American Gun Policy: A Quarterback in Search of a Wide Receiver

Leesa K. Donner | December 21, 2016 | 10:50am EST
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(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

There is perhaps no issue in our great republic less understood than an American’s right to own and carry a firearm. It has been tossed about like an underinflated, Deflategate-style political football seeking the sturdy hands of a wide receiver.

But it is an issue worth discussing regularly and often because the consequences of poor public policy regarding firearms in the United States threatens not only our rights and our liberty but our safety as well.

As the recent terrorist attacks in Berlin and Paris, as well as the bombing in New York City, prove, just about anything used improperly can become a weapon – from a truck to the pressure cooker grandma uses to make chicken soup. Firearm safety needs to be taught to our children, and a mother should be allowed to carry a handgun in her handbag without fear that the commies will be coming to arrest her because she doesn’t have a permit.

Gun control advocates have long and loudly held that sheer numbers of firearms only leads to more violent crime. But the facts simply do not hold up for the anti-gun lobby.  An exhaustive and thoroughly researched 2007 study by constitutional lawyer and criminologist Don Kates and Professor Gary Mauser published in the “Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy” remains the gold standard in evaluating violent crime and gun ownership:

“… in nations that have experienced high and rising violent crime rates, the legislative reaction has generally been to enact increasingly severe anti-gun laws. This is futile, for reducing gun ownership by the lawabiding citizenry—the only ones who obey gun laws—does not reduce violence or murder. The result is that high crime nations that ban guns to reduce crime end up having both high crime and stringent gun laws, while it appears that low crime nations that do not significantly restrict guns continue to have low violence rates.”

But when did the gun grabbers ever let facts get in the way of their closely held theories and opinions?  Deeply embedded in the anti-gun lobby public policy push is the issue of concealed gun permits; outlawing them or making them practically impossible to get.  Recently, author and columnist Thomas Sowell spoke to this very point:

“Concealed guns protect not only those who carry them but also those who do not. If concealed guns become widespread, then a mugger or a car jacker has no way of knowing who has one and who does not. It makes being a mugger or a car jacker a less safe occupation. Gun control laws are in effect occupational safety laws – OSHA for burglars, muggers, car jackers and others.

“The fatal fallacy of gun control laws in general is the assumption that such laws actually control guns. Criminals who disobey other laws are not likely to be stopped by gun control laws. What such laws actually do is increase the number of disarmed and defenseless victims.”

The logic of Sowell’s argument is painfully obvious.  Does it make sense that a criminal will stop because he doesn’t want to get caught carrying a gun?  Or is he most likely to think that a firearm pointed at an unarmed person is more likely going to get him exactly what he wants – your money, your car, perhaps even your child?  Yet the call for more gun control and fewer concealed carry permits have become commonplace due to the advocacy of the left through the establishment media. 

Still, America has a chance to roll back some of this nonsense with the new presidential administration that not only reveres the Second Amendment but speaks with rationality and common sense regarding an issue that has become emotionally-charged and illogical by the so-called progressives. Here are just a few of President-elect Trumps clearly expressed positions on the subject:

  • Defend the Second Amendment of our Constitution. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.
  • Nominate United States Supreme Court justices that will abide by the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States that includes upholding the Second Amendment.
  • Defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners:
    • Military bases and recruiting centers – to have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves
    • National right to carry – should be legal in all 50 states
    • Background checks – we need to fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
    • Gun and magazine bans – the government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.

You may or may not agree with every aspect of Donald Trump’s bullet points, but at least we’re advancing the ball to the red zone. Certainly one can see reason and rationality prevail in these few simple steps: abide by the Second Amendment, allow the armed forces to be armed on military bases and permit the right to carry from sea to shining sea.

It’s time to stop tossing about this political football as if it was just another exhibition game that doesn’t count. For many of us who know how to safely handle a gun, we should have the right to carry a firearm just about anywhere we please. Perhaps our new president will be that sturdy wide receiver for whom gun owners have been waiting.

Leesa K. Donner labored in the broadcast news industry for twelve years as a television news anchor, reporter and producer at NBC, CBS and Metromedia (now FOX) affiliates in Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.  She is the author of "Free At Last: A Life-Changing Journey through the Gospel of Luke." Leesa also writes for the American Thinker.


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