I just watch the following piece from KTRK’s Ted Oberg and I honestly want to vomit. I have to give Governor Perry credit for taking the interview and handling it like a champ. That said, struggled to hold my tongue as I listened to Oberg spew lie, after lie, after lie.
Oberg claimes a “majority” of American want to ban modern rifles. But, it is been repeatedly demonstrated that this is not true and is based on flawed studies in which participants think they are being asked about fully-automatic firearms. And even then, few of those people realize that legal access to and ownership of those items has been tightly controlled since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Even fewer know that after McClure-Volkmer (1986), the supply of fully-automatic firearms available to civilians has been largely fixed and that fewer than a dozen NFA registered firearms have EVER been used in a crime.
Oberg goes on to claim that there are 30,000 annual “gun deaths.” We kill more people in automotive accidents, criminal recklessness, and drunk-driving annually yet, no one is talking about banning cars. But something I find more bothersome about this number people like Oberg like to throw around is the fact that in any given year, according to both the CDC and the FBI, more than half of all deaths attributed to firearms are suicides. There is no scientific evidence to prove that banning guns will prevent suicide. In fact, the idea of banning guns to prevent suicide fails miserably if yo look at a country such as Japan where there is virtually no access to firearms and yet, the country has had a suicide rate that had been almost double that of the US since the at least the 1960s. To be fair, that still means we have a little less than 15,000 deaths annually that are attributable to violent criminal acts.
When it comes to violent criminal action in this country, there is no bigger motivator than conflict over the illicit drug trade. The biggest gangs in this country are organized for the purpose of, and funded by, the manufacture, distribution, and sale of illicit drugs. While hundreds of millions of dollars are spent enforcing laws and incarcerating people who use, distribute, or sell drugs, almost no money is collected through taxation of the people who benefit from it. How it is that we have not applied the lessons of Prohibition to things like marijuana is beyond me but, I for one, am tired of the resulting gang wars being used, in part, as justification for limiting the rights of law abiding people.