Gun Control: History and Background of the 2nd Amendment and the Psychology of Violence
Gun control cannot be understood in all of its complexity unless one understands the motivations and agenda of those who would encroach upon Second Amendment firearm rights. One group of gun control advocates is comprised of people who possess what cognitive scientists refer to as literal and concrete thinkers. These literal and concrete, or two-dimensional thinkers (2D), can be identified by their intuitive, but childlike declaration, “Access to guns equals more violence.” 2D thinkers focus upon the gun used to harm others and then use a child-like reasoning to conclude: “Without the gun, how could victims be shot?”
Another category of gun control advocates, much smaller in number than our 2D thinkers, is comprised of people who are not naive nor are they unaware of or oblivious to the implications of gun ownership and gun control. This group consists of elites and their kindred spirits who adhere to socialist and/or Marxist or Marxist-like (Progressive) dogma. These statists believe, though they won't come out and say it, that an elite central committee should, in fact must, have psychological, if not physical, control over the masses. To achieve the kind of control progressive leaders dream of, citizens must be disarmed. And to disarm American citizens, by definition, means that statists must undermine the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
As a student of statist-inspired revolutions, including the one currently well under way in America, a disturbing pattern of gun confiscation either preceded or was concurrent with the imposition of Draconian control over the masses. In each and every Marxist inspired revolution, the "useful idiots," a term that made its appearance among WW II socialists in Italy, and later adopted by the Politburo in the USSR, joined statists in their confiscation of guns from everyday citizens. Lenin referred to the proletariat as proud workers but treated them as imbeciles who needed the Communist party to regulate almost every detail of their lives. We in America hear socialist dogma leak out from our progressive leaders on occasion. Mind you, socialists know that their elitist and condescending attitudes don't go over well with rank and file Americans, but sometimes they let their guard down. For example, in 2008 President Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd that given the harsh realities of the economy is it any wonder that people cling to their guns and religion? Hear President Obama express these thoughts immediately below:
If you want to join two subjects that is guaranteed to elicit condescending guffaws from the progressive elite, use a sentence with the words “gun” and “God” together in a positive light. In fact, guns and God when joined in a positive way is considered by progressives to be pathognomonic of a dumb and backward Neanderthal American, usually referencing a southerner or rural dwelling citizen. But this forensic scientist knows that some very smart people have recognized that those two words, “guns” and “God,” became joined into one entity only after Marxists and their kindred spirits recognized that if you want psychological control over the masses you must get rid of BOTH guns and God.
Noble Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the nobel prize for literature in 1970 for his brilliant work entitled Gulag Archipelago, explicitly made the connection between what he referenced as the twin virtues of being armed with lethal force and God. Here is what Solzhenitsyn wrote in GULAG about a citizenry that possess lethal force when governments overreach-and remember, governments ALWAYS overreach sooner or later:
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security I operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
Here is what the noble laureate said about God and the Bolshevik-driven Marxist revolution in Christian Russia that began in 1917:
“If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible that main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened."
Solzhenitsyn was a victim of the Marxist/progressive/statist revolution that consumed his Russian-Christian homeland and turned it into the Marxist-driven USSR. He, like I, was a student of patterns exhibited by Marxist inspired revolutions all over the globe. In each and every progressive inspired revolution efforts were made to deny citizen’s access to lethal force and convince them that the state, not God, was the source of their rights. God’s rights are inalienable. Rights sourced from the state are not only alienable but they are used to bestow benefit upon those who accede power to the state and to punish those who would dare question the state’s authority. It is a fact, that it was Marxist inspired revolutionaries who were first to link guns and God into one derogatory framework, not the “ignorant” masses who joined the two in reverence in times of economic hardship.
