Are Guns the Problem?

gun-storeEvery time there’s a shooting tragedy, there are more calls for gun control. Let’s examine a few historical facts. By 1910, the National Rifle Association had succeeded in establishing 73 NRA-affiliated high-school rifle clubs. The 1911 second edition of the Boy Scout Handbook made qualification in NRA’s junior marksmanship program a prerequisite for obtaining a BSA merit badge in marksmanship. In 1918, the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. established its own Winchester Junior Rifle Corps. The program grew to 135,000 members by 1925. In New York City, gun clubs were started at Boys, Curtis, Commercial, Manual Training and Stuyvesant high schools. With so many guns in the hands of youngsters, did we see today’s level of youth violence?

What about gun availability? Catalogs and magazines from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s were full of gun advertisements directed to children and parents. For example, “What Every Parent Should Know When a Boy or Girl Wants a Gun” was published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The 1902 Sears mail-order catalog had 35 pages of firearm advertisements. People just sent in their money, and a firearm was shipped. For most of our history, a person could simply walk into a hardware store, virtually anywhere in our country, and buy a gun. Few states bothered to have even age restrictions on buying guns.

Those and other historical facts should force us to ask ourselves: Why — at a time in our history when guns were readily available, when a person could just walk into a store or order a gun through the mail, when there were no FBI background checks, no waiting periods, no licensing requirements — was there not the frequency and kind of gun violence that we sometimes see today, when access to guns is more restricted? Guns are guns. If they were capable of behavior, as some people seem to suggest, they should have been doing then what they’re doing now.

Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not just laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society, not restraints on inanimate objects.

These behavioral norms — transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The benefit of having customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. In other words, it’s morality that is society’s first line of defense against uncivilized behavior.

Moral standards of conduct, as well as strict and swift punishment for criminal behaviors, have been under siege in our country for more than a half-century. Moral absolutes have been abandoned as a guiding principle. We’ve been taught not to be judgmental, that one lifestyle or value is just as good as another. More often than not, the attack on moral standards has been orchestrated by the education establishment and progressives. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. The more uncivilized we become the more laws are needed to regulate behavior.

What’s worse is that instead of trying to return to what worked, progressives want to replace what worked with what sounds good or what seems plausible, such as more gun locks, longer waiting periods and stricter gun possession laws. Then there’s progressive mindlessness “cures,” such as “zero tolerance” for schoolyard recess games such as cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians, shouting “bang bang,” drawing a picture of a pistol, making a gun out of Lego pieces, and biting the shape of a gun out of a Pop-Tart. This kind of unadulterated lunacy — which focuses on an inanimate object such as a gun instead of on morality, self-discipline and character — will continue to produce disappointing results.

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  • moms little boy

    Guns aren’t the problem. The problem is Americas popular view of violence as a prime solution to conflict in conjunction with Americas folkloristical gun fetischism.

    Most Westen societys hold an equal ammount of firearms as US society with gun related violence rates at a minor fraction of US rates.

    • Aizino Smith

      “Most Westen societys hold an equal ammount of firearms as US society with gun related violence rates at a minor fraction of US rate”
      – Mommies little boy


      “The United States owns more guns per resident, at around 0.89, than any other nation in the world. The U.S. has over 50% more firearms per capita than the next two highest nations, Serbia and Yemen at about 0.55 and three times as many as major European countries such as France and Germany.”

      I see you are posting under different names under each and every article. No matter, you might wear different masks, but it is the same dull intellect.

      • Robert Zraick

        If gun ownership is higher in the U.S. than in European socialist countries, then it is a good thing. Socialism is collectivist and therefore the antitheist of individual freedom.
        The same faulty thinking that gun freedom is bad results in the idea that socialism is good.

    • The March Hare

      I’ll bet you wear clothes, too. Does that mean you are part of “Americans folkloristical clothes fetischism”? For someone who says guns aren’t the problem, you sure have a strange view of them.
      Gun related violence is not a problem in the US. Gang related violence is. Most all of it is concentrated in the gangs of the big cities by the hands of mostly blacks and Latinos. If you subtract the gang statistics from the whole country, then the whole country looks pretty peaceful in spite of the fact that the rest of the country is where the great majority of the guns are. That’s why they do nothing to stop the gang violence. That keeps the crime and violence stats up to justify the control of both people and guns and giving the government more power. That also contributes to their dividing the country in the form of promoting race wars, class envy and other chaos inducing tactics so they can clamp down on everyone and most everyone will actually want it to happen to save them.

      • Nanook8

        I read a readers post recently that put forth, that if you removed the young black male murder numbers from United States statistics, we would be in line with European percentages. I have not seen a confirmation of that statement. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. Especially with statistics.

      • Bamaguje

        One could argue that but for epidemic gang violence and the accompanying insecurity, many responsible Americans wouldn’t need to own guns.

