Everyone has heard the oft-repeated mantra of the left that “guns kill people.” Likewise, we’ve all heard the snarky responses that have been made to that, such as the ones about spoons making people fat and people having defective guns, because their guns have never killed anyone.
My personal collection of firearms falls into this category, as the only thing they’ve ever killed is a bulls-eye in a target. However, even though I’ve never fired a shot in anger, my guns have stopped two crimes, just because I showed that I was not an easy victim to take advantage of.
The reality is, killings happen and guns are often the tool that the killers use. There is no question that the modern gun is the most efficient weapon available to the average person, whether being used in the offense or the defense.
While our military forces have even more efficient weapons that pistols and rifles, these are denied to the public by their high price and laws restricting their ownership.
So, modern killers often use guns, simply because guns are efficient tools of war. But that doesn’t make guns killers. People are the killers and some percentage of our population has been killing their fellow man since Cain first realized that he could use a rock to bash in his brother Abel’s head (or however he did it). Cain didn’t have a Glock or an AR-15 to use; he probably didn’t even have a bow and arrow, so he used what he had at hand.
The problem isn’t the gun. As others have said before, guns are merely tools, no more able to commit crime than hammers are. And considering how many times I’ve hit my thumb with a hammer over the years, I’d say that hammers have a higher rate of hurting people than guns do.
But like the hammer, the gun can be used for good, just as it can be used for bad. As a weapon, it is as useful in the defense as it is in the offense. We can’t forget the neighbor who grabbed his personal AR-15 and ran to the aid of the people who were being killed in the Sutherland Springs shooting.
Had it not been for some judicious marksmanship on the part of that hero, many more people might have been killed. The church was apparently only the killer’s first intended target, as proven by the huge quantity of ammunition he was carrying.
Every day, criminals are thwarted by good guys carrying guns. Some of those good guys also have a badge, but many more do not.
It has been proven that most gun-related crimes involve the use of guns that are purchased illegally; either on the black market or through what are known as “straw purchases.” While this doesn’t cover all murders, simply enforcing the existing laws on the books would greatly reduce gun-related crime.
That’s not to say that it would reduce crime though. Criminals are criminals and if they don’t have guns to use, they will use whatever weapon they can find. Criminals didn’t suddenly appear when guns were invented; they practiced their “profession” long before that time.
Guns just became their weapon of choice for the same reason they did for hunters; they’re easier to use.
Mass Murder and Weapons
The very same day that the Sandy Hook shooting happened (in 2014), a knife-wielding thug entered a school in China, killing more children than Adam Lanza did. But this wasn’t the worst knife attack in China that year, on March 1, 2014, 10 men, armed with knives, entered the Kumming train station, killing 29 and wounding 130 others.
Mass murder is mass murder, regardless of the weapon used. It is a horrendous event, regardless of who does it, where they do it, who the victims are or what weapon they hold in their hand. Yet it is guns that receive all the press, not because they are more deadly, but for political reasons.
Anything can be used to kill others, especially in the hands of a skilled individual. Martial arts weapons started out as tools, not weapons. They became weaponized in China, because the Japanese didn’t allow the Chinese to own swords. So they figured out how to use what they had.
This isn’t the only historic reference we can make to the use of tools as weapons. Many of the melee weapons used in the Middle Ages were tools as well, especially the “battle axe” and the “war hammer.”
While there were versions of these tools which were crafted specifically to be used as weapons, the majority of the peasantry merely used what tools they had at hand. Both axes and large hammers make effective weapons, if you don’t have anything better to use.
Hands and Knives
The same is true of murderers. Some of the most infamous serial murderers in history didn’t use guns. Jack the Ripper, for example, used knives on his victims; cutting their throats and then mutilating their bodies.
Since the killer, who is believed to be a man, had a distinct physical advantage over his female victims, so a knife was clearly sufficient for his needs.
The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway didn’t even need a knife in his own version of Jack the Ripper’s murder spree, he strangled them to death. Early on in his killing career he did this with his hands, but as he became more proficient, he used a ligature (a cord of some sort, used as a garrote).
Still the most prolific serial murderer in American history, Ridgway has been convicted of murdering 48 separate women, and the actual count is suspected as being over 90. His killings resemble those of Jack the Ripper in that most of his victims were sex workers and runaway teenagers, who he committed sexual acts with both before and after murdering them.
Perhaps one of the most bizarre serial murder cases is that of Niels Hoegal, a German male nurse. While actively working in a hospital, fighting to save his patients’ lives, Hoegal was also killing them, and apparently doing so for the thrill of it. The thrill wasn’t of killing them, but of rescuing them from death; a death that he himself inflicted.
Hoegal’s weapon of choice was a heart medication called Gilurytmal. He would give patients an overdose of this medication, so that he could impress his colleagues by resuscitating them. But he was not successful in all cases, many died.
Apparently that was of no concern of his, even though he fought to save patients lives daily.
While this killer was only convicted of two murders, two attempted murders and one count of serious bodily harm, it is believed that he killed over 100 people over a six year period of time. The only reason why there are so few convictions is that most of his victims were cremated, making it impossible for forensic investigators to prove whether he killed them or not.
Cars, Trucks and Explosives
To those who think in terms of weapons, anything can be a weapon, even things that are not designed for the purpose of killing. Cars and trucks were designed for transport, yet many die from vehicle accidents. In 2016 (the last year for which complete data is available at this time) there were over 40,000 people who died in vehicular accidents.