Let's make a historical review of how governments treat the masses ONCE THEY have disarmed their citizens: In 1929, the Marxist Bolsheviks, who had taken over Christian Russia, established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents (Mostly Christians who did not agree with the Marxists in charge), unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million "educated" people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
To be clear, gun confiscation doesn’t always end up with mass exterminations, though as I have just documented, that does happen with a disturbing regularity. What inevitably occurs when a citizenry is disarmed is that governments and their agents become “full of themselves” and tend to become arrogant tyrants. It is axiomatic in human behavior science that relatively helpless people, i.e., unarmed people, are more victim-like in their behavior and government agents become more predator-like. If you haven’t noticed, relatively helpless people are more often victims of crime, end up in jail more often, are raped more often. Whereas, people who can fight back are less likely to be victimized, end up in jail and avoid rape. Scientific research backs up the idea that individuals with access to deadly force are less likely to become victims of felons or, by logical extension, government tyranny.
Gary Kleck, Ph.D. is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Dr. Kleck and his colleague Dr. Marc Gertz conducted a National Self Defense Survey in Spring of 1993. The results showed that American civilians commonly use their privately-owned firearms to defend themselves against criminal attacks, and that such defensive uses significantly outnumber the criminal uses of firearms in America. According to Dr. Kleck, American civilians use their firearms as often as 2.5 million times every year defending against a confrontation with a criminal, and that handguns alone account for up to 1.9 million defenses per year. David Hemenway, a researcher from Harvard University, has estimated the number of defensive uses of guns to be much fewer that Dr. Kleck. Hemenway estimates that the defensive use of firearms occurs hundreds of thousands of times a year, not the millions of times per year found by Dr. Kleck. Regardless of which researcher’s numbers are more accurate, whether guns prevent millions or hundreds of thousands of people per year from becoming victims, the data corroborate a fundamental precept in human behavior: Predators and tyrants prefer victims who cannot fight back and, that the possession of a gun by a would-be victim represents to a would-be predator a threat to be avoided.
Getting back to government’s inherent desire to govern a citizenry that cannot fight back with lethal force, I am not suggesting that America’s Fabian socialists, circa 2015, are intent upon the mass extermination of its citizens, although to rule that out completely, given the history of statists throughout history, may be wishful thinking. Such Draconian control may be less likely in America because Fabian socialists believe, and for good reason, that they can incrementally undermine the Second Amendment until one day it will be too late for citizens to do anything about the state’s disarming of its people. What I am suggesting, however, is that statists have always preferred a disarmed citizenry because disarmed citizens are more psychologically compliant. This is because when people are unable to envision, in their own mind, an armed defense, they tend to submit to authority more easily. The psychodynamic in play is exactly as described by Solzhenitsyn in Gulag Archipelago. Lethal force in the hands of citizens force government agents, or run-of-the-mill criminals, to stop and consider their own mortality. It has been said before but its brilliant clarity is worth repeating: It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.
The effectiveness of confronting criminal intent with immediate reprisal has not been lost on those progressive politicians and their cohorts in the mass media entertainment complex who comprise the idiots utiles part of the gun control equation. Progressive politicians are ALL protected by armed guards. You can’t step foot inside the Senate or House Chambers without being frisked and being forced to walk through a metal detector. But once in, you are only a few feet away, at any given time, from men and women packing heat. The White House and its occupants are similarly protected by armed guards. Hollywood’s elite, most of whom are proudly against the masses having the right to own personal firearms, virtually always have on their payroll armed guards or services that employ armed guards. Not one major television network, including the former employer of gun control advocate Piers Morgan, are without armed guards. When Piers worked at CNN he was protected by a cadre of armed guards who stood watch over CNN’s studio with significant firepower. In fact, Piers’ Beverly Hills home warns would-be intruders that they will be met with armed force (guns) if they dare to violate his space:
Gun control advocate and progressive activist Madonna has armed guards on her payroll. In fact, on May 31, 1995 an intruder was shot not once but three times by Madonna’s armed guard at her estate in the Hollywood Hills. What is interesting about that incident is that Madonna wasn’t even home at the time. I certainly could, but I will not, recite each and every instance and example of where a Hollywood elite felt the need to hire or use the services of an armed guard. One of the reasons I won’t do that is because I understand and agree with Hollywood’s need for such protection, in the same way I understand and agree with our country’s founders when they set about to protect the right of Americans to own guns as the last outpost against government tyranny. Which brings me to the Second Amendment and our founder’s intent underlying the creation of the Second Amendment.
