Actor - and well-liked conservative - Jon Voight released a brief video this weekend in response to the mass murder of children in Uvalde, Texas.
And leftists adored it. Because in it, Mr. Voight calls for government to continue attacking the human right to self-defense.
One of the left-wing Twitterati who re-posted it is lawyer and pop media commentator Ron Filipkowski, who offered this:
MAGA hero, actor Jon Voigt, goes off the rails on them after the Uvalde school shooting: “There should be proper qualifications for gun ownership. Proper testing. One should only own a gun if they’re qualified and schooled.” pic.twitter.com/mvdepiLdWo— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 28, 2022
And, indeed, Voight said that. In fact, he actually dug the hole a little deeper, saying early on:
We must identify every individual for their credentials, for their mental capacity to bear arms.
Which not only is imprecise use of the language, it also is indicative of a disconnection from the fact that people with criminal intent, by the very ex ante basis of their desire to commit crimes, do not pay attention to statutes telling them they cannot acquire firearms.
It ought to be manifest to any observer that the problem of criminally-minded people attacking other people does not arise from a dearth of statutes telling those people that the state disapproves of aggression (unless only the state engages in said aggression).
And there is ample evidence of how gun-restricting statutes not only don’t stop criminally-minded people, they backfire, and make it easier for them to commit crimes.
Let’s do a quick review, before revisiting Voight's video.
The so-called “gun restrictions” enacted in Australia after a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 did not result in lower violent crime rates, as many gun-grabbers purport. In 2018, I wrote MRCTV an extensive refutation of this claim and of the equally incorrect whopper that gun-grabbing in the UK circa 1997 lowered violent crime in Britain.
Among the points, you will see this:
- Any and all stats on gun ownership/bans are correlative. But with growing numbers of correlative studies, one can come closer to a comfortable assumption of causation. Any honest person engaging in the debate must note that there are many factors that seem to correspond with lower crime rates. (One of those, in particular, is a growing economy.)
- It’s important to consider levels of black-market crime for things such as drugs that contribute to violent confrontations and violent crime stats.
- We have to consider the overall time window of the stats. This is particularly important in the case of Australia.
- Included in the U.S. gun death stats are suicides, which comprise the bulk of firearm deaths, and, though they vary from year to year, usually stand almost twice as high as homicides and accidental gun-related deaths. However, promoters of gun-grab laws seem to have no problem calling suicides “homicides.”
- We have to ask the most fundamental question: “What is a ‘mass shooting’?” And the answer to that is ambiguous. This is an area where gun-grabbers will take the most basic of definitions, that being a “shooting of more than one person” and include it in stats, thus throwing murder-suicides and gang violence (in places like Chicago where the gun “control” laws have not stopped gun-related crime) into the mix.
So let’s look at that Australian claim.
In 1996, after 35 people were killed in Tasmania by a man armed with an automatic rifle, Aussie politicians passed the National Firearms Agreement, which instituted mandatory gun confiscation for semi-automatic firearms, shotguns, and self-loading rifles, and offered a nifty “buy-back” as part of the mandate. How sweet.
Thus some have claimed that violent crime and gun homicides/suicides went down immediately after the “ban” took nearly 20 percent of Aussie guns off “the streets.”
This is a case of time-window manipulation to reach a desired conclusion. In fact, gun-related crime increased for years after the 1996 “ban," and the only way disputants can claim that violent crime decreased is by widening the window of time beyond 10 years.
As John Lott has correctly noted, violent crime increased immediately after the “ban,” and homicides and armed robberies continued the upward trend until 2000, never dropping below 1996 levels until after 2010 (in the case of armed robberies, they still hadn’t gone below 1996 levels by 2010).
As Miguel Faria, MD. Noted, after the Aussie “ban” was instituted:
That same year in the state of Victoria, there was a 300 percent increase in homicides committed with firearms. The following year, robberies increased almost 60 percent in South Australia. By 1999, assaults had increased in New South Wales by almost 20 percent. Two years following the gun ban/confiscation, armed robberies rose by 73 percent, unarmed robberies by 28 percent, kidnappings by 38 percent, assaults by 17 percent and manslaughter by 29 percent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Lott also notes that gun ownership eventually returned to per-capita levels that mirrored the rates prior to the “ban.” So, first, the claim that the “ban” saw a resultant decrease in violent crime, including homicides, is false. Second, violent crime rates only began to decrease years later, as guns returned to Australian hands against the wishes of the politicians writing the statutes.
