OFFER NO PROTECTION
by Dr. Michael S. Brown
The recent mass murder in Wakefield, Massachusetts is providing a number of
valuable lessons in media coverage, the behavior of the anti-gun lobby, and most
important, the effectiveness of gun laws.
Turn on any news channel and you will see all the usual suspects. Talking
heads debate the effect on proposed gun laws in Congress. Breathless reporters
spend long minutes of precious air time examining every possible detail of the
weapons involved in the murders. Of course they make all the usual errors like
calling a pistol a semi-automatic revolver and inventing other amazing
You might think that people who call themselves journalists would make an
effort to become more familiar with a subject that they love so much.
Unfortunately, journalists as a group have demonstrated time after time that
they know little about guns and do not want to learn. They don't want any
inconvenient facts getting in the way of a good story that casts the cold eye of
suspicion on gun owners.
The anti-gun lobby is already dancing in the blood of the innocent victims.
The gun haters see another opportunity to force their vision of a gun free
utopia a little bit farther down the slippery slope. They conveniently ignore
the fact that Massachusetts already has some of the toughest gun laws in the
nation. New restrictions added in the last few years have made life extremely
difficult for law abiding gun owners in that state, but the killer, as usual,
simply ignored the laws. If these laws are supposed to be so good for us, why
don't they provide any protection?
The dirty little secret of the anti-gun lobby is that gun laws have never
been an effective way to reduce violence. In fact, the reverse may be true,
since studies by John Lott and others have proven that mass shootings, as well
as rapes and assaults, are less likely in states that have issued a large number
of concealed weapon permits. The statistics are in and gun control doesn't work.
Passing additional laws that make self defense more difficult will never reduce
mass murders or any other kind of crime.
Insane persons intent on carrying out an act of mass revenge invariably
choose a location where their victims are certain to be unarmed. This is one
reason why these attacks always occur in places like schools or office buildings
where weapons for self defense are prohibited.
Early reports from Wakefield indicate that the killer expected no resistance.
He took plenty of time to calmly reload his weapon while the unarmed victims
dialed 911 in vain. The laws and the anti-gun culture of Massachusetts
guaranteed his success. Things would have turned out much differently if someone
in the ill-fated office had been armed with a handgun and a cool head. Perhaps
the attack would never have occurred if the killer feared for his own life.
Regardless of how you feel about guns or self defense, you must admit that
murderers will always be able to find a weapon suitable for their deranged
purpose. If not a gun, then an automobile, a homemade bomb or a simple can of
gasoline are just as lethal and even more dangerous to bystanders.
Anti-gun laws only deprive good people of the right to self defense and
distract society from the real causes of violence. If we truly wish to reduce
violence, we must turn away from the mean-spirited cultural war against gun
owners and open our minds to new ideas.
Dr. Michael S. Brown is a member of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws, on the web
You can also find his archive of writings on our site at http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/Brown.