Permit me to make note of the fact that progressive elites believe that relying upon our founder’s words and contextual meaning as found in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights have limited application to the modern world. You will often hear POSH progressives talk about how America’s founders could not have envisioned the automatic pistol, the automobile or space flight. These arguments are designed to impress two-dimensional thinkers who fail to grasp this simple fact: America’s founding documents are declarations of principles and values. Principles and values apply equally well to the musket as they do to automatic pistols and rifles. Principles and values are constant.
Progressives have deluded themselves into believing that they define reality and, therefore, their attitudes and beliefs DEFINE reality. Elites believe that there is no objective reality, per se, only personal reality. This is no minor distinction because it constitutes progressive’s fatal defect both in character and cognition. I wrote an entire book on this fatal defect entitled THE PROGRESSIVE VIRUS.
The members of the Continental Congress shared Solzhenitsyn’s view on the relationship between gun ownership, that is, lethal force and a free society. All of the state’s drafts and predicate versions of the Second Amendment emphasized one key point: That citizens should be in a position to control a future tyrannical government by being able to confront armed force with armed force. The following history of our founder’s thoughts on the rights to bear arms appeared in The JOURNAL ON FIREARMS & PUBLIC POLICY, Volume 23 (2011). It was written by historian David E. Young.
“The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. On September 26, 1789, the First Congress under the U.S. Constitution provided a definitive link back to the immediate predecessors of the Second Amendment’s ‘well regulated militia’ and ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms’ clauses. The introduction to the proposed amendments stated a general description of not only their nature and purpose but also their source: The Conventions of a number of the states having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: Congress proposed the Second Amendment and other Bill of Rights provisions to satisfy the desires of state ratifying conventions. Examination of those desires makes it evident that several conventions wanted a bill of rights added to the U.S. Constitution that included a two-clause Second Amendment predecessor.”
James Madison made it perfectly clear as to who the future enemy may be that an armed citizenry would have to confront, therefore, citizens must have the RIGHT to be armed. I’m going to provide to you a paragraph from Madison’s Federalist Paper #46, that captures the point I want to make. Although James Madison was a brilliant writer, I am going to translate from his old-English to a more modern English lexicon just to make things crystal clear. My translations will be written in all caps.
The Federalist Papers #46
James Madison The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared New York Packet, Jan. 29, 1788
“Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. (AS STRANGE AS IT MAY BE TO US LIVING NOW, I’M GOING TO SAY THIS BECAUSE THERE WILL COME A TIME WHEN WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY WILL NOT BE SO EXTRAVAGANT) Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; (THERE NEEDS TO BE A NATIONAL ARMY, HOWEVER) still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. (EVEN THOUGH WE SHOULD HAVE AN NATIONAL ARMY, THE STATES, WHEN THEY HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE, SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIGHT OFF THE NATIONAL ARMY SHOULD THAT ARMY FALL UNDER THE CONTROL OF A TYRANNICAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR PRESIDENT) The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. (A NATIONAL ARMY WILL BE LIMITED IN SIZE) To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, (AGAINST A NATIONAL ARMY THAT MAY FALL UNDER THE CONTROL OF A TYRANT, WE SHOULD HAVE A HUGE NUMBER OF CITIZENS, EACH WITH A FIREARM, WHO WILL COMPRISE A FORCE AGAINST THE TYRANTS) officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.(WHEN CITIZENS HAVE ARMS, A NATIONAL ARMY RUN BY A TYRANNICAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RUIN WHAT MYSELF AND MY WORTHIES HAVE GIFTED TO YOU).”
