Anti-gun writer forgot lessons of world history

Bill Ruppert

While Mr. Ralph Rauscher’s Guest Column spot three weeks ago leaned heavily on news editor John Bayless, Rauscher fails miserably in his attempt to convince the reader of the validity of his own anti-firearm position. He quotes a lot of supposed statistics which hold about as much water as a rusty sieve. His source of figures comes from a variety of good sounding organizations, but not always are they unbiased in their approach to issues such as this one. Some even have an undermining effect on the United States Constitution. A constitution, by the way, that is as valid today as it was 207 years ago.

One of those groups, Handgun Control Incorporated, was founded by Sara Brady, wife of James Brady, President Reagan’s press secretary who was wounded by a malevolent individual with a hand gun. HCI’s current director has publicly announced that its “agenda is to remove all firearms from the American people.” A little German World War I corporal said the same thing to his nation in the mid-1930s and was lauded by Time magazine when it designated Adolph Hitler as its “Man of the Year” (1938); the vicious barbarian was quoted in that magazine:

“1935 will go down in history! For the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead in the future!”

Anyone who is old enough to reason knows what happened to that gun-free country between 1939 and 1945. Lest we forget; gun control laws inevitably result in gun confiscation laws which have cleared the way for seven major genocides between 1915 and 1980, in which a minimum of 56,000,000 human beings, including millions of children, have been murdered. Do we learn from the past Mr. Rauscher? Millions of those victims are what we would call ethnic minorities. Is it Mr. Rauscher’s desire to remove weapons from the hands of our citizens, so that our government may practice racism to the point of genocide? Remember, it has in the past.

Mr. Rauscher is quick to give us several statistics regarding the death rate from firearms in Australia but failed to provide the reader with the death rate in our nation’s capital where it is illegal to own a firearm, let alone carry one. There the death rate is 89 per 100,000 population. It falls dramatically in those U.S. cities that have little or no controls. Mr. Rauscher’s figure of 50 million firearms in the U.S. is wrong; it’s 200 million and they don’t all cause needless death as he reports. Over 99.8 percent of U.S. owned firearms will not be involved in criminal activity in any given year; yet Rauscher’s solution is to get rid of them all.

I can hardly believe that ABC’s Sam Donaldson is used as a bastion of wisdom regarding gun control. Mr. Rauscher fails to be impartial just as Donaldson is not impartial. Neither ABC, NBC, CBS, nor CNN have ever provided honest and equal opportunity to discuss this much- debated issue. All they do, at best, is to drag the proponents of firearms ownership to the fringe element of society in order to enhance the major media’s anti-gun position. My point here is not to criticize anyone who refuses to own a firearm; that is your choice. My right and my choice is to be able to own, possess and carry a firearm. My right always includes my obligation not to misuse that right. That, Mr. Rauscher, is what James Madison called the “capacity of mankind for self-government, to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves.” These elements were to be the foundational principles of American civilization; Madison never mentioned Australia.

In addition to allowing the malfeasant to become more bold in his attack on the unarmed, further gun control laws will only cause millions of U.S. citizens to become ex-post-facto criminals. Witness California – It has an anti-assault weapon law, yet it is guessed that only 6-9 percent of owners of such firearms have registered them according to the law, the other 91-94 percent are criminals under California statute. Yet with these dismal results the California Assembly attempted to expand this absurd white elephant.

Now, take a look at the Jonesboro, Ark. killings; how did the federal, state and local laws affect that crime? Look at what those two demented delinquents allegedly did in order to arrive at their goal:(1) conspiracy to commit a felony, (2) grand theft of an automobile, (3) grand theft of several firearms, (4) burglary, (5) bringing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, (6) unlawfully setting off a fire alarm, and finally (7) murder.

To further get the point across, read what Karen Curtner, principal of Jonesboro Middle School said after the tragedy. This comment was not reported by Sam Donaldson, Mr. Rauscher. “To me, the issue is not the weapons or the gun that was used. That had nothing to do with what happened. I think we have to look further than that.”

But do we want to look further than the element of the crime? Obviously Mr. Rauscher does not. Will a further ban on firearms and components solve the crime problem in this country? The answer is an unequivocally “no.” It didn’t solve it in Germany; it merely reassigned who the criminal was. Instead of the wayward youth it now became government. Did not our Founding Fathers see that potential? A little study of the founding era finds the men who put together our constitution, thankfully, had much more wisdom and common sense than Mr. Rauscher. Examine what just a few said:

“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them…”

That was George Mason, author of the Bill of Rights of the Virginia Constitution. The first Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were the after growth of his insistence of a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops…”

Noah Webster, educator, lawyer, writer, author of:”Sketches of American Policy”(1785) which helped to shape developing principles of the U.S. Constitution.

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

Thomas Jefferson in writing this was quoting Italian Cessare Beccaria author of “Treatise on Crimes and Punishments,” 1764. (Technology may have changed in the past 200 years but the heart of man remains the same, always subject to despicable acts.)

But rather than leave with the wisdom of these remarkable men only, let me quote a more recent political figure. Democratic Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) was not known as a conservative, far from it, but rather a well respected liberal; it was Humphrey who said:

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” (emphasis mine)

Bill Ruppert is a resident of Truckee and retired 22-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol

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