Friday, March 30, 2012
Elliot Fineman on the State of Gun Control
Last week we posted the video from Al Jazeera's Inside Story, in which Elliot Fineman of the National Gun Victims' Council made several very good points.
1. Reminiscent of my continual harping on the fact that all the guns used in crime were once owned by law-abiding gun owners, Elliot said, "every criminal was once a law abiding citizen."
The connection between law-abiding gun owners and criminal gun owners is blurred, it's a gray area. I call the inhabitants of that gray area, "hidden criminals," but what Mr. Fineman reminds us is that some of the solid law-abiding types also flow over to the other side. This happens through all the social ills which I outlined in my Famous 10%.
2. The element of surprise is what makes concealed carry an exercise in futility. The example given was when President Reagan was shot by John Hinkley Jr., the disturbed young man was able to get all six shots off before he was stopped by the secret service. Even surrounded by professional body guards, an untrained person like that could get away with an attempted assassination.
Jared Loughner was another more recent example and one with better marksmanship.
Gun owners are fooling themselves that carrying a gun will save the day. It's far more likely that the gun they carry will one day be misused in some way than that it will save a life.
3. Elliot Fineman mentioned a study which uncovered the fact that 25% of guns manufactured go to criminals. I've said this for years, now I learn that there is evidence for what seems to be simple common sense. Criminals get their guns through unregulated private sales, theft and straw purchasing, all of which could be either eradicated or severely diminished through proper gun control. But the NRA and the gun manufacturers don't want that because it would cut into their business by a whopping 25%.
4. In the UK, lawfully owned handguns are a thing of the past. Civilians for the most part cannot own them. The criminals, however can and do acquire them on the black market. The result is an extremely low gun murder rate compared to the US. The few murders they do have are obviously being committed by criminal gun owners.
Mr. Fineman drew an interesting conclusion from this. In the United States, if we could somehow remove all the guns from the civilian population, like England did, we too would have the low gun murder rate, with that lower number of murders being committed by criminals. The rest are being done by so-called lawful gun owners.
This obviously gets back to the gray area and the concept of "hidden criminals." Truly law-abiding citizens obviously do not go around killing people, but the gun owning public is not limited to just these types of responsible people. That's why we need strict gun control.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.