When you take into consideration the percentage of these which were caused by drugs or alcohol, it is impossible to state those were merely “accidents.”
But vehicles can be used intentionally as weapons as well. Car bombings are not uncommon, especially in the Middle East, where terrorists have turned the car bomb into a fine art. Cars and trucks make it easy to transport the explosives, as well as providing extra shrapnel when the bomb goes off.
But vehicles can be used as weapons, even without the explosives. On December, 19, 2016 a terrorist drove a truck into a Christmas Market in Berlin. This act claimed 12 lives, including that of the driver the truck was stolen from, as well as an additional 56 others who were injured.
This violent act was clearly intended to be an act of war, motivated by ISIS and perpetrated by a failed Tunasian asylum seeker.
Another such example is Nice, France when in 2016 a cargo truck was driven in a crowd of people resulting in 86 people dead and 458 injured.
While serial killers who operate over years can claim high numbers of victims, perhaps the worst mass murders are committed not by firearms, but by explosives. This only makes sense, as explosives give the killer more bang for the buck.
They can kill more people in a single “shot” than would be even remotely possible with a firearm. This makes the actual number of victims dependent largely on the occupancy of the building at the time the bomb goes off.
The Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. While the destructive force of the bomb was aimed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, a total of 324 other buildings, within a 16 block radius were damaged, some to the point of destruction.
One would think that such a massive explosion would require special methods and materials, and in fact, some special materials were used. But the vast majority of the explosive force came from common materials which are readily available, using formulas which have been readily available in open-source material since long before the internet made it possible to find them in seconds.
The Bath School Massacre
Then there was the Bath School Massacre of 1927, long before mass murderers became media celebrities. At that time, it was apparently possible to buy dynamite over the counter, without the restrictions that are in place today.
The killer, Andrew Kehoe, bought these in small increments, in various locations, over several months, eliminating any suspicion that he was buying them for nefarious purposes.
Those explosives were used to create four separate explosions, one of which did not detonate. The first was at his farm, using firebombs to destroy the house and outbuildings before attacking the school. But even before that, he started his killing spree, murdering his own wife a couple of days before setting off the explosion.
The planning of the operation, purchasing the explosive and planting them in the school took months. As a member of the school board, he had ready access to the school, allowing him to carry the explosives into the basement and prepare his bomb there.
The explosion of the bomb under the north wing of the school killed 30 people, mostly children, and injuring another 58, some of whom were maimed for life.
A second explosion was triggered by the killer a short time later, exploding his truck, which he had filled with explosives and shrapnel. Kehoe, the school superintendent and a few others were killed in this explosion.
The only reason more people were not, was because there were few people near the truck at the time.
A third bomb, consisting of 500 pounds of explosive, had been prepared in the south wing basement, which for some reason failed to detonate. Had it exploded, the casualty count would have been much higher and the building would have been completely destroyed.
It is clear from these examples that murderers, even the mass murderers of today, don’t need guns to accomplish their purpose. When people set out to kill others, they will find a way, no matter what. Making gun ownership illegal would do nothing more than make it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from these criminals.
Even within the realm of gun-related deaths, the statistics aren’t as clear as the gun control crowd would like to make it seem. The New York Times, arguably the most liberal newspaper in the country, reported that “more than 60 percent of Americans who die from guns die by suicide; but that fact is often overlooked” in their October 8, 2015 issue. If they are able to recognize this fact, why can’t others?
Again, eliminating gun ownership won’t stop suicide. There are more suicides committed by drug overdose every year, than there are involving firearms. That’s a rather amazing statistic, when you consider that 80% of suicide attempts involving a firearm are successful, while only 3% of suicide attempts involving drugs are.
So the actual number of attempted suicides by drugs is astronomical.
Do guns make it easier for people to commit suicide? Yes, they do. But again, the problem isn’t the guns, it’s the mental health of the people who commit the suicide. If access to guns was blocked, the only ones who that would stop are the impulsive suicides.
Maybe that’s a worthwhile goal, but it’s not worth taking away everyone’s Second Amendment rights to accomplish it.
Once again, if someone really wanted to commit suicide using a firearm, they could find one, even if guns were illegal. Criminals can buy guns in any country in the world, even those with the most restrictive firearm laws. If they can’t, it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to craft a homemade single-shot gun that shoots shotgun shells. So criminals would have guns, but law-abiding citizens wouldn’t.
What the left really wants is one of two things, neither of which is beneficial to society and severely restricts our freedom. The first is to eliminate the physical laws which allow firearms to operate. That way, there would be no more guns.
Those who wish for this are the ones who don’t want firearms around, because they are afraid of them. It is a fear-driven argument, which has no basis in logic. I know people like this and they can’t articulate their reasons beyond, “I don’t like guns.”
But it is the other group that is ultimately the more dangerous. They want to concentrate all guns in the hands of the government. This has happened in various places and various times through the history of guns.
Each and every time it has led to a totalitarian government, where the common people didn’t have any rights at all.
These people are the politicians, bureaucrats and their lackeys. They want control and they want to take our freedom away from us. That’s what makes them dangerous and that’s what the Founding Fathers gave us our Second Amendment rights to protect ourselves against.
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.