Government is a game of control. Throughout the generations, the game amounted to tribal welfare, us versus them. What made America different was the idea that a very limited government, elected by the people, would be given power to control only those who refused to control themselves to the detriment of others. The ability to make realtime, ears-to-the-ground, rubber-meets-the-road midcourse corrections as one followed one’s own bliss seemed so much more efficient than dependence on distant bureaucrats following broad-brush protocols. The concept is well-illustrated by attempts to better the Second Amendment.
In his latest book, Control, Glenn Beck argues attempts to repeal or destroy the Second Amendment are in large part a product of mass media’s scrambling for market share by feeding the public emotional and graphic sound bites. Instances wherein wild gunmen are silenced by permitted carriers don’t have the same drawing power as the look on the children’s faces as they fled the Columbine massacre.
In Pearl, Mississippi, a teenager slit his mother’s throat and took her rifle to the local high school, where he opened fire, killing two and injuring seven more. According to police reports, the next stop was supposed to be the junior high. “But as the boy left the school and began to drive his car through the parking lot, he was confronted by a Colt .45 pointed through the windshield. Stunned, the boy crashed his car. The man with the gun, Vice Principal Joel Myrick, held it to the boy’s head, point-blank. ‘Why are you shooting my kids?’ he asked him.”
Beck shares a sampling of stories of massacres that never were, stopped because somebody on the scene could fight back. He refers to guns as “equalizers” for women and the elderly, who often can’t save themselves from a brutish attacker. In another story, an attacker visited the Christian Youth with a Mission center in Denver, where he killed two teens. He then proceeded to the New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs, with the intention, found in online posts, of injuring and killing as many Christians as he could. The church was packed, and so was a voluntary security guard, Jeanne Assam. Assam asked the perp to play nice, and when he didn’t, he went down. Pastor Brady Boyd estimated the guard saved 100 lives.
Sometimes would-be victims are not so lucky, and the reason is usually gun control laws. Amanda Collins was brutally raped in a college parking lot “less than 100 feet from campus authorities.” Collins had a concealed-carry permit, but the college campus was gun-free. Said Collins, “’I was in a safe zone and my attacker didn’t care.’”
It is absurd to believe that criminals will only obey laws if more are added to the books. Instead, laws that require owners to register, disassemble, and store their weapons, only get in the way of good people protecting themselves. What’s more, most of the accidental deaths caused by guns in the home occur not because there aren’t enough laws to render the weapons useless in an emergency, but because careless people aren’t following the existing laws. What’s more, higher-ups in government admit it would be ludicrous to try to enforce all the gun laws already on the books.
Beck printed documented quotes from charismatic leaders of the anti-gun movement, because he knew he would be accused of concocting a straw man on crack if he did not. Some of the statements are laughably self-contradictory, many are not in the least researched, and others are patently false. Granted, statistics lie, but Beck massages the data to come to equally-valid and opposite claims; and sometimes shows the facts can’t stretch far enough to reach oft-repeated conclusions.
But the beat goes on, and politicians want to appease the perceived public clamor for all legislation warm and fuzzy. Much gun legislation reflects unfamiliarity with the weapons. Beck points out altering certain weapons is already a felony, but anybody who wants to swap out magazines can do so if they have no regard for laws, a characteristic highly-correlated with premeditative murderers.
Those who suppose a single shot should suffice for self-defense likely never shot at a bull’s eye, let alone a moving target in the heat of a crisis. In simulated shootouts, experienced FBI officers hit targets with only one in five bullets fired. In another story, Beck tells of an intruder breaking into the home of a family while they were baking a cake in the kitchen. The interloper shot the father and went after the mother, and the child got the family gun and did as well as could be expected.
Stats and anecdotes are of limited utility, so Beck emphasizes reason. The worst part about gun laws is they represent a transfer of power. Beck mocks anti-gun enthusiasts for being so enlightened as to suppose tyranny, like polio, has been practically eliminated from the face of the earth. He points out inconsistencies in insults hurled when patriots protest little anti-gun laws are a slippery slope. To illustrate, he provided a concise timeline of gun control measures enacted as Adolph Hitler rose to power. It is lame to entertain what-ifs in history, but Beck argues allowing Jews to keep their guns could not have had a worse outcome.
The book ends with commentary on how guns are tools. Evil cannot be rooted out of the human heart by legislating gun stylings. Something is happening to cause more children to disregard life, and it isn’t gun control. Until 1968, there were no laws preventing children in the United States from buying guns and ammo. The first school massacre perpetrated by a child occurred in 1975, in Canada. Besides a general lapse in morality, Beck blames video games. Not only were several perps obsessed with them, several kids who now open fire on kids are standing still and shooting people in the face – with amazing accuracy.