun or a knife, it would have been something. “ Hey Donald you moron. Take a look at the video. After the first shot you can see Alison Parker running away. That’s how people protect themselves from someone with a knife. Doesn’t work so well if the guy has a gun.
John Lott did his best to add to the Big Lie last night with this comment made on CBS Nightly News: “Every country in the world, or place in the world, that has banned guns has seen an increase in murder rate,” he says, even though he knows that in Australia, for example, the effect of the buyback and destruction of 20% of the civilian arsenal in 1997-98 is difficult to understand because Australia had such a low rate of gun homicide even before the ban took effect.
Know what? I’m getting tired of trying to dig up one study or another to persuade people that guns do more harm than good. I’m also sick and tired of the endless veneration of the 2nd Amendment that pops out of the mouth of every person who wants to regulate firearms before they tell you how they want to regulate firearms. The 1st Amendment doesn’t give anyone the right to yell ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater. The 2nd Amendment doesn’t give anyone the right to use a gun to hurt someone else. What’s the latest gun-nut phrase being tossed around? SecondAmendment Absolutist. It’s meaningless, it’s stupid and it’s just another attempt to make people believe that the so-called Constitutional protection of firearms means that we don’t have to talk about gun violence at all.
I don’t want to talk about gun violence either. I want it to stop. And it’s not going to stop until and unless the gun industry admits that what they are making and selling is a lethal product bar none. Which doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made and shouldn’t be sold. After all, it’s estimated that more than 70,000 full-auto machine guns which fire upwards of 600 rounds per minute are in civilian hands. Know why I can count the number of machine gun homicides committed since 1950 using the fingers of one hand? Because the sale of these guns is regulated and controlled the way the sale of all guns are regulated and controlled in countries like England whose gun violence rates are a fraction of ours.
I’m not saying take away the guns. I’m saying that some guns that have no use other than to kill or injure someone else. Bryce Williams didn’t buy that Glock to shoot a bird out of a tree. He bought it to commit deadly harm. And if you believe that he could have committed the same damage with a knife or a bolt-action rifle, you can start laying brick.