All this while the “ban” created what one might expect: a huge and dangerous black market for firearms in Oz. Many Aussies who wanted to use guns still found them, and peacefully-minded people were forced to go to the black market.
Meanwhile, during the same early-year period of the Aussie “ban,” the U.S. saw a staggering increase in gun ownership, and violent crime, including gun-related homicides and other acts, decreased dramatically.
And guess what? Even after Bill Clinton’s presidency inspired worried gun owners to keep and bear more arms, the per-capita ownership of firearms continued to increase upon his departure, and violent crime continued to decrease.
Here is the link to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting stats from 2007 to 2011 to prove it. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of violent crimes committed with a gun decreased by over 220,000.
As Larry Bell wrote for Forbes on a Pew study of gun homicide rates between 1993 and 2013:
Their accounting shows a 49 percent decline in the homicide rate, and a 75 percent decline of non-fatal violent crime victimization.
And, of course, Australian political agents now get to shoot people and cage them in their homes in order to protect them from their own freedom and from a spuriously categorized so-called “pandemic” with a 99.95 survival rate across all cohorts under 70 and a 94.6 percent survival rate for those 70 and older. And even if the lethality were HIGH, the state claim to police against free association always is illegitimate.
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Meanwhile, in the U.K., violent crime and gun crime increased after their draconian gun “bans” of 1997. Over the next two years, as Dr. Faria and I noted in my book, “Live Free or Die”:
While robberies rose 81% in England and Wales, they fell 21% in the US. Likewise, assaults increased 53% in England and Wales, but declined 27% in the US.
And, before we return to Mr. Voight’s opinions, what might one make of claims that America’s “loose gun laws” or “lack of gun laws” (which assume that there is a moral basis for having tax-fed gun-carrying government thugs threaten civilians in order to take away the civilians’ ability to protect themselves with guns) is the problem when it comes to criminally-active people engaging in mass homicide?
As Elizabeth Heath notes for Reader’s Digest, Italy has a high level of gun ownership, per capita, yet has had no mass shootings in a dozen years, and only ONE attempted mass shooting.
In U.S.-semi-occupied Pakistan, circa 2014, 150 children and adults were killed by gunmen who also detonated suicide vests.
In 2013, 67 people were killed when gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Kenya.
In 2015, 148 people were killed when gunmen attacked Garissa University College, in Kenya.
And in November, 2015, stunned observers absorbed the news that gunmen killed 130 people at the Bataclan music hall, in Paris, France while rock band Eagles of Death metal were onstage. That was an attack which lead singer Jesse Hughes has said could have been stopped much earlier (or which might have been deterred, because violent criminals often avoid places where victims might be armed) if attendees had been armed.
Finally, Mr. Voight errantly assumes that there’s safety in letting the state define what is “mental stability”. Consider how many wars, weapons sales, weapons smuggling deals, drone attacks, and cop-initiated attacks have been perpetrated by agents of the state, with millions of innocents added to the list of victims every decade. That might inspire a different view of how safe it is to allow the state to define “mental stability”.
Likewise for allowing the government to determine what is sufficient “training.” That can be adjusted by any agents of the state to prevent others from exercising what is a natural right. To engage in such “prevention” activity is aggression unto itself.
There is much more to explore, including the clear logic of gun ownership as non-violent, and the manner in which politicians like Joe Biden now call for even more anti-constitutional gun grabs, while he sends firearms and bombs to Ukraine, on your dime.
For now, let’s remind Mr. Voight at least that he calls himself a patriotic man. Even I, a Christian Anarchist, can recognize that the U.S. Constitution strictly prohibits gun grabs of any kind. If you are deemed safe enough to be outside of prison, the U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect you against the government preventing you from buying, owning, or selling a firearm.
Let’s remember these points, and ask Mr. Voight to reconsider his position.
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Sen. @tedcruz: "Their real goal is disarming America." pic.twitter.com/WcfmJhoqAn— MRCTV (@mrctv) May 29, 2022