Columnist Ed Kociela is ready to “do something about gun control in the United States.”
In a recent op-ed for the Southern Utah Independent, Mr. Kociela said he hoped that the government would start systematically disarming society.
“The other day the president issued an executive order that is intended to establish stricter rules for certain types of guns, tighten down background checks, and add substantive support to local violence prevention techniques and regulations,” he wrote.
“The 2nd Amendment freaks will run screaming into the night about how it is yet another attempt to seize their precious guns,” he continued. “Hopefully, this time, they are right. Maybe it is time to come get the guns.”
But showing that he does have a realist bone in his body, Kociela acknowledged the limitations of that approach. Sending agents door-to-door to seize guns is, as he puts it, an “unachievable goal” as the “rednecks would be picking off Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents at a hefty clip if that came about.”
Let me be clear on this. It wouldn’t just be the “rednecks” pushing back. Constitutionally-minded citizens from all walks of life would join the resistance if Big Brother opted to go the “turn’-em-in-or-else route.” And yes, it won’t be pretty.
But putting the confiscation fantasy aside, Kociela solemnly believes that the best path forward to curbing the number of Americans killed each day with guns — 106 per his estimate (of course, he doesn’t mention that two-thirds are suicides) — is to outright ban a subcategory of rifles rarely used in crime: so-called “assault weapons.”
Anyone even vaguely familiar with FBI crime stats knows how wrongheaded this recommendation is. For starters, rifles of any make or model are used in less than 4 percent of homicides each year. On average, year to year, more people are killed with knives, blunt instruments and hands/feet!
When one considers just “assault weapons” in the context of mass shootings, the impact is even smaller. One such analysis from Fee.org, a libertarian think tank, found that “with an average of 13,657 homicides per year during the 2007-2017 timeframe, about one-tenth of one percent of homicides were produced by mass shootings involving AR-15s.”
To put this in perspective, mass shooters with ARs kill approximately 17 people per year, according to a New York Times report. Criminals with knives and sharp implements kill roughly 1,700 people per year, per FBI data.
It would take one hundred years of mass shootings with ARs to produce the same number of homicide victims that knives and sharp objects produce in one year, as Fee.org concludes.
So anyone, including Mr. Kociela, who argues for a ban on black rifles as a means to precipitously curb gun-related violence is at the very least ill-informed, or more likely, a functionary of the Bloomberg machine who firmly and thoughtlessly holds to the idea that an individual’s safety is only maximized when he no longer has the right to keep and bear arms for traditionally lawful purposes, particularly self-defense.
You are safest, the Bloomberg minions tell us, when you are least equipped and prepared to protect yourself. Give up your guns, they continue, because the optimal way to make violent criminals harmless is to disarm you and your fellow law-abiding patriots.
As Kociela writes, “Finally, we could use some help in raising our kids to understand that they really do not need a weapon to function properly in this world. You really don’t.”