Bonnie Erbe, a TV host and columnist for Scripps Howard News Service recently published an article entitled “NRA should take hit for gun deaths in schools.” Ms. Erbe makes several outlandish claims in her argument demonizing the National Rifle Association. In her article she cites the recent school shooting in Oakland, California and states: “Between 1992 and 2001, shooting was the leading cause of violent deaths in schools.” She ends by saying: “The next time you see a news report about a mass killing with lots of innocent people dead, think NRA – no matter what the NRA tells you.”
Perhaps in a topsy-turvy Alice in Wonderland-type world, Ms. Erbe’s arguments would make sense. One glaring piece of information she omitted is that the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act restricts a person from carrying a firearm 1000 feet from the property line of a school. If gun restriction laws were effective we wouldn’t see crimes with firearms within school zones. The law simply does not allow them on schools grounds or anywhere near a school. So much for gun control laws. Conversely, all but 3 of our national parks and wildlife refuges legally allow firearms within their zones. Therefore, according to Ms. Erbe’s logic, we should expect to see more killings in national parks than schools.
Do only outlaws need guns?
A collection of guns, including the sort of assault firearm that Bonnie Erbe complains of. Photo: user kosheahan (Flickr), CC BY 2.0 License
Within the article, Ms., Erbe draws the unfounded and outrageous conclusion that only terrorists and mass murders need assault weapons. She goes on to build upon her own assumption and says:
So one of the most powerful lobbying groups in America lobbies for laws that assist terrorists and, as we saw this week in California, mentally unstable people, to acquire weapons.
Ms. Erbe is wrong again. Mentally unstable people may not buy firearms according to the Brady Act (see #4 below). The Brady Act excludes you from purchasing a firearm if you:
- Have been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- Are a fugitive from justice;
- Are an unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substance;
- Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
- Are an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
- Have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
- Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;
- Are subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner, or;
- Have been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
- Have a record of being a felon.
Therefore, I must ask Ms. Erbe how many people arrested with firearms have previously been convicted of a crime, are fugitives, are unlawful users or addicted to controlled substances, have been judged mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, are illegal aliens, etc., etc., etc.? I would guess that a great majority of those unlawfully using firearms fall into one of the categories listed above. If so, this would negate Ms. Erbe’s argument where she refuses to believe that criminals don’t obey firearms laws.
Furthermore, the Florida Division of Licensing, Monthly Statistical Report reported that the state of Florida issued 1.7 million carry permits but only had to revoke 167 due to gun crimes by permit-holders.According to Ms. Erbe’s logic, 1.7 million carry permits should flood the state with firearms and result in a huge increase in crime. But after Florida enacted a “shall issue” law in 1987, its murder rate decreased 23 percent at a time when the national rate rose nine percent. In a state that was decimated by crime, allowing law-abiding citizens to bear arms has not resulted in a rise in crime but in a reduction of crime. In Florida the law-abiding citizens have not turned into gun-totting felons but now have the opportunity to defend themselves and their property.
Direct evidence: gun laws do not work
Former Florida Licensing Division Director John Russi also doesn’t agree with Ms. Erbe. He stated,
Florida’s concealed weapon law has been very successful. All major law enforcement groups supported the original legislation….[S]ome of the opponents of concealed weapon legislation in 1987 now admit the program has not created the problems many predicted.
Perhaps Ms. Erbe thinks Director Russi supports terrorists as well.
Is there no limit to how the anti-gun protesters are willing to twist the facts to support their point of view? The left’s logic regarding gun control makes as much sense as their support for free healthcare that will bankrupt this nation and many of its citizens in the process. Alice’s Wonderland may be a nice place to observe through a looking glass, but living in it would only make sense to those like Ms. Erbe who have already lost touch with reality.
Ms. Erbe stated that we need a reality check, she should have said she needs a reality check. It’s fortunate for us that our Founders had a firm grasp on reality and consequently the good sense to include the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment isn’t just about guns, it’s also about the right of self-defense.
God bless America, and thank God for the Second Amendment.