Stephen Michael II, writing for the Los Angeles Libertarian Examiner, looked closely at the wording of the Second Amendment:
“In modern written English, the amendment would read, “A well regulated militia and the right of the people to keep and bear arms, being necessary to the security of a free state, shall not be infringed.” When dissecting a sentence, our grammar teachers taught us that each sentence contains a subject and predicate. Regarding the Second Amendment, “A well regulated militia” and “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” are clearly the subject, while the predicate is simply “being necessary to the security of a free state […] shall not be infringed.” Therefore, it is accurate to determine that “A well regulated militia” and “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” are interchangeable.”
IF the brilliant writers of the Second Amendment had wanted to convey that ONLY militias should have the RIGHT to have (bear) arms, then that would have been very easy to convey, e.g., “An armed militia shall have the RIGHT to bear arms, a right that shall not be infringed upon.” What our founders did decide to write was crystal clear, a. “Well regulated militias AND b. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Mr. Michael continues his analysis:
“Additionally, observing the historical context of such a statement, we must regard the extreme insecurity the writers of the Amendment felt about any governmental institution. The author(s) clearly envisioned the possibility of another tyrannical regime ruling the United States. Therefore, it is necessary for the people to have a “well regulated militia” along with an armed populace. It is simple to understand why it is more dangerous for an unarmed populace than an armed populace. It is often said and always true, only governments operated by individuals like Hitler and Stalin prohibited its people to carry firearms. Prohibiting the ownership of firearms merely allows governments to eliminate civil liberties without the threat of retaliation. Individuals must not overlook the Second Amendment and consider it obsolete, and as Thomas Jefferson said, “no freeman shall be debarred the use of arms…”
So let’s ask the question, just to be clear, what did America’s founders feel and think about YOU, a citizen, having free and unfettered access to guns, rifles and the ammo, magazines and accessories necessary to make weapons operate. This question is perhaps the most serious question an American can ask because if one is NOT going to be directed by America’s founders, then who, pray tell, is going to reinvent the American idea? Is it going to be the politician du jour, a tyrant who comes into power by fraud, force or deceit? Keep in mind that America’s founders were exceptionally well read in the classics, understood human behavior in all of it complexities and understood, because of their personal experiences with government tyranny, what was necessary to protect freedoms. Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking to the University of Virginia School of Law said:
“I deny the premise that law has nothing to do with historical inquiry,” “Historical inquiry has nothing to do with the law only if the original meaning is irrelevant.” [T]he right to have arms for personal use for self-defense was regarded as one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen. The prologue of the Second Amendment, “a well-regulated militia being necessary for the defense of a free state,” could not be reconciled with the personal right to keep and bear arms unless one had the historical knowledge behind it. In England “the Stuart kings had destroyed the people’s militia by disarming those whom they disfavored.” (Emphasis Added) 1
America’s founders left their heirs, i.e., you and me, their thoughts, feelings and attitudes regarding the RIGHT to personally bear arms and why that RIGHT is necessary in order for a free people to remain free:
"A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined..."
- George Washington, First Annual Address, to both House of Congress, January 8, 1790
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776
"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787
"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
- Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785
"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824
"On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
"I enclose you a list of the killed, wounded, and captives of the enemy from the commencement of hostilities at Lexington in April, 1775, until November, 1777, since which there has been no event of any consequence ... I think that upon the whole it has been about one half the number lost by them, in some instances more, but in others less. This difference is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim when we fire; every soldier in our army having been intimate with his gun from his infancy."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Giovanni Fabbroni, June 8, 1778
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
"To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788
"I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers."
- George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops."
- Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787
"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of."
- James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country."
- James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789
"...the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone..."
- James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
- William Pitt (the Younger), Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783
“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
- Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun."
- Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778
"This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction."
- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1803
"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like law, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one-half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves."
- Thomas Paine, "Thoughts on Defensive War" in Pennsylvania Magazine, July 1775
"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788
"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, I Annals of Congress 750, August 17, 1789
"For it is a truth, which the experience of ages has attested, that the people are always most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion."
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25, December 21, 1787
"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28
"[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist."
- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 29, January 10, 1788
"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."
- Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 2
As I have written in, THE PROGRESSIVE VIRUS: "When a citizen believes that his rights as a human being come from God and not from the government, that citizen is more difficult to control and is less likely to bend to government's will.” Gun ownership provides citizens with the ability to counterbalance an abusive government that would consider, by and through its armed federal agents, the imposition of tyranny upon its citizenry.
When Solzhenitsyn spoke of guns and God he did so with stoic reverence. When President Obama spoke about guns and God he did so with a statist’s elitist sensibility and a deep rooted wariness regarding how guns and God can make it almost impossible for progressives and their kindred spirits to create an all-powerful central government. In that respect, President Obama, Mr. Solzhenitsyn and myself, along with millions of God fearing Americans, all agree.
Notwithstanding the iron-clad case made in support of the unambiguous meaning of the Second Amendment to our Constitution and our founder’s original intent, we are forced, as indeed our founders were forced, to confront statists ever-increasing, i.e., creeping efforts to undermine the Second Amendment to the Constitution. It will come as no surprise to my readers that the preferred strategy of statists, circa 2015, is to achieve almost all of their government-empowering goals by the use psychological warfare and sophisticated mind control operations. Managing thoughts and emotions is job number one for statists and has proven to be one of the most successful strategies progressives have at their disposal. And when it comes to undermining the Second Amendment, one of their favorite psychological operations is to bootstrap their overarching desire to disarm the American public onto a spree or mass shooter incident.
A spree or mass shooter is a person who goes on a murderous rampage using a gun. Spree shooters typically engage in EMBLEMATIC VIOLENCE™. This particular brand of violence is directed at a class or group of people who share some defining characteristic. The victims of spree killers are almost always REPRESENTATIVES of a group the spree killer has identified as the scape goat for HIS victimhood. And yes, all spree killers have a deep sense of victimhood, that is, social injustice victim, as their primary motivator.
Virtually all spree killers are DESELECTED MALES™. These are boys/men who have been deselected by women in particular and society in general. Almost all have grandiose expectations of what life should be like, e.g., “I should have the most beautiful girl,” “I should have the respect of all,” “I should have the nicest car, be rich, be handsome, be understood for my brilliance.” Surprising to many, spree killers tend to have exceptionally high self-esteem paired with average or poor performance. Almost all are physically unattractive and tend to give women the “creeps.” I use the term “creeps” because that is the term my female research subjects almost alway use to describe how these boys/men make them feel. Most spree killers are suicidal, where their own self-hatred is turned outward for a fleeting few moments (during the spree) only to then be turned inward on themselves. Most spree killers kill themselves when confronted with deadly (guns) force. Spree killers almost always choose unarmed, i.e., vulnerable victims and avoid contexts and victims who possess lethal force. To be precise, spree killers can be profiled by their biology, psychology and socialization. To learn more about spree killers, please take the time to read my white paper on The Charleston Shooting where I go into much more clinical and forensic detail on spree shooters. You can view it here: http://goo.gl/zWYB2p
As I noted in the beginning of this paper, 2D thinkers engage simple linear thinking and conclude that without the means to impart gun violence (guns) then gun violence would not occur or be less likely to occur. That is like saying, without cars there would be no automobile fatalities or that without cats and dogs there would be no unwanted cats or dogs-well yes, but. 2D thinkers are resistant to the self-evident reality (unnerving to them) that you can never make the world safe for everyone simply because progressives believe if they can dream it, then the only thing stopping their dreams from coming true are people like me. Such thinking is delusional and, once again, is caused by a cognitive defect named THE PROGRESSIVE VIRUS.
Humans are tool makers and guns are tools. Assume, for arguments sake, that somehow all guns were removed from planet earth. Would you prefer your spree killer to use his automobile, like spree killer, Elliot Roger did, to mow down crowds of people? Would you prefer homemade pipe bombs be used to inflict harm on others? How about the homemade bomb used at The Oklahoma City Federal Building? How about flaming arrows shot from a perch high above the school or mall’s grounds? Arrows don’t make noise and by the time anyone catches on to what is happening, a shooter using a crossbow can do lots of damage. How about poison gas, you like that better than guns? You do know that “where there is a will there is a way,” yes?
