Those who oppose self defense at it again, at home and abroad
By Tim Inwood
There are days after reading or watching news stories, that I am convinced a good chunk of the world has taken leave of their senses. In recent days I read an editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer advocating the banning of handguns. The author of this tripe was a Cincinnati Lawyer named Robert B. Newman. Somehow he has gotten the notion that the solution to the crime problem in Cincinnati is for the city to ban handguns. Clearly one has lost their good senses and perhaps their touch with reality when they keep trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
I responded to Mr. Newman's piece noting that I had lived just outside of Washington D.C. in the 1980s and saw first hand the folly of what he proposes. At that time Washington D.C. was known as the murder capitol of the United States. However, the homicide rates in the suburbs of Washington did not suffer the same high rate as our nation's capitol.
Why, you might ask? Well, in Washington D.C., in the midst of our bicentennial celebrations of 1976, the city fathers saw fit to celebrate the founding of the United States on one hand and violate the US Constitution on the other by banning the ownership of handguns. However, in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs of Washington this silly law did not apply. Since 1976 the criminals have ruled the streets of D.C. and thousands have died as a result. Other cities have also banned handgun ownership and it has been a failure as well.
Mr. Newman has not taken note of the dismal record of what he proposes. So it is no surprise to me that he has failed to notice that the United Kingdom has also fallen into the hands of criminal chaos since banning the ownership of handguns in the wake of the Dunblane shootings in 1996. How bad is it in Jolly Old England? It is so bad they are now wanting to ban large kitchen knives and pocket knives (next I expect them to go after sharp sticks and stones). The UK has made the same mistake many US cities have made--thinking an inanimate object is the problem, when the problem is criminals and not doing anything seriously to control them.
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Since enacting the handgun ban, crime in the UK has skyrocketed. People in desperation to protect themselves began carrying knives. Now that has been prohibited; we can't have thugs getting cut after all. In the UK, you can go to jail for four years for carrying a common pocket knife. Now the United Kingdom has demanded people turn in their knives during the knife amnesty. Turn in your knife and no questions are asked, they say. But there is just one little problem - the good people of the land of Shakespeare are not complying. Nor is the criminal element, who is also resorting to knives.
A recent article in the (UK) Times noted that crime with knives has increased by 73%. The knife amnesty is viewed as a failure as people are not turning in their knives. Handguns had been strictly controlled and registered since 1920 in the UK, hence rounding up legally owned guns was easy. Knives were not registered, at least not yet. So people are refusing to give up the only means of self defense left to them. Who can blame them - especially in the era of terrorism!
George Santayana is famous for writing "Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes." Whether it is the sword hunts, where the weapons of the peasants were confiscated first by Nobunaga and later Hideyoshi in Japan; Nazis and Soviets banning guns from their citizens to ease their totalitarian rule; or the good intentioned but stupid gun banners in the United States or anywhere else, it has done one thing and one thing only: disarm people who need to be able to protect themselves from the predatory criminals in their midst, not to mention leaving them vulnerable to tyrannical governments and their whims. Or need we be reminded of the slaughters of civilians in the Balkans in the former Yugoslavia in recent years?
Until people wake up to the folly of giving up their arms and depending on others to defend them, I am sad to say we will see more of this nonsense of disarming people along with the carnage that goes hand in hand with it. My British cousins would well be reminded of the 1689 English Bill of rights and this quote: "And the subjects shall have arms for their defense." I fear it may well be too late for them, as they have already forgotten their need for arms in the opening days of World War II, when they begged Americans to send privately-held arms to defend the island from Nazi invasion. Here in the United States we have won many victories in the war to regain our ability to defend ourselves, as many states have now adopted concealed carry laws. However as Mr. Newman has reminded us, there are those who will always try to disarm us.
Eternal vigilance is needed, my friends. Get involved today. Stay in contact with your legislators, vote and join groups like the NRA, GOA and of course those of us working to protect your rights here in Ohio, the good folks of the Buckeye Firearms Association.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.