        • peck2

          I do not live anywhere even near a “gang” area. For me, it not a question of “need to own guns”. I want to own guns. And I will continue to own guns no matter what BS law by what BS’er comes about.

    • Mother Grown up Son

      “A fetish (derived from the French fétiche; which comes from the Portuguese feitiço; and this in turn from Latin facticius, “artificial” and facere, “to make”) is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the emic attribution of inherent value or powers to an object.”

      A gun is like every other tool. It does a good for hunting and for protecting.

      “Fetish. 1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency. 2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.”

      From a psychological standpoint a gun may considered a fetish like the car and the open road. If you also told us that you loathed the car culture, we would be shocked, Shocked, SHOCKED!

    • Freebyrd1968

      That’s because those societies aren’t multicultural, knucklehead.

  • The March Hare

    There you go again, Williams, spewing forth common sense and wisdom. We need to turn this mess around soon or it’s going to be Hare today, gone tomorrow.

  • JeffWRidge

    It doesn’t matter to the lefties if their ideas and laws don’t work. It doesn’t even matter to the lefties if their ideas and laws make things worse. The only things that matter to the lefties, is that they get their agenda turned into law, and that they feel good about themselves when they pass stupid, ineffectual, harmful laws.

  • JenniferGranholm

    Logic won’t work with religious left.

    • Freebyrd1968

      You know that old saying of the left “If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$hit.”

  • Will

    Check Reuters. There have been ten times more “Mass Killings” during the Obama administration, than over all the preceding years. Why? Why does the Obama administration seem ready for them and why are the perpetrators killed under questionable circumstances. Why is the blame put on AR-15s when we aren’t even sure the weapons were used? Who are the anti gun financers?

    • Bill

      I tend to doubt your thesis. You would not need microwaves. I am not sure they would work. Someone who was not strong due to job loss and who subscribed to various fringe theories such as 911 truthers and the whiteman is keeping me down would not be hard to push over the edge with sleep deprivation. Put them on edge with swing shift, being on call and creating a noisy environment using a sound gun. They have sound guns for crowd control. That is fact. Maybe a smaller one could be used on a person from a distance to give a person insomnia.

      We do not know for sure and it is just a theory. But the administration is opaque when they said they would be transparent. The admin lied about Louis Lerner & the IRS, Fast & Furious & the BATF. They lied about Ben Ghazi. Maybe there are “national security ” reasons for lying about Ben Ghazi. Maybe not.

      The question is could you make a portable sound generator (powered by a 220 volt outlet) emitting subsonic or ultrasonic waves that would penetrate your typical hotel room wall and would cause a person insomnia? Or maybe you could hire or find 2 or 3 jerks who are paid to be bad neighbors and rent hotel rooms next to a victims just by being loud, rude neighbors.

      I sincerely doubt it, but I will not dismiss it.

  • hrwolfe

    Home Run Mr. Williams, cleared center field fence. Of course I’ve been saying the same thing for years, glad too see I’m in such esteemed company.

  • Torcer

    Just keep in mind the primary reason the Left goes after gun as a safety issue and leaves other common hazard alone – guns can be use to resist tyranny.

    • peck2

      And that may be why those senile, doddering old fools back in the late 1700’s instilled the 2nd amendment into the bill of rights. But I could be just a doddering old gun owner who has no intention of ever using any of them in any way other than self-defense and just want’s to be left alone.

      • Torcer

        Most of us want to be just left alone – but the national socialist left doesn’t it see it that way. They are arrogant to think they should run your life for you.

        • peck2

          And because of that nefarious attitude, we are in for a violent clash in the very near future.

  • Torcer

    Fresh DOJ loss in ‘Fast and Furious’ docs fight
    A federal judge has rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to keep the courts from wading into the “Fast and Furious” documents dispute that led to him being held in contempt by the House last year.

    In a ruling Monday night, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege to prevent some records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal from being turned over to Congress.

  • UCSPanther

    Regardless of the preferred means of taking life, a society with severe anomie (breakdown of social norms, ethics and civic pride) will have a very high rate of crime (Including murder) and social problems like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness.

  • voted against carter

    The REASON the establishment wants to disarm the public is simple.

    We (the public) won’t be able to push back and say NO to their insane demands.

  • Leland64

    Excellent. Control of the population is the real issue. Our government is building dossiers on each of us. NSA, IRS, the new consumer finance protection agency and who knows what other government agencies watching, recording and sometimes acting to control our lives. Our personal lives are coming under scrutiny by “our betters” in D.C. The IRS is using its police powers to control political speech unfavorable to the regime. How long before age, race, ethnicity political activity or religion are used to determine what medical treatment we receive? Where and how you spend, what and how much you eat, what political and your religion are now areas of government interest. Political speech is now subject to criticism and control and individual freedom is disappearing at an increasing rate. Firearms in the hands of citizens are an existential threat to an out of control totalitarian government. Armed we can remain free, disarmed we become serfs.