Once you get rid of guns on planet earth the President becomes a sitting duck for almost anyone who would wish him harm, you know that, right? And so would be members of the Congress, the Senate, the SCOTUS, policemen, banks, stores, markets, marijuana dispensaries and oh, by the way, how do you propose we stop mad men with a knife from killing everyone in sight? If you haven’t noticed, each and every spree killer ONLY stopped killing when a man with a gun showed up to stop them.
I can hear you now, “we don’t want to get rid of all guns, just take citizen’s guns away.” Now we’re back to disarming a nation’s citizenry, are we? Scroll back up and look at the historical facts on how that has worked out in the past for citizens. Let me help you transition to a more 3D way of thinking about firearms. I’ve worked in and around law enforcement, our court system, the FBI, DEA and other policing agencies for much of my professional life. I’ve been in law enforcement buildings where every single person was packing heat and not ONE person in those situations was ever harmed by a gun. Read that last sentence again please. Do you know why no one was ever harmed by a gun even though I was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of high powered weapons? Because no man or woman in those situations possessed the motivation to harm me or anyone else. We’ve had armed guards known as the Secret Service protecting our President with lethal fire power for over 70 years and not ONE agent has ever drawn a gun on a President. So many guns and NOT ONE incident, how can that be if guns and violence go hand in hand? But you may say, as President Obama recently said (October, 2015), “look at other countries like the United Kingdom and Australia and Russia where citizens are banned from owning guns, you don’t find spree shooters in those countries?” That is like saying at the North Pole you never find people suffering from heat stroke. Yes, true enough, but you do find people suffering from frost bite and people die from freezing to death all the time at the North Pole. Let me help you understand more about human behavior. Take a look at the incidence of violence for countries with the strictest gun control laws on earth: The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU. It has a higher homicide rate than most of western Europe, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU and one much higher than in the United States of America.
“It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double the number of offenses than recorded in Germany and France. But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents. In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677. The U.S. has a violence rate of 466 crimes per 100,000 residents, Canada 935, Australia 92 and South Africa 1,609.” 3
I know, these data are shocking, even to a dyed in the wool gun control advocate like yourself. Yes, I know that President Obama recently said that the rest of the civilized world doesn’t have spree shooters like we do in the United States. Again, scroll up a few paragraphs and read that part about the residents of the North Pole not suffering from heat stroke. In fact, the data are rather consistent when it comes to proving that those states in America that have the strictest gun control laws are also either the MOST violent or no different when it comes to the incidence of violence when compared to states that have more relaxed gun laws. In 2007 researchers Don B. Kates, a criminologist and constitutional lawyer, and Gary Mauser, Ph.D., a Canadian criminologist and professor at Simon Fraser University, examined the correlation between gun laws and death rates. In an independent research paper titled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?,” The 46 page study was published in Harvard’s Journal of Public Law and Policy. The authors concluded:
“There is a compound assertion that guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, [the latter] is, in fact, false and [the former] is substantially so,” the authors point out, based on their research. Kates and Mauser clarify that they are not suggesting that gun control causes nations to have higher murder rates, only that nations with stringent gun controls tend to have much higher murder rates than nations that allow guns." 4
One of the first studies looking at access to guns and violence, that is also a seminal study, was conducted by Georgetown University policy analyst Jens Ludwig and Philip Cook of Duke University. Researchers examined national statistics from 1985 through 1997 to compare the Brady law’s impact on crime in the 32 states that had to toughen their laws. The Brady law was implemented in 1994 and represented then and now the most stringent gun control legislation in the history of modern America. As implemented in 1994, the Brady Act required licensed dealers to perform background checks and observe a five-day waiting period before selling handguns. The background checks were routed through the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI as well as joined data bases from state felon records. One would think that the Brady law would keep handguns out of the hands of bad guys. Instead of a reduction in gun violence, the researchers found no overall difference in gun violence — except that gun suicides dropped 6 percent among people aged 55 and older in the treatment states. Older people, by the way, just chose other ways to kill themselves other than guns and there was found to be no connection between the Brady law and suicides.
