Are Stricter Gun Laws About Guns Or About Individual Rights?

Last night Fox News 19's Ben Swann takes on the issue of gun control laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and asks if stricter gun laws really are about guns? Or are they about whether individuals have rights.

So far we've seen the left call for more gun control, even declaring that there will be an "assault weapons" ban bill introduced to the Senate at the first of the year. But Swann wants to do something similar to what I wrote on concerning a comparison of guns and the American Medical Association.

Swann says the language being used by the left is pretty straight forward in that the claims are that we must get angry about what happened in Connecticut and that we must take action to see that it never happens again and that we need to be angry at guns. I ask you, as long as there are people intent on killing, will we ever stop shootings like this, and what good does it do to get angry at an inanimate object? Why get angry at the tool and not the user?

The main thing to do when dealing with a subject like adding more gun control laws that don't work is to separate out emotion from fact. Emotional reactions are normal, but often irrational and result in a typical "knee jerk" response. We need to be thinkers in this matter.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, there were 12,664 murders in the U.S in 2011. Of those deaths, 8,543 were caused by firearms. This means that 4,081 were committed without a firearm.

According to Swann, the thinking is that if there were stricter gun laws that these deaths, or at least many of them, would not have happened. He then asks, "But is that true?" Not necessarily.

"While guns are the most common tool used for murder, the second most common are knives and cutting objects," Swann says. "And the third, believe it or not, are fists and feet."

I don't hear anyone calling for knife bans or declaring that we must amputate everyone's hands and feet!

The bigger issue is if guns are so dangerous that we must rid our country of them, is tht true of other dangerous tools?

Swann points out that "while there are under 8,600 gun related murders" in the U.S. for 2011, there are over 11,000 drunk driving related deaths, according to the New York Times. This means that 2,500 more people are dying at the hands of drunk drivers than guns.

"Where's the outrage from Piers Morgan of CNN about legal alcohol for those drunk drivers?" Swann asks. "Where are the calls from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to have a debate about banning cars? After all, there are 38,000 traffic related deaths in the country each year."

No one is seriously considering taking your car away, though they are seeking to make them more expensive, less safe, and more like a Yugo. Swann says that people will say that the argument between guns and cars is apples and oranges, because you need a car to get to work and things of this nature. In their opinion, cars are used for a variety of purposes, but guns are only used for one thing. Both are untrue.

Ben points out that the difference between those who are pro-Second Amendment and those calling for a ban on what they term "assaault weapons" is a difference in worldview. Those calling for gun bans believe that the "greater good" in society would be served by removing guns, "even though the numbers show that the greater good would be served by removing all cars."

"The argument over guns isn't really an argument over guns at all," Swann points out. "It's over whether or not the individual in America has rights; rights to speech, rights to property, rights to keep and bear arms."

Swann says, "We hear a lot about sovereign states these days, but the truth is that, in the eyes of the Founders, you are the sovereign. You have rights that no society, no government, and even the 'greater good' cannot take away from you.

For another example of contrasting guns with something that leads to 98,000 people dying every year at a cost of $29 billion see yesterday's article.

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