'Tis Only My Opinion!

April 2016 - Volume 36, Number 4

"The Fallacy of Gun Control"

The Second Amendment to the Constitution

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Since its adoption in 1791 there have been many attempts by politicians and others to restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms. They have used licensing, outright prohibition and taxation policies to restrict US citizens from having free and unfettered access to arms.

Despite all of these efforts by government agencies at both the federal, state and local levels, the number of weapons held by the citizens is estimated to be in excess of 300 million.

How many privately-owned guns are there in the U.S.

According to a copyrighted article by Dean Weingarten in 2015 on Gun Watch.com.

The data for the estimated number of guns in America was gathered from two sources. From 1945 to 1987, the data was taken from Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America by Gary Kleck, Table 2.1. For the later years, Kleck’s methodology was applied to figures obtained from the ATF. The number shown is the cumulative addition of domestic manufacture plus imports minus exports, not including guns shipped to the U.S. military or foreign military sales. The figures are rounded to the nearest million. And the estimated number of guns in America is . . .

Three-hundred-and-forty-seven million. That’s the 2012 figure. It represents roughly one gun for every man, woman and child in America (not counting so-called undocumented Americans). Diving a little deeper . . .

Kleck attributes the 1945 – 1968 numbers to Newton and Zimring, which includes the calculation of the 1945 number of modern guns added to the stock from 1899 to 1945. Firearms manufactured before 1899 are not included. The starting figure in 1945 is 47 million; at the end of 2012, it is 347 million, an increase of 300 million in 67 years, a six fold increase in the stock. The year 2013 is shown on the end of the chart as a place holder so that the figure 347 will be visible for 2012. Numbers for 2013 are not yet available.

The numbers do not account for reduction of the gun stock due to wear and tear, loss, destruction or illegal exportation; or increases of the stock from illegal importation, individual or illegal manufacture, or acquisition from military sources.

The U.S. population increased from 133 million in 1945 to 313 million in 2012, a 135% increase in population, or over a 200% increase in the number of guns per capita. Guns per capita rose from .35 in 1945, to 1.1 guns per capita in 2012.

Gun-Free Zones are simply "free-kill zones!"

Well-meaning politicians and citizens have legislated into existence gun-free zones which often include shopping malls, schools, theaters, and sporting venues as well as liquor stores and bars.

Law-abiding citizens will not carry their weapons into these gun free zones and thus are largely defenseless if a criminal and/or terrorist decides to stage a mass murder event.

The response of any security within these gun free zones is likely to be ineffective as the criminal or terrorist begins to attack. In most attacks, the response of the local police or other law enforcement personnel will take several minutes to arrive. During that time the criminal or terrorist is free to exact damage within the gun free zone without concern about retribution.

It should therefore not be surprising that most mass killings have occurred in gun free zones.

Licensing and Registration

Both at the federal, state and local levels there are requirements dealing with the licensing and/or registration of firearms.

In recent years, politicians have attempted to regulate the number of cartridges which can be loaded into a magazine.

Of course, they have grandfathered existing magazines and in certain states like New York which passed in 2013 the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (the NY Safe Act) have passed legislation making it a crime to purchase any magazine that holds more than ten (10) rounds except .22 caliber tubular magazines are exception. Labeled the toughest gun control law in the U.S. by Governor Andrew Cuomo, it has had zero effect on reducing the state's crime rate.

Isn't it interesting that Chicago and New York City have instituted serious gun control legislation and make it extremely difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry a weapon and yet have some of the highest murder rates in the country.

The Australian Fiasco

Australia outlawed semi-automatic rifles, certain categories of shotgun, and implemented strict licensing and registration requirements. The cornerstone of its new gun-control scheme, however, was a massive gun buyback program. The Australian government purchased 650,000 to one million guns with funds raised via a special tax.

Australia’s vaunted gun buyback program was in fact a sweeping program of gun confiscation.

Of course, the number of guns existing in private hands in Australia was slightly less than the 300,000,000 million or so existing in the U.S.

Did the crime rate and/or the murder rate in Australia go down.

In 2002 -- five years after enacting its gun ban -- the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime.  In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.

Even Australia's Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:

  • In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
  • Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent.
  • Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

Home made weapons

Criminals who have access to any relatively well-equipped machine shop can easily make not only their own magazines but also their own weapons.

In the 1960s there was considerable violence including weapons in New York City during the long hot summer. The police confiscated thousands of homemade weapons in one summer which ranged from a single-shot pistol to weapons which closely resembled the UZI machine pistol.

In fact, Bob Bradley of Winchester Arms in Connecticut while visiting the New York police armory where the seized weapons were laid out on tables found several firing mechanisms which he thought were ingenious. Mr. Bradley had his engineers evaluate and incorporate a couple of those firing mechanisms in weapons they were developing.

Today, the internet has many sites showing how to make a pistol, a rifle or even an automatic-firing weapon. Here is an example of a 12 gauge pistol made entirely out of readily available material in any Home Depot, Lowe's or hardware store.  The cost is about $20 in material.

Licensing, regulation and/or confiscation is simply not going to prevent criminals nor terrorists from obtaining weapons. Besides methods for creating havoc on a much larger scale exist under most kitchen sinks.

Some of those items are drain cleaner and rust remover which contain nitric or sulphuric acid which are required to make the high order explosive nitro-glycerin.  Model engine fuel contains nitro-methane, a chemical with explosive properties greater than TNT which mixed with an oxidizing agent such as ammonium nitrate creates an explosive of even greater power that nitro-glycerin.

The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing destroyed one-third of the building, killed 168 people, and injured more than 680 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage.


With over 300 million weapons in the U.S. currently, any attempt to confiscate those weapons is likely to cause serious political upheavals and could lead to even more violence.

When law enforcement agents and their swat teams have more weapons than the U.S. Marine Corps, it makes you wonder what is going on.

It is apparent that most politicians and many citizens have no concept of --

"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The Second Amendment's “right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" language was clearly not intended to allow for extensive reasonable regulation. Rather, it was intended to prevent all laws and regulations that would result in the people being deprived, abridged, restrained, narrowed, or restricted in the exercise of their fundamental right to keep and bear arms.

But then progressives and those who believe in big government rather than in personal responsibility or that the government will provide for their sustenance and security are willing to be slaves to the state rather than to be free.

But then - 'Tis Only My Opinion!

Fred Richards
April  1, 2016


Corruptisima republica plurimae leges. [The more corrupt a republic, the more laws.] -- Tacitus, Annals III 27

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