One of the areas of research that I believe provides a tremendous amount of insight into this notion that limiting access/ownership to guns reduces crime and spree killings is an area of research that looks at the effect of concealed carry. Mark Gus conducted a study entitled: An Examination of the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws and Assault Weapons Bans on State-Level Murder Rates. 5 The reader should pay close attention to the findings:
“[T]he results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).” 6
The Lott and Mustard study, referenced in the Gus research paper, is equally important because of the depth and breadth of the research model Here are Lott’s and Mustard’s conclusions regarding the effect of concealed weapons on crime:
“Using cross-sectional time-series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992, we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravate assaults would have been avoided yearly. On the other hand, consistent with the notion of criminals responding to incentives, we find criminals substituting into property crimes involving stealth and where the probabilities of contact between the criminal and the victim are minimal. The largest population counties where the deterrence effect on violent crimes is greatest are where the substitution effect into property crimes is highest. Concealed handguns also have their greatest deterrent effect in the highest crime counties. Higher arrest and conviction rates consistently and dramatically reduce the crime rate. Consistent with other recent work (Lott, 1992b), the results imply that increasing the arrest rate, independent of the probability of eventual conviction, imposes a significant penalty on criminals. The estimated annual gain from allowing concealed handguns is at least $6.214 billion.” 7
Concealed carry research provides a wealth of important data because not only are we talking about the effect of having immediate access to a gun has on crime, but also, what the psychological effect is to would-be criminals when they know that their intended victims may be armed with deadly force.
It is worth repeating a central behavioral characteristic of predators, whether they be individuals, gangs or governments, they prefer their victims to be vulnerable. Predator rapists, for example, prefer women who are alone, intoxicated and unaware of their surroundings. Carjackings occur when a vulnerable person is getting into their car. Gangs use superior numbers to gain an advantage. Spree shooters sneak around and target unarmed victims in contexts where, often by law, the killing grounds are “gun free zones.” In almost every instance the minute the spree killer is confronted by a man with a gun, the spree killer STOPS his murderous rage and turns his anger on himself. As a forensic expert I am reluctant to share much about the psychology of criminals and their perception of vulnerability. But I will share one insight that I have learned over the years dealing with armed robbers. Armed robbers have consistently, and without exception, told me that they AVOID homes that appear to be occupied AND where the American flag is proudly displayed out front. Why? Because predators so NOT want to be hurt and like their victims to be vulnerable. Armed robbers have an abiding belief that a Flag waving home is ALSO likely to be a home where someone has access to a gun.
The overwhelming data on the life saving effects of an armed citizenry who MAY be carrying a weapon, whether they are or not, strongly suggests that “gun free zones” serve as an invitation, encouragement, if you will, to would-be predators. In other words, rather than making schools, shopping malls or whatever geographical area you have in mind safer by making it a “gun free zone", politicians have actually ENCOURAGED those areas to be used as killing fields by predators who wish to violently display their sense of social injustice without the fear of immediate reprisal. Would any readers who also happen to be politicians, PLEASE read that last sentence again?
Still, thoughtful observers believe that certain classes of people should be prevented from purchasing a firearm legally. Note I write “legally,” because if a person is intent upon harming others, laws or no laws, nothing will not STOP any one individual from committing a violent crime other than locking that person up or killing them. Persons who are mentally ill, convicted felons, undocumented, underage or legally incompetent should NOT be able to legally purchase a firearm. How does a licensed firearm dealer know who might fit into any of those categories? Dealers must know their customers. This means “running” their personal information (SS#, Driver’s License #, Addresses, Names, State/Country of Birth and Fingerprint). The inconvenience to law abiding citizens who must endure this background check and waiting period is justified by the tradeoff made in hopes of preventing a potentially violent or incompetent person from EASILY purchasing a firearm. The tradeoff is always a balancing act between the rights of law abiding citizens and the desire to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally incompetent or convicted felon. But as the data conclusively prove, these laws make no difference on the bottom line. Basically, such laws are “feel good” laws that don’t do what they are supposed to do because these laws are incongruent with the laws of human behavior. Is there anything that politicians can do then to reduce the incidence of gun violence? Yes.
Laws that target criminal misuse of firearms have proven to be effective crime deterrents. For example, after passing a law in Virginia in 1975, that requires a mandatory penalty for using a firearm in the commission of a crime, Virginia's murder rate dropped 23% and robberies were reduced some 11% over a 15 year period. South Carolina recorded a 24% murder rate decline between 1975 and 1990 with a similar law. Florida (homicide rate down 33% in 17 years), Delaware ( homicide rate down 33% in 19 years), Montana (down 42% 1976-1992) and New Hampshire (homicide rate down 50% 1977-1992).
It appears that criminals respond to the promise, not the mere threat, of speedy and certain HARSH punishment should they use a firearm in the commission of a crime. Perhaps given these data, people can better understand why "revolving door justice" is most certainly exacerbating crime in America. Specific and concrete suggestions to reduce criminal’s use of firearms in the commission of a crime include "truth in sentencing laws." These laws require that criminals serve at least 85% of time sentenced. "Three Strikes You're Out" laws have proven to remove career criminals from the streets of America while giving people a second chance to give up their life of crime.
I’ll leave you with the summary from my forensic analysis made of the Charleston spree shooting that offers a REAL solution to America’s spree killing epidemic, although like most REAL solutions, it will take something more than posturing speeches thinly guised as a gun grab and it will require a rejection of progressive dogma, especially the notion of social injustice:
“If you haven’t noticed, mental illness paired with the way it is understood and treated in America are variables present in virtually every mass murder tragedy. America’s progressive culture appears to be wedded to the delusion that all injustice is social injustice. The notion of personal responsibility as the key to any one person’s success or failure in life has been transformed into the idea that our success or failure as individual Americans is society’s fault. If you’re rich and successful it is because of something society did, e.g., “You didn’t build that.” If you are a failure, on the other hand, it is because you were oppressed or some other group or demographic in America took success from you or denied it to you.
Charleston shooter Dylann Roof may have been raised in South Carolina but it is the social injustice culture progressives embrace and promote that encouraged, not caused, but encouraged, Mr. Roof, along with virtually every single spree killer over the past 20 years, to restore their sense of social justice and victimhood by committing unspeakable acts of violence against innocent people.
Traditional American culture emphasized merit and personal responsibility. In traditional America, we saw ourselves and others as unique individuals who actually did build that and who were personally responsible for their successes and failures. Instead of viewing people as part of the collective or as nothing but scapegoat EMBLEMS, comprised of races, genders, religions, the haves or the have-nots, people were viewed as individuals who deserved to be treated as individuals not as scapegoat EMBLEMS or part of the “collective.”
Had Mr. Roof and all the other perma-victims been raised in a culture that stressed that traditional American truth of individualism NOT the collective, things might have turned out differently. How do I know that to be true? Because when America was steeped in a culture of personal responsibility, where it was the individual not the collective that defined us, we didn’t have metal detectors in schools. People in gangs, and urban warfare did not dominate our inner cities and mass murders were a rarity."
1 Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Originalism. In a speech given to the University of Virginia Law School, April 20, 2010.
2 Buckeye Firearms Association, PO Box 357, Greenville, OH 45331, 2015.
3 The Daily Mail. The most violent country in Europe: Britain is also worse than South Africa and U.S. By: James Slack, July 2, 2009.
4 Kates, Don B. & Mauser, Gary. Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicides? Harvard Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 30.
5 Gius, Mark. An Examination of the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws and Assault Weapons Bans on State-Level Murder Rates. Journal of Applied Economics, Volume 21, Issue 4, 2014.
7 Lott, John R. Mustard, David B. Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns. Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1997.