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Guns and Crime

Gun reform that will actually work

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In the wake of the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Leftists took to their usual diatribes — they called the NRA a terrorist group, Jimmy Kimmel cried on live television (again), and mainstream news organizations touted misleading if not outright false statistics. All of the above pleaded for yet-unspecified “comprehensive” or “common sense” gun reform.

Through it all, I repeatedly asked vocally adamant gun control supporters, “What is your plan? What law would have prevented this from happening?” Many conservative leaders did the same. Still, no one on the Left seemed capable of providing a coherent answer, short of a full-on gun confiscation and/or ignorance of laws that are already in place, such as a ban on machine guns (which weren’t even used in this shooting).

Pointing this out won’t stop Lefties, obviously, but my intent with this article is not to continue debating what hasn’t, can’t, or won’t work when it comes to gun control, nor to debunk recurring arguments and statistics. That’s an important task, but for right now, I’ll leave it to the likes of Steven CrowderBen Shapiro, and Matt Christiansen.

My goal here is to defy perhaps the most frequent accusation pointed at conservatives during any gun debate, which is that we aren’t willing to discuss how to stop this kind of thing from happening again. And I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or inspiring a deeper respect for life — I mean genuine legislation.

Here are four measures that will actually make an impact in preventing mass shootings:

1) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 98% of mass shootings in America from 1950 to 2016 occurred in gun-free zones. It should be common sense to understand that criminals target the weak, vulnerable, and unprotected — such as groups that are guaranteed to be unarmed.

This 1990 legislation was introduced by none other than former-Vice President Joe Biden and signed into law by Bush Sr., prohibiting the presence of firearms within 1000 feet of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools.

Some locations might be gun free de facto rather than de jure, such as churches, where it is not prohibited by law but not necessarily common practice to carry a gun, but the unknown always goes in favor of the potential victims. In a room where a shooter has one firearm and the crowd has zero, you do the math.

The way to prevent shootings is to put more guns in the hands of good guys than in the hands of bad guys. In order to discourage mass shootings, killers need to fear the possibility of getting caught on the other end of a barrel.

This is not to say that teachers should necessarily be required to carry weapons, but those who are trained and feel inclined to take that precaution should be welcome to do so in order to protect their students and colleagues — a proposal which 81% of police officers favor, as provided by USA Today.

2) Place armed security at all public schools

Most federal buildings feature an armed guard of some kind, and many have additional security measures such as metal detectors. So why are our children left unprotected on public (meaning federally operated) school grounds? As Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh contends, there is no sensible argument for abandoning our children to such a clear threat.

Some have argued that the presence of police officers or guns might traumatize young children, but do you know what’s even more traumatizing? Watching your friends get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac with a psychotic vendetta.

The Parkland shooter was previously expelled from the school and prohibited from carrying a backpack on campus, yet somehow that ban didn’t work, as the shooter mosied onto an unsecured campus with a backpack toting a rifle and ammunition — after all, who was going to stop him?

3) Reform the mental health system

Not all people who suffer from mental illness are violent — not by a long shot. Nor are all murders committed by the mentally ill. But the fact is that mass shootings account for a miniscule percentage of total gun homicides in the U.S., and many if not most mass shootings are executed by mentally unstable individuals.

Our country needs to reform its mental health system and consider increasing the amount of people who are institutionalized in mental health facilities.

Ironically, the same groups calling for common sense gun reform immediately backstep when mental illness is brought into the conversation, obfuscating relevant data on two fronts: firstly by falsely claiming that this will lead to a witch hunt of anyone with depression or anxiety, which is simply not true — we’re talking about those who present a danger to themselves or others — and secondly by conflating all gun killings with just mass murder, which is defined by wholly different parameters.

The Atlantic ran the latter kind of piece in October 2017 following the Las Vegas shooting, which cited a statistic that fewer than 5% of gun homicides are committed by a person with a previously diagnosed mental illness. That could very well be true, but it’s beside the point, first marginally because this doesn’t account for undiagnosed illness, but primarily due to the fact that mass shootings only account for 2 or 3% of gun murders anyway, so we’re talking about a completely different set of facts. In the same article, The Atlantic tries to play off a statistic from 2001 and another from 2016 that peg the rate of mass shooters with mental illness closer to one in four, or 25%. By their own admission, if we reform involuntary commitment laws to allow for easier institutionalization of the severely ill, then we can immediately cut down on mass shootings by a quarter.

