Gun Rights and the Upcoming November 2004 Election
by Mark Liberator (e-mail: [March 21st, 2004]

A major deciding factor of who to vote for rests, in part, within the arena of gun rights for American citizens. There may be some people who claim there are other issues to focus on and there is no need to bring in the gun debate. However, how one approaches a right so basic as the right outlined by the second amendment tells us of that person’s philosophy. It impacts on all other issues, the well-being of individual citizens and our country as a whole.

“Believing government is no longer a custodian for public need but is an over-seeing entity that controls the affairs of the population, is a powerless, even hazardous, belief.”

The candidates who are running for election have the potential to one day be holders of government offices. In that case, these candidates may possess a great deal of command over our future by the laws they enact that shape our world. Let us examine the anti-gun position so we can make our choices for the upcoming November election to be meaningful and appropriate.

There is an extreme position within the gun debate that guns are inherently evil and have no place in our society. The people who market this philosophy use many convoluted tactics. Be wary of any such argument targeting constitutional rights for public safety. Be skeptical of the parties that launch them.

A few democratic mayors across the U.S. have pushed local ordinances banning guns in their cities. Chicago is one of those cities and is led by democrat, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Daley and other mayors like him placed their decision to ban guns in their cities on a flawed premise.

The forked premise being: 1) citizens are not responsible enough to own or operate guns and 2) citizens do not want guns in their neighborhoods. Their premise is well-camouflaged in rhetoric surrounding public safety and their research to support such a premise is non-existent.

When Daley launched his campaign against guns, he spouted crime statistics. Daley has claimed during an Inaugural and State of City Speech on May 5th, 2003, “We also need to remember that in our city, guns equal murder”. He also stated numerous times he was going to get guns off the streets. His push to ban guns revealed his concealed premise.

No one can deny inner cities suffer from high crime. New York City and Los Angeles suffer from the exact problem. Even though New York City has approximately three times the population of Chicago, New York City had less homicides in 2003. Los Angeles, with a population nearly 30% greater than Chicago, also had less homicides in 2003 (USA Today).

The most surprising fact is neither New York City nor Los Angeles operated under a gun-banning ordinance. In fact, a long standing study of Los Angeles felons showed guns that were used to commit crime were purchased outside Los Angeles. It begs a question: what stops a criminal from purchasing a weapon outside gun-banned cities and returning them where law-abiding citizens cannot defend themselves?

Instead of conquering the true problem by first taking an honest look at the full crime issue, democrats like Daley take the easy road. They believe in banning and confiscating guns. Inner city mayors have chosen to sacrifice the inalienable rights of every citizen protected by the U.S. Constitution, as if such an over-night scheme could solve the homicide problem.

Philosophically speaking, how can we rest our faith in leaders who believe the individual cannot govern himself/herself? It is a question, once answered, will create a foundation to rest one’s belief system and political participation. Believing government is no longer a custodian for public need but is an over-seeing entity that controls the affairs of the population, is a powerless, even hazardous, belief.

Such a view is a weak one. It is a view our Founding Fathers, like Samuel Adams, fought and risked execution to conquer. It is a belief each of us need revisit so that we understand the proper role of a healthy government for a freedom rich democracy. It is an endeavor with no fast or easy solutions.

Democracy is dependant upon an informed, educated public. It is driven by collaboration. This is a point inconveniently missed by democratic mayors like Rich Daley who are bent on implementing restrictions on freedoms instead of forging a healthy democracy through education, jobs, and public health.

Since democrats have been interested in making headway with healthcare in our country, consider language the democratic leadership can understand. The ailment is crime in inner cities. The get-healthy-quick treatment proposed by some mayors is to trample on constitutional rights and restrict freedom, thereby stripping a body of its immune system. The prognosis is marginalized from this approach.

If restricting guns in inner cities does not have a positive impact against crime, it would seem these mayors are instituting a faulty prescription plan. Doctors who provide bogus treatments are called quacks. They drive up malpractice insurance and health costs, hurt the practice of good doctors, and undermine the entire healthcare industry.

