America is in shock. America is mourning the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech. America is grieving and needs time to grieve.
Out of respect for the families and friends of the victims, I decided to temporarily suspend this column this week to observe a period of mourning. It was not much, but it was all I had to offer.
Many years ago, in one of those situations that all too often seems like just yesterday, my family experienced a similar tragedy and loss that was at once the result of appalling negligence and a deliberate act of violence. For decades I have felt and observed the devastating impact it had on my family and people close to us.
With this as a background I felt that the most respectful thing I could do to appropriately express my respect and condolences for the victims, their families and friends was to mourn the loss of so many innocents in silence.
During this period I have had many opportunities to observe the responses of individuals, organizations and countries around the world, and I have to say, I am appalled at how quickly some used this tragedy to press their own political agendas.
The first, and most barbaric responses came virtually immediately as spokesmen for the American left jumped up screaming "I told you so, I told you so! See? See? Gun control! If there were no guns in America this wouldn't have happened."
They were so anxious to use a monumental tragedy for their own purposes that some didn't even take time to express their condolences to the victims' families and friends.
The response from the Islamo-fascists around the world was typical and to be expected - Allah is paying America back for being the Great Satan. That nonsense is so predictable I could probably write five paragraphs of it here off the top of my head, do an Internet search for the key words and find a verbatim example out there somewhere.
Of considerable surprise was a comment from Australia's prime minister, who has benefited from considerable goodwill and support here in America, who also said that this shooting was a result of our "gun culture." More on that later.
But it was the communist party in Italy that really ticked me off, calling this tragedy "As American as apple pie."
What an incredibly mind-numbing, ignorant, Neanderthal commentary. Only knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, bottom feeders would stoop to such a despicable level of uncivilized commentary.
But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Communists world wide have been bashing the United States for decades. After all, we represent freedom of choice while they advocate totalitarian government control at any cost, including truth.
Yet, while communists within in the U.S. and worldwide have a vested interest in painting a false picture of American society, especially regarding gun ownership, there is a substantial body of research that shows a completely different picture, one that the communists, fascists and terrorists would prefer to suppress.
Take for instance an ongoing scholarly work that was released last year in Canada. Titled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence by Gary A. Mauser, professor at Simon Fraser University and Don B. Kates (retired) this working document reveals some startling facts about gun ownership and crime that unfortunately doesn't make it into the media.
Italicized below are some excerpts from that work that I believe are important to share with you. The full text can be found at http://law.bepress.com/expresso/eps/1564/ and believe me, it is worth reading.
One is the compound assertion that: (a) guns are uniquely available in the U.S. compared to other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the U.S. has by far the highest murder rate.
Though this has been endlessly repeated, in fact b) is false and a) substantially so. The false assertion that the U.S. has the industrialized world's highest murder rate is an artifact of politically motivated Soviet minimization of true Russian homicide rates since at least 1965.
As of many years before that date Russia had extremely stringent gun controls which were effectuated by a police state apparatus providing for extremely stringent enforcement. So successful was that regime that few Russian civilians have firearms and very few murders involve them.
Yet manifest success in keeping its people disarmed has not prevented Russia from having far and away the highest murder rate in the developed world. In the 1960s and early '70s, gunless Russia's murder rates paralleled (generally exceeded) those of gun-ridden America. As American rates first stabilized and then steeply declined, Russian murder increased so drastically that by the early 1990s the Russian rate was three times higher than the U.S.
Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, has a murder rate 10 times higher than gun-dense Norway and Germany where handguns are legal and gun ownership in general is very high
The same pattern appears when comparisons of violence to gun ownership are made within nations. Indeed, "data on firearms ownership by constabulary area in England" show "a negative correlation." i.e. "where firearms are most dense, violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest" (quoting a description of what American data have also consistently shown). Many different data sets from various kinds of sources are summarized as follows by the leading text: ... there is no consistent significant positive association between gun ownership levels and violence rates: across (1) time within the United States; (2) U.S. cities; (3) counties within Illinois; (4) country-sized areas like England; (U.S. states); (5)regions of the United States; (6) nations; or (7) population subgroups ...
Whatever the reason, the upshot is that violent crime, and homicide in particular, have plummeted in the United States ... In 18 of the 25 countries surveyed by the British Home Office, violent crime increased during the 1990s. This contrast should provoke thinking people to wonder what happened in those nations adopting policies based on the belief that introducing more and more restrictive firearm laws would reduce criminal violence. Perhaps the United States is doing something right.
Capping decades of severe restrictions on gun ownership throughout the British Commonwealth, the last half of the 20th century saw several of the countries in the Commonwealth impose Draconian firearm laws, confiscating hundreds of thousands of firearms from owners law abiding enough to turn them in.
Canada brought in universal gun registration and banned small handguns, the United Kingdom banned all handguns, Australia banned semiautomatic firearms, and both the Republic of Ireland and Jamaica attempted sweeping firearm bans. These gun laws were adopted amid predictions that they would stem violence, but ... none of these measures can be shown to have successfully reduced criminal violence, homicide or suicide in any of these countries.
More of Professor Mauser's research at http://www.garymauser.net/
It occurred to me in this past week that the willingness of America's critics, even from countries that claim to be our friends and allies, to constantly portray Americans as world-class bad guys, itself may be partly to blame for tragedies such as the Virginia Tech shootings.
Virtually anywhere you go in the world, governments and groups take great delight in bashing the US at every opportunity. I believe this is done to cover up and compensate for their own failures and inadequacies, but the end result is that many in the world believe it is fine to murder Americans.
I think that this "Bash America culture" leads some already demented people to think that Americans are useful only when we are targets.
But in this context, I'd like to ask Italy's communists whether they thought so little of us in WWII when gun-toting Americans were inching their way up the Italian peninsula under fire from Italian fascists and German Nazis, neither of whom had much use for communists.
Was that as "American as Apple Pie?"
And while we're on the subject of communism and shootings, when Joseph Stalin exterminated subjects of the Soviet Union who didn't share his views or simply got in his way at a rate exceeding one million per year, was that as "Russian as Borscht?"
When Mao Tse Tung, was similarly exterminating millions of Chinese - estimates vary here, it could have been as 'low' as 40 million or as high as 70 million - was that "As Chinese as Lo Mein?"
When Pol Pot, the late communist leader of Cambodia was slaughtering millions of his subjects was that "As Cambodian as Prahok?"
How about Fidel Castro? When he went on an extended extermination plan, wiping out his subjects by the tens of thousands (instead of millions,) did that make him benevolent? What that an example of "As Cuban as good cigars?"
There is only one reason I can find why countries want their citizens disarmed. That is so the citizenry has no means available to forcefully disagree with the government when the government thinks it exists to dictate rather than serve. Unarmed citizens against tanks make great photo ops, but they are historically totally ineffective.
It is obvious that the world's communists and other terrorists would love to see the United States disarmed. Their zealotry is so rabid that they can't even use their well-honed propaganda machines to make their outlandish comments at more appropriate times, preferring to hit our grieving citizens when the impact of this tragedy is immediate.
Thus, I would like to pass on an invitation to Italy's communist party. And I would very much appreciate it if the leaders of that party could extend this invitation to others of their ilk from around the globe, and the leaders of terrorist organizations wherever they exist.
If you are so crude, so boorish, so unsophisticated and so uncivilized that you can't even allow us our time to grieve without also having to deal with your petty comments and ignorant remarks, please do us a favor - go stick you heads way down deep in a vat of Chianti.
Stay there, upside down, immersed in the best that Italy has to offer until I decide to get back to you.
But don't hold your breath.
Friday, April 20, 2007