“Is it gun control or constitutional infringement?“, asks a reader of the popular advice column called He Said She Said in the Guidon at Ft. Leonard Wood.
Here, the expanded version of the question includes the reader’s discovery that the He Said She Said columnist duo also guest blog for MilSuccessNet. Formerly known as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Shaun and Pam Collins are now fully retired and out of the closet where columnists with pseudonyms are kept working, under cover.
Shaun Collins responds today and next time we’ll read Pam’s point of view. It should be noted that what they write, represents their own personal opinion based on their work and life experiences.
But first, the question!
Q. I saw that you were both featured on the Military Success Network web-site and I learned a lot about both of your careers that I didn’t know before from the introduction you published in the Guidon. As you both have spent over 25-years, each, on active duty and you were both CID Special Agents, you no doubt investigated hundreds of homicides and other violent crimes. I’m curious about how you see the gun control debate and what the real impact of such legislation would be. Every mass shooting breaks my heart and I think we, as a society, should do something. I am just not sure what that is. Should we ban assault weapons, or have a high capacity magazine limit. Or universal name checks? What do you think we should do?
HE SAID: I certainly understand your concern and despair, this is a sensitive issue and I appreciate you approaching this by deliberate consideration and research rather than simply jumping on one bandwagon or the other. I don’t think there is a simple solution that can be fixed by signing more restrictive laws into effect.
When you examine the facts, I don’t think the currently proposed gun-control efforts will have any impact at all other than to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.
No matter how difficult you make it for law-abiding citizens to acquire firearms, criminals will obtain them illegally as they almost always have. There are an estimated 300 million unregistered firearms in the United States, but there is no way to know the real numbers as there are no records of how many guns people own, pass down, or smuggle into this country. ‘
If you look at the gun violence throughout the period of the first assault weapons ban, you will see that it did not reduce the number of firearm homicides or violent crime at all. Additionally, if you look at the states and nations that have the lowest percent of home intrusion crime, you find that they are the same locations that have the highest percent of gun ownership … places like Switzerland. there every male over the age of 18 is issued a fully automatic rifle and a handgun as part of the national militia. They have an extremely low percentage of home intrusion crime, as is the case in places like Texas, Arizona and Alaska.
When you examine the locations with the most stringent gun control laws, such as Chicago and Washington D.C., it seems that the only people without firearms are the law-abiding citizens and they have some of the highest gun homicide and violent crime numbers in the nation.
This movement toward a new assault weapons ban is purely emotional, in that an extremely small percentage of gun crime is committed with such weapons. Taking Chicago as an example, 99 percent of all gun violence is committed with handguns – not assault rifles.
I could go on and on, citing fact after fact and they all end up at the same place: when you disarm law-abiding citizens, they just become a food source for criminals. If we really want to address this issue in a meaningful way, we need to examine the root cause of these ever-increasing mass shootings.
As a matter of fact, in two recent incidents wherein the attackers were armed with “assault rifles” they were too complicated for the attackers to use and they jammed or were left in the attacker’s car because they did not have the training to use them.
We have teenagers making bombs using instructions off the Internet – so I submit, guns are not the problem. They are in fact just a tool that can be misused like any other.
The one thing that almost all of these incidents have in common is the fact that the offenders were well known to their families and other officials within their communities as having severe psychological problems. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), however, restricts the reporting of these individuals to a competent authority who determines whether or not someone has the mental capacity to own, safeguard and responsibly use a firearm.
That is where we need to start, if we want to make any meaningful change in law that will actually diminish these senseless acts of violence.
The second amendment was designed to ensure our citizenry could protect themselves against both the potential tyranny of our own government and of foreign invasion.
Reducing the rights of the whole in order to protect the rights of the psychologically dangerous is irresponsible and will continue to endanger our society.
Why do you think schools and other “gun-free” zones are on the rise? Based on my years of experience as a federal agent, I can make an educated guess that it is because criminals are acutely aware that there are not armed individuals present who can minimize their deadly intentions.
A gun free zone is only a gun free zone, if you have people screened for weapons like at a courthouse or an airport. Merely declaring an area “gun-free” accomplishes little more than to prevent law abiding citizens from “breaking the rules” and tells criminals intent on harming as many people as possible, that this is a good location to do it.
A friend of mine just provided me with this link. Its content seems to add some credibility to my supposition and it indicates this trend will continue until we change our thinking of what a “gun-free” zone is – please check it out for additional insights.
- Avoid any knee-jerk responses to appease the masses
- Conduct thorough and meaningful research and analysis
- Then adopt measures that will actually reduce these incidents and minimize their impact when they do occur.
Next up: what SHE SAID with Pam Collins