(Note: This post is a carry over from December, 2012)
He first fails to show any positive correlation between a concealed carry applications boom and rising violence, for Colorado in particular and nationwide in general (I suspect with the intent to create a bit of undue alarm, given his failure to link concealed carry to this specific act at all). In fact, Colorado’s 2011 crime rates show marked improvements through preceding decades, with the Aggravated Assault rate at it’s lowest since 1971 and Murder Rate at its lowest since prior to 1960, when the FBI began gathering statistics. The state also improved in Vehicle Theft from the 8th highest rate to 24th between 2005-2008, 19th to 29th and 11th to 31st in Burglary and Larceny-Theft, respectively, during the same period. Colorado became a Shall-Issue permit state in 2003.
But all that is neither here nor there. As much as anything, he fails to understand criminal behavior. He fails to understand (perhaps willfully) that criminals are labeled as such for a reason, often because they refuse to follow the laws as they are. The answer is not more legislation. In fact, I invite him to present statistics showing mass killings by concealed carry permit holders (again with no indication that a carry permit is at all even pertinent to this story). Certainly it has happened, but it is not endemic.
And most importantly, he blatantly disregards the reason for the Second Amendment, rather making it an asylum for crazed gun-toters. It is not merely a convenience provided the citizenry to defend against the mean man on the corner, to be removed when elected officials feel it no longer politically beneficial or fitting with their idea of reasonable or useful. It is a natural right afforded all free men (and women, if we are to follow the courtesies of the day, which we certainly are) to guarantee freedom from tyranny of government (I’ll refer you to John Locke, “An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government”, 1690). It is cliché by this point, yes. But it happens the world over, time and again. (Here I’ll refer you to the 800,000 Tutsi people of Rwanda in 1994; the 2 million dead at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, 1975-1979; the 1.5 million Armenians of Ottoman Turkey; the roughly 40 million Chinese killed between 1927-1976; 20 million at the hands of Nazi Germany; tens of millions more in the Soviet Union.)
There are perhaps a dozen more examples, each of which nearly impossible to wrap a sane mind around. Hayes’ OpEd, while emotionally effective, misses the greater reasoning behind firearms access in America. This nation, as a matter of foundation, is built on the principle not of security but of freedom. I believe freedom is more important than security, and if the only way to make things more secure is to reduce freedom, I’m not interested. Human nature being what it is, security will have to be enforced, while freedom will have to be defended. I’d rather be a defender than an enforcer.
All that said, I believe that people of good will may disagree. I also believe that rational analysis will always hold advantage in an argument with passionate beliefs. The murder of even one child is senseless and begs for eternity in hell. But the unfortunate truth is that senseless cannot be legislated away. Nonetheless, I would invite Mr. Hayes to move beyond the passionate, sensational plugs, and to provide instead a course of reason.
Losing 20 children is enough senselessness for one day.