One might call that statistically significant.

On The Rubin Report, Ben Shapiro links the rise in mass shootings to the large-scale emptying of mental facilities in the 1960s and 70s, leading to an upsurgence in homelessness, violent crime, and, yes, mass shootings, because even if only 25% of mass shooters are previously known to have been mentally ill (this coming from the same folks who claim we’ve had eighteen school shootings this year when the answer is closer to four), every single one of the viral shootings in recent memory, if it wasn’t committed by a terrorist, was brought about by someone who is mentally ill, from Parkland, to Sutherland Springs, to Las Vegas, and so on.

And for those squawking about Trump weakening prohibitions on the mentally ill buying guns, this is a lie. He repealed an unconstitutional gun ban on senior citizens who needed help documenting their Social Security finances, which is a far cry from violent schizophrenia. The ACLU, not known for its conservatism, supported Trump on this action.

4) Audit the Fed(eral Bureau of Investigation)

This issue is far more pressing than anything related to the Federal Reserve.

As reported by CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review into the FBI’s process for handling tips following its admitted failure to properly address notification given in early January of a potential threat from the Parkland shooter.

According to the FBI’s statement, the tipster informed them about “[the shooter’s] gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” yet “no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

This kind of negligence certainly ought to raise eyebrows, and Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for Christopher Wray, the FBI director, to step down.

Now, in fairness, how many credible tips does the FBI receive on a regular basis? Probably a lot. How many of those threats does it successfully neutralize? Probably a lot.

But as Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon tweeted on Friday, this is the fourth mass shooting in recent years where “the FBI was informed of significant warning signs beforehand.” Gutowski doesn’t mention, by the way, the federal oversight on the Sutherland Springs shooter, whose dishonorable history of military service should have disqualified him from gun ownership during his background check.

In addition to the tip itself, the shooter also gave off red flags by way of social media comments that he wanted to become a professional school shooter and take vengeance against police, as well as 39 home responses from police in only seven years.

Tack on growing suspicion of the FBI’s integrity in the handling of recent investigations, and at the very least, we ought to support Sessions’s decision to figure out what’s going on in the Justice Department.

No legislative action will ever fully solve this problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find reasonable improvements while still respecting natural and constitutional rights. But we’ll never move forward if all we can resort to is virtue signalling and name-calling on Twitter.

If you want gun reform and you don’t like my ideas, then tell me your plan — just know I’m giving up hope that anyone on the Left really wants to have that conversation.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ed

    March 3, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Your point about “audit the FBI” is based on little more than Trumpian propaganda.

    It is not the function of the FBI to follow up on individuals accused of “mental illness” or “threats” as that would only waste their time and resources while duplicating the efforts and local knowledge of the local LEOs. Following up on the Parkland shooter was rightly the responsibility (and ONLY the responsibility) of the local LEO. The FBI should not be confused with a “national police force”. It is a federal investigative body only. The FBI has no prosecutorial authority, nor any ability to commit individuals against their will, nor any accountability to local citizens for local matters.

    The failure here rests ENTIRELY with the Broward Co Sherriff. If he fails, (but only AFTER he fails) the FBI should STILL not be called in because the proper investigative body for a county Sherriff would be the State Police investigations unit. ONLY if the State Police aggregiously fail to protect the people of that state should a complaint be lodged with the FBI.

    The sole exceptions to this would be acts of terrorism (a national / international issue) or breaking other federal laws – laws that are NOT on the books of the individual states.

    By expecting the FBI to take responsibility for local law enforcement (as you have done here by calling for them to be audited) is to ignore the 10th amendment to the Constitution as well as the contents of most State Constitutions that explicitly incorporate the US Federal Constitution into themselves. It is the STATES that are sovereign to the Federal Government – not the other way around. Therefore, it is NOT for the federal government to interfere in state or local law enforcement issues.

