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The Root Cause of Gun Violence

If Obama & Co. are helpless to prevent gang warfare, what are they doing trying to disarm the law-abiding?

By 2.6.13

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Aside from a few, brave, truth-tellers, all of the discussion in Washington boils down to one theme -- Why More Power and Money Should Be Transferred from You to Me.

Of course, the sophists never say that directly. They always say it is for the children, or the poor, or the middle class, or the elderly, or the sick. But watch what they do, not what they say. In the end, every Washington Establishment initiative, proposal, or campaign is always aimed at the same result -- power and money taken from you, to be given to them.

The money doesn’t have to go to them to be spent by them. It enhances their power if the money goes to them to distribute, and so determine who spends it. They will siphon off money enough for themselves in the process. But all the talk in Washington is really about who gets the power.

And so it is with Barack Obama’s traveling gun control salvation tour.

The Limits of Barack Obama’s Power
Whenever Barack Obama talks, he tells us that whatever he believes is just common sense. And what anyone who disagrees with him says is just politics. That’s actually the open communist Saul Alinsky talking, worshipped by every true Democrat (see, e.g., Hillary Clinton). It is just more sophistry and deception.

President Obama could just be talking Marxist trash, which the whole 20th century was devoted to proving hopelessly foolish, at the cost of hundreds of millions of lives. But if Barack Obama says it, it is just plain common sense. And if you disagree with his Marxist precepts, you are just talking politics.

But let me give you some actual common sense about gun control. Barack Obama, and the entire federal government, and all the state governments, and all the city and county governments, COMBINED, do not even have the power to take guns away from criminals. That includes so-called “assault weapons” (more sophistry and deception, go into a gun store and ask to see the “assault weapons”).

All that government, and Barack Obama, even have the power to do is take guns away from the victims of criminals. Is that common sense? To disarm the victims of crime, but not the criminals?

The same applies to government policies to limit the number of shots in gun magazines. Government, even Obama the Magnificent himself, does not even have the power to limit the number of shots available to the criminals. They can only limit the number of shots available to the victims of crime.

Is that common sense? To leave the criminals with unlimited shots, but limit the shots available to the victims of crime? Can liberals and Democrats even reason?

The answer is yes, they can reason. Because what we are talking about here is not gun violence and how to limit it. What we are talking about here is the power of Barack Obama. It increases his power and the power of the government to disarm the citizenry. That is why the Second Amendment is in the Constitution, to protect the power of the people.

Fatherlessness and the Roots of Gun Violence
As everyone knows, in the tragedy of Newtown, Conn., 20 children and 6 adults were slaughtered in a hail of bullets. But as Lee Habeeb brilliantly explained in National Review Online on January 17 (“The War Against Black Men”), in Barack Obama’s Chicago, which suffers the strictest gun control laws in the country, the same tragedy happens every month!

Habeeb writes, “In the first few weeks of January in Chicago, 25 people have already been murdered. Most were young black and Hispanic men, murdered by other young black and Hispanic men.”

He adds, “You don’t know their names because the real racism that exists in the media is this: A young black male’s life is not worth reporting when it is taken by another black male.” That is because such gun violence cannot be used as an excuse to increase the power of government, yet. When it is, you will hear all about it.

Quite to the contrary, the monthly Chicago tragedy just further illustrates the fallacy of the assault weapons ban that Obama is promoting nationally to counter gun violence, and the limits of government power. Not only do these monthly massacres continue in the face of the strictest gun control laws in the country. But the murders Chicago is suffering are gang-related violence. All the guns used by gangs are already held in violation of the law. But that is not stopping the monthly Newtown massacres in Chicago. Nothing Obama is proposing will have any effect on these gangs. They have no respect for the law whatever it is.

Obama said in Minneapolis on Monday, “But we also know that if we’re going to solve the problem of gun violence, then we’ve got to look at root causes as well.” Obama then went on to talk about more power for Washington. More government spending for mental health, more federal spending for the local government responsibility for cops on the beat, and confirmation of a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Ah yes, the need for another federal bureaucrat is really a root of the problem of gun violence.

Rather, Habeeb explained the roots of gun violence in America:

About 20,000 people live in my hometown of Oxford, Miss., and there are probably twice as many guns. Folks own handguns, shotguns, rifles, and all kinds of weapons I’ve never even heard of. But I can’t remember the last murder story in the local paper.

That’s because my town has lots of guns, but lots of fathers, too.

Chicago doesn’t have a gun problem; it has a father problem….

When young men don’t have fathers, they don’t learn to control their masculine impulses. They don’t have fathers to teach them how to channel their masculine impulses in productive ways.

When young men don’t have fathers, those men will seek out masculine love — masculine acceptance — where they can find it. Often, they find it in gangs.

In my little town, if some boys tried to form a gang and do violence on our streets, the fathers wouldn’t bother calling the sheriff. Those boys would face a gang of fathers hell bent on establishing order in our community. And if that meant using physical force, so be it.”

But the breakdown of the family in America is the result of too much government -- liberal welfare policy giving away a trillion dollars every year to single mothers with children. And the answer to that is more limited government, providing welfare assistance only in return for work from the able bodied. Oops, that was a Reagan idea. Can’t have that.

Reducing Gun Violence -- More Freedom, Not Less
President Obama in Minneapolis also talked about Senate hearings to address gun violence, where former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband were the first to testify. Obama complained, “if we still had a 10-round limit on magazines, for example, the gunman who shot Gabby may never have been able to inflict 33 gunshot wounds in 15 seconds. Fifteen seconds, 33 rounds fired. Some of the six people who lost their lives that day in Tucson might still be with us.”

But if someone in that parking lot crowd where Giffords was shot by another crazed gunman had a concealed carry permit, and was armed, some of the six people who lost their lives that day would have been far more likely to still be with us. For the gunman could have been shot in self-defense far more quickly than waiting for him to run out of more limited magazine reloads, or more guns to pull out, or counting on him to follow the law on gun magazine limits. Murder was already illegal that day, to no effect.

Obama referenced in Minneapolis an ongoing “epidemic of gun violence.” But that is another Obama delusion. Gun violence is in long-term decline, with the homicide rate cut in half since the early 1990s. That is due to the explosion of conceal and carry permits, increased prison terms for violent offenders, and the aging of the population, as the more mature commit far fewer crimes than the young. Moreover, mass shootings as in Newtown, having peaked in 1929, are in even longer term decline.

If we want to reduce gun violence further, more concealed carry permits are the answer, as John Lott demonstrated in his breakthrough book, More Guns, Less Crime. Mass school shootings would be further reduced by paying teachers bonuses to take concealed carry permit training, and bringing their concealed guns to school to be available for self-defense.

And extending welfare reform to all federal means tested welfare programs, requiring work by the able bodied for welfare, would begin to address fatherlessness as the root cause of gun violence.

Photo: UPI

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About the Author
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlements and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.