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Executive Stupefaction

C.D. Michel April 17, 2015.
While recently misleading students in a speech at a South Carolina college, Barak Obama tossed a few gun control whoppers into the audience.

"Our homicide rates," Obama began, "are so much larger than other industrialized countries, by like a mile."

That's inaccurate and misleading. And he's wrong.

First, the United States does not have the highest homicide rate of industrialized nations. Granted, we come in at number two on that specific narrow statistic, but to say our homicide rate is "so much larger... by a mile" is flat-out false (see this analysis by the Gun Facts project).

Obama's bigger deception is more subtle; implying that our homicide rate is an America-wide problem. Fact is, a hugely disproportionate number of homicides are related to inner-city drug and gang problems. There is, not surprisingly, a strong statistical correlation between sociopaths in gangs and assaults, muggings, rapes, stabbings and shootings. Bad people, not guns, are the determinant variable. Just 20 cities, with only 7% of the population, account for over 20% of all of American homicides! That tells you what, and where, the problem is centralized. If mayors in these cities took gang and illegal drug violence seriously - say as seriously as they take campaign fundraising - America's homicide rate would drop to international averages for industrialized countries.

Continuing his speech, Obama then inaccurately claimed that: "Most of that is attributable to the easy, ready availability of firearms, particularly handguns."

Oh boy. First our president makes an unsubstantiated claim about American violence, then suggests that the problem is from one specific source, namely easy availability of handguns.

But that's also wrong.

U.S. Homicide rates, 1960s through 2012

In America right now, and particularly in California, we have more guns in circulation, particularly more handguns, and we have less crime. Firearm and handgun sales have been steadily rising for decades, while the gun violence rate has been steadily falling during that period. The last time the violent crime rate was as low as it is today was the 1960s, an era when you could order a gun from the Sears catalogue and have it shipped by the U.S. post office right to your doorstep. Back then high schoolers took guns on yellow buses to compete on school-sanctioned shooting teams. If the availability of guns were the cause of wanton violence, the streets of Natchitoches, Louisiana (population 18,000, and being a southern town, likely armed to the teeth ) would be running red with blood.

One rule of propaganda is to keep your ruse simple. People and their misbehaviors are complex. "Guns are bad" is simple. Mmm-kay?

The big collective lie, assembled from parts of President Obama's speech, is that increased gun control measures would help keep guns away from criminals and thereby reduce America's homicide rate. That argument is based on the false premise that laws stop bad guys from getting guns in the first place.

If gun control did indeed work, then it would have. In the 1970s and 1980s, gun control was publicly popular and passed at every level of government - city, county, state and federal. During that period, gun violence erupted nationwide. Starting in the 1990s governments reversed that trend, repealing gun control laws, expanding gun owner rights and getting tougher on repeat violent offenders. As a result of these criminal control laws, violent crime - including homicides - plummeted.

Except that is, in Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C. and other places where politicians never met a gun control law they didn't like. These cities remained among the deadliest places in the nation.

A recent Pew Study Research Center poll revealed that for the first time in two decades more Americans are saying gun rights are more important than gun control. The reason is partly due to Pew's other finding; by a 57-38 margin, people believe guns help protect against crime.

With few exceptions, this clear understanding was shared by everyone across most demographic groups - men, women, all age groups, races, people with every level of education, all Republicans, independents, most Democrats [conservative and moderate], parents, non-parents, urbanites, suburbanites, and rural dwellers ... the only people immune to the inarguable fact that guns prevent crime were liberal Democrats (go figure).

There are three main reasons that the nation (save intellectually isolated statists) have learned the value of armed self-defense: First, people are realizing that guns are effective in deterring or preventing crime. Be it personal experience, news stories, the ISIS threats, or the fact that mass public shootings always occur in "gun free zones," reality has brought the efficacy of gun ownership into sharp perspective.

Second, people increasingly realize that gun control supporters' shrill warnings, repeated ad nauseum, have proven false. In the 1970s, they claimed that if handguns were not banned, crime rates would soar. Then they claimed that if people were allowed to carry guns for protection away from home, crime would soar. Then they claimed that if semi-automatic rifles weren't banned, crime would soar. Meanwhile, handgun ownership has tripled 42 states, accounting for three-fourths of the U.S. population, have Right-to-Carry laws, and Americans have been buying semi-automatic rifles like discount manna. Simultaneously, the nation's violent crime rate has fallen to a 43-year low, with murder at a 60-year low.

Gun accidents are also at all-time lows.

Third, and perhaps most significantly, people increasingly associate the right to keep and bear arms with personal freedom, just as the Founding Fathers did over 200 years ago. The gun ban lobby claimed for decades that the right to keep and bear arms belonged only to the state. As their legislative losses mounted, gun ban activists started claiming that the right to arms belonged only to people serving in state militias. But when the Supreme Court finally took a case that allowed it to review that question, their ruling echoed the research of numerous constitutional scholars; that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental individual right.

Your individual right.

Don't believe the statists, whether they are a local city councilman or the President of the United States. Keep marching forward with the great swath of Americans who have already concluded that their right to arms is important, that their guns do prevent crimes, and that The People shall never retreat from the anti-intellectual tyranny of the gun banning minority, no matter how many billionaires finance that social-engineering project.