The true health of our inner cities may be of no concern to some politicians, but it is clear the Democratic Party is cognizant of its own well-being. Like an electrocardiogram measuring various states of a patient’s heart, votes during the past 2000 election measured public dissatisfaction with the party on the gun issue. Democrats have now doctored the manner in which it approaches the gun-rights issue.

Consequently, democrats proved the second part of their own premise was wrong. The public obviously demands that government officials respect the citizen’s right to protect itself. Voters gave the party a wake-up call. The party finally listened.

Who can argue with their change in course concerning guns? If seats were lost due to the anti-gun rhetoric slung by democratic candidates and incumbents, then a change of course is well-justified. One could correctly say this sort of change ultimately serves the needs of the people.

The democratic leadership now believes that gun-ownership is a constitutional right after all. Whether they are temporarily adopting the view or they actually believe it, it exists as a result of public demand.

It is appropriate to question their true motive. While democratic mayors insist on misguided, feel-good strategies that satisfy the uninformed constituents they mostly target, these mayors and others like them who have the same modus operandi are worth passing over for the next election. Gains against crime can be made only when candidates and those who are in office grapple with the challenging factors that cause it.

These factors include disruption of the family, the breakdown of society, desperate and demoralized poverty, and the promotion of violence by the media. There is also the profit of drug trade, the pathology of substance abuse, child abuse, disrespect for authority, and racism. Democrats who have long pledged to be advocates for the people would actually affect crime if they were to combat these social ills.

Instead, democrats like Daley are allowed to operate their cities like fiefdoms, and enact detrimental laws. What is to stop representatives from behaving similarly at the state or national levels? Officials who have good intentions but assist in manufacturing harmful laws help absolutely no one. Their impact can be damaging and can live past their terms of office. They may later lead successful enterprises, but they do so without regard for those they were sworn to serve.

As we investigate a political issue, we are forced to measure it against our own philosophy. The exercise helps us come to terms with the issue, form a more cohesive perspective, and choose the best candidate as a result.

When considering presidential candidates and local candidates in November, learn about their positions on various issues, especially on the issue of gun rights. As has been demonstrated, the issue of gun rights may inform the voters of deeper beliefs and a candidates willingness or ability to attack root problems instead of wasting time on complications from those root problems.

Reference List
  • The Liberator: Judge Trashes Chicago's Gun Lawsuit
  • Local NBC News: Chicago, Gary Mayors Fight Gun Legislation In D.C.: Bill Would Limit Cities' Right To Sue Gun Makers
  • CNS News: Gun Control Hasn't Helped Chicago, Group Says
  • Liberty Haven: The Real Root Cause of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of the Family
  • University of Nebraska: Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Gangs: The New Family
  • Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell: Guns and Crime
  • History News Network: Do Guns Cause Crime?
  • The Heritage Foundation: The Real Root Causes of Violent Crime: The Breakdown of Marriage, Family, and Community
  • Edgar A. Suter, MD: Guns in the Medical Literature (A Failure of Peer Review): Why are the Black and Hispanic homicide rates so high in Seattle?
  • City of Chicago: Richard M. Daley: 2003 Inaugural and State of City Speech
  • Truth in Action: Gun Rights Quotes
  • The Founders' Constitution: Samuel Adams, Boston Gazette (Feb. 27th, 1769, Writings 1:316--19
  • University of Virginia Library: Letters of delegates to Congress, 1774-1789, Volume 3, January 1 1776-May 15 1776: Samuel Adams to James Warren
  • Boston Globe: Democrats Aim for New Support on Gun Issues
  • USA Today: Chicago topped nation in homicides in 2003
  • David Heinzmann, Tribune staff reporter (Depaul University Site): Chicago falls out of 1st in murders: But rate tops that of Los Angeles, New York City
  • About: Gun Control in Chicago Works... to Boost Homicide Rate (Second Amendment Foundation)
  • NRA-ILA: Issues: Gun Control And Crime

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