    The proper call to make is the one AG Sessions has made – to review their procedures and perhaps fire or reprimand the one or two individuals that failed to pass the tip along to the Broward Co Sherriff. That’s assuming that there WAS a failure and that the tip was NOT passed along via routine fax, or a call to a deputy or receptionist that failed ot relay the message within the Sherriff’s office.)

    I know Trump and his followers has called for edits or abolishment of the FBI, but consider that he as an ulterior motive in getting the Mueller probe shut down before they can expose his (and his family’s) illegal activities and how he and his family are selling out the US for monetary gain.

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Guns and Crime

Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

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Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

Drugs are smuggled into the United States through multiple means. Some comes through ports of entry by land or see, which gives border patrol the easiest opportunity to thwart their efforts. But much of the drugs are brought over by foot or boat, entering the United States where there is no wall or protection against foreign incursion.

Border patrol announced a bust this week of just such a type of incursion. The smugglers were carrying bags of methamphetamine across the desert, far from a part of entry and from areas where there is no border wall separating the United States from Mexico.

Agents from the Tucson Sector Mobile Response Team (MRT) aboard a National Guard helicopter responded to a report of six men walking in a desert area frequently utilized by drug smugglers. MRT agents found and arrested six Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States, after a tracking operation with a K-9 team.

One of the men was carrying four packages of methamphetamine concealed in a cardboard box inside his backpack. A search of the immediate area resulted in the discovery of a two-way radio, a communication method commonly used by smuggling organizations.

My Take

One of the main narratives being pushed by the left against building a border wall is their claim that nearly all arrests of drug smugglers are made at ports of entry. While this is true, it’s not a very good way to support their case. Drug smugglers who do not use ports of entry are simply not captured as often because… wait for it… there’s no wall in so many areas and border patrol can’t comb the entire desert looking for them.

Drugs are being smuggled into the United States, and not only through ports of entry. Those who use vehicles to try to smuggle drugs in do so because the loads may be too big to carry on foot, but whether it comes in on truck full of hundreds of pounds of drugs through ports of entry or by foot with hundreds of mules crossing the border illegally where there’s no wall, it’s getting here nonetheless.

It’s ignorant to believe our success in sniffing out drugs in vehicles means the smugglers are going to give up, especially when transit across our porous borders is so easy. Walls aren’t just to prevent illegal immigrants. They’ll help stop crime.

Don’t let the left use the “port of entry drug bust” claim to confuse the issue. Not all smugglers are dumb enough to drive their drugs through ports of entry. Most of it’s coming through places where there’s no wall. Build the wall.

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Guns and Crime

Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

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Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

Is it fair to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty?

Word has it that Jacinda Ardern the Prime Minister of New Zealand will immediately punish millions of innocent people with the taking of their property – at effective gunpoint no less. The plan is to grab the guns first and legislate later. Being that this is exactly what the terrorist wanted, it is the wrong thing to do from a practical and moral standpoint.

Practical because as the miscreant stated, it could have used any number of means to kill people. It is immoral because millions of innocent people will have to pay the price for its insane actions. They will not only be deprived of their property, but they will be left helpless in the face of criminals and terrorists who by definition do not comply with the law.

Why is tyranny quick to exploit a tragedy?

The Prime Minister had stated that previous attempts at depriving the people of their human rights failed to gain any traction. This time in the midst of the raw emotions of the moment the government took quick action to avoid any thoughtful deliberation on this extremely important civil rights question.

If they had contemplated this oppressive action over time, they would have realized that it won’t have the intended result. This will only embolden those who use terrorism to further their goals. This misguided action will only serve to encourage others to attain their own bit of ‘fame’ with these kinds of horrific acts.

As reported in USA Today, In her announcement of the ban and confiscation edict, the Prime Minister of New Zealand forwarded the bizarre presumption that somehow the government was the original owner of these weapons with the line: “We just want the guns back”.

Later on, in the same article, they reported on the statement she had made last Tuesday that

she would deny the man responsible for the nation’s worst terror attack in modern history the one thing he likely craved: fame.

This misguided action by the Prime Minister will have the opposite effect. What better way to gain infamy that to be the reason why millions of people will be deprived of their property and civil rights. This confiscation action will now enshrine the perpetrator of this crime in the history books. This is what happens when someone acts first and thinks later.

