Pro-Gun Advocates, Anti-Gun Advocates, and Rising Crime Rates in America
Photo by George Brainard, Austin, TX
Laws With Teeth, Not Gun Control, Will Reduce Crime!
The right to bear arms is but one of the constitutional rights accorded citizens in these United States. It does, however, seem to get a disproportionate share of media attention by both pro and anti-gun advocates as both sides are intensely adamant on their position. The founders of this country, having suffered oppression, were obviously trying to make sure that didn’t happen again via the Constitution of the United States of America. In contrast, many Americans, having never experienced oppression, although repeatedly threatened, often don’t connect the dots between the right to bear arms and freedom.
Texans are not unaware that many view us as totally unsophisticated, living in a wild west fog, and less than intelligent. Although known as a pro-gun state; there are many among us that are anti-gun and both sides are equally vocal. Law abiding, pro-gun advocates in Texas define gun control quite differently than most: "If the gun is registered in my name and is in my possession - I control it!" By virtue of the wording in that definition there's absolutely no doubt the gun owner claims responsibility for three things: ownership of the weapon, undeniable responsibility for it’s proper use and the safety of others. Criminals don't do that! It therefore, stands to reason that intensifying penalties for crime is more expedient than controlling guns, which are inanimate objects, until in the hands of criminals.
Texas is also a death penalty state and in the words of comedian and fellow Texan, Ron White: "Texas not only has the death penalty, it's got an express lane!" Whether one finds that statement amusing or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that if one uses a gun, or any other weapon, to commit murder in the State of Texas the consequences most likely will be grim. It’s also a fact the State of Texas doesn’t have one cell, in any prison, occupied by a convicted gun.
The way we deal with guns and crime in Texas doesn't set well with advocates of gun control nor those who rationalize a murderer deserves only a slap on the wrist because they experienced a dysfunctional childhood. Thank God we're all entitled to our own opinion on the subject simply by virtue of citizenship. Firearms were instrumental in both the initial attainment and subsequent upholding of that right and consequently Americans have a voice in determining the way criminals are punished in this country. Most punishments are a matter of established law in relation to the nature and degree of the crime and judges rule accordingly. If criminal cases had no guide lines judges and juries could mete out any punishment they choose and that’s not freedom.
Many have begun to question established law in relation to the molestation and death of children. The idea of harming a defenseless child is a totally alien concept to most people and they want it stopped. Pretend, for a moment, the death penalty is the law, unequivocally, for molestation or murder of a child. There's still no way to know how many children were SAVED from a child molester by virtue of the molester's fear of the death penalty. The only statistics available are those concerning children that WERE molested. Unfortunately, the statistic problem is used like a whip by those advocating the abolishment of the death penalty and gun control.
Those against the death penalty advocate that murderers and child molesters are people too. They are and most rational people, although finding those actions abhorrent, agree with that statement. However, disagreement arises when peaceful society is expected to treat those individuals as though they had not committed a crime and have the same inalienable rights as law abiding citizens. Does it not stand to reason they gave up those rights by virtue of their actions?
Should criminals be allowed to vote? No! Why should they be allowed a voice in the way this country is run? They really aren't purveyors of good judgment; now are they? As far as the suggestion that their rights should be upheld, they should be treated with dignity, accorded pleasant living accommodations, all the comforts of home, the best of medical care, a free education and conjugal visits; many find that beyond comprehension. Law abiding citizens, however, are paying the bill for all that every day. Perhaps there'd be fewer repeat offenders if they weren't treated so royally!
The Warden of one of the state prisons just outside Palestine, Texas, was the featured speaker at a luncheon a few years back. His entire speech was very informative but the part that's stuck with most of the audience all these years was at that point in time it cost $35,000 a year to support each inmate in Texas prisons. God only knows what that figure is now! One audience member gasped and just blurted out: "Heaven forbid - I support a family of four on less than that a year and only God knows how I’ll educate them!" The Warden responded to her outburst by replying: "If our laws were enforced, our penalties for crime intensified, and the prevailing liberal attitudes pertaining to the treatment and housing of inmates was altered that figure would not be so outrageous!"
One can surmise a lot of different things from his answer but his tone of voice and his countenance suggested he was not only discouraged he was plain pissed off! Unless and until both the anti-gun and pro-gun advocates in this country stand up, become vocal and demand cessation of criminal molly-coddling, harsher sentencing, repair of our less than satisfactory parole practices and uphold the death penalty they're spitting in the wind concerning crime reduction.
An old horse trader once said: "You know, anything that breathes will do a lot for you if they love you but they'll do a whole lot more if they're afraid of you!" Most will be appalled by his statement and can't imagine training horses in an atmosphere of fear. The majority of those same people, however, don’t have a bit of trouble applying that analