Guns as a ‘Social Disease’
I was outraged and am saddened with the shootings that happened in Aurora, Colorado during late July and at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin last Sunday. It was horrific that deranged miscreants acquired firearms, went into public establishments, and fired shots into audiences one attending for worship the other to see the movie The Dark Knight Rises. My outrage isn’t just directed at the gunmen, in the case of Colorado it is directed at the movie theater. As it turns out, the company who owned the cinema has a no guns allowed policy. While the company had a right to make such a rule since it is their property, at the same time I would dare to argue that their prohibition of guns contributed to the incident.
Gun laws erect hurdles that penalize innocent people who truly need or would like to choose firearms as their means of self defense. Where guns are heavily regulated or outlawed, crime rates are higher. Where they are not, crime is lower. A prime example of this is what happened on the night of July 20, 2012. By its own choosing, the Century movie theater declared that the carry of firearms was not allowed on their property. While the theater had a right to make this policy, it is obvious that the shooter took the theater’s rule regarding carrying guns into account when he decided to conduct his heinous act. As a result, twelve people died and 58 others were wounded. Had there not been a gun-carry prohibition or, better yet, a sign stating guns were welcome on the premises, the gunman would have been deterred.
Now elements of the medical community are weighing in except they seek to rationalize the restriction of guns calling possession of firearms a social disease in the same vain as drug or alcohol addiction. Never mind, as The Associated Press points out, that mass shootings are not on the rise along with violent crime and murder rates falling.
In the same state where the theater shootings took place there were two other incidents that occurred in 2012 where the usage of guns was exercised that saved many lives. In Aurora during April, an off-duty police officer shot and killed a person from killing more people at a church resulting from an argument in the worship center’s parking lot. During February, an armed doctor guarded an exit so his colleagues could leave a potential hostage situation at a medical facility in Colorado Springs. These are two of many examples of people nationwide using guns that result in saving people’s lives but, unfortunately, get scant coverage in the press. It just so happens the one of the doctors interviewed by the Associated Press, Dr. Gary Wintemute, has floated the idea that gun violence is the result of a social disease for decades.
In the field of science we see two other examples of groups with agendas using questionable statistics and other forms of data culminated in questionable studies to justify or rationalize curbing human behavior or to attack knowledge. Using nature as the excuse, environmentalists use studies by like-minded scientists to push for restrictions on fossil fuels which undermines the means of production that affects people being able to live and prosper. Religionists try to subvert uncovering the origins of mankind by using intelligent design as a way of trying to justify the existence of a supernatural creator. Now the elements within the medical field wish to resurrect a campaign to make gun violence as a social disease in which a similar campaign was unsuccessfully undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control in 1995.
Gun restrictions only debilitate the innocent and have minimal affect on criminals who use guns to commit crimes. No doubt government should do everything it can to halt the commission of crimes in order to reduce crime rates so long as such efforts do not breach individual rights. But its a fact that gun laws would only heighten and not reduce crime and would, simultaneously, abridge the rights of those who may need or use guns for their personal use and protection. Such use of guns is ancillary to the right to life, liberty, happiness, and property.
Author and philosopher Thomas Paine said it best when in 1775 he stated:
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, as well as preserve order in the world as well as property … Horrid mischief would ensue were the law abiding deprived of the use of them.
The physicians and other elements of the medical field are wrong and their intent is immoral to use the anger and despair of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting as a means to resurrect their attempt to make guns out to be a social disease. An essential method to reduce crime and violence is to respect and defend a person’s ability to legally carry their choice of firearms for protection. The example of the Aurora, Colorado shooting demonstrates that includes allowing patrons to carry guns on private property.