Immortalizing a criminal

The miscreant who perpetrated this crime will now be rewarded with exactly what it desired – being immortalized in the history books as the one who caused millions to lose their civil rights.  New Zealand already had strict limitations on Liberty and yet this did nothing to stop this crime from taking place. What will they do the next time around? Take away any remaining firearms in the country? Make no mistake, this will only cause more terrorism and division.

Socialists Bernie Sanders acted quickly to exploit on this serious crisis for political gain with a call for a ‘ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.’ While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded this major denigration of Liberty.

The Takeaway

Leftist often parrot lines about ‘fairness’, ’equality’ and democracy, but this action shows that those are but mere window dressing. They will quickly jettison those precepts when the opportunity to exploit a serious crisis presents itself.

There should be no doubt that more of the Liberty grabber Left in the states will see this ‘progress’ as inspiration to call for gun confiscation as they have far too many times in the past. It will also ‘inspire’ would be terrorists to try to obtain this kind of result in other places. Instead of doing something about terrorism, it will encourage it while endangering the innocent.

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Guns and Crime

New Zealand’s radical shift on guns is wrong, but understandable

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New Zealands radical shift on guns is wrong but understandable

Where I’m at right now, there are nearly as many people in a 10-mile radius as there are in the entire nation of New Zealand. They aren’t accustomed to the carnage they witnessed last week when a neo-fascist terrorist decided to shoot up mosques and kill dozens of people. It’s not that we’re accustomed to it, either, but we’ve seen our share of mass shootings. New Zealand has not.

It’s for this reason it’s understandable that they would react very forcefully and rapidly by pushing through laws that would take it from one of the most gun-friendly nations in the world to being more aligned with the European model. Conservatives in America may not agree with it. We may dread any notion of duplicating their measures here. But we have to be understanding. This wasn’t just shocking for them. It was as close as they’ve had to a 9/11 moment. We all know the reduction of freedoms we’ve been trying to get back ever since our big terrorist event.

New Zealand has around 1.5 million firearms, or one for every three people. Depending on which estimates you use, there is somewhere between one and two firearms per person in the United States. There are more AR-15s in America than there are people in New Zealand. I mention all of this so we can understand the scale of their newfound problem thanks to the terrorist who killed scores of people in Christchurch.

It may be easy for 2nd Amendment defenders in America to scoff at their desire to eliminate all semi-automatic weapons, but we have to keep in mind the mentality there towards firearms is much different from ours. They do not view them primarily as objects of defense against tyranny from within our out, as many 2nd Amendment proponents do in America. Instead, they see them as the standard self-defense mechanisms against crime and “critter stoppers,” which is one of the reasons they have “military style” weapons, or as we prefer to call them, “scary looking regular firearms.”

I’m not going to lecture them at this time about the costs to freedom and safety that will come from such actions. They’re going to have to learn on their own. They are unified as a people right now to take away guns, so the best thing gun proponents in New Zealand can do at this point is make valid arguments against the measures without letting emotion get in the way. We’re often stuck making emotional arguments in America simply because it’s emotion that drives both sides of the debate, but the current state of New Zealand is one where there’s no way to use emotional arguments to fight to keep their firearm rights.

Both the ruling party and the opposition party are in agreement about guns, according to 1 News Now:

New Zealand’s leader of the opposition, Simon Bridges, said National welcomed the changes.

“The terrorist attack in Christchurch last week has changed us as a nation.”

This is a difficult argument for me to make because if the same attempts to take firearms were made in America, I’d be locked and loaded. But I have the luxury. Our rights are there for reasons that don’t necessarily exist in New Zealand. Or, perhaps a better way to put it is New Zealand hasn’t had the types of experiences America has had throughout its history where guns were imperative for our nation to continue to operate as it does. Without the 2nd Amendment, America would never have been what it is today. And no, we wouldn’t be better off, either.

New Zealand is going to ban certain firearms. The extent of the damage to their freedoms won’t be known until the dust settles. Once it does, the rebuilding process will begin so New Zealanders can work to get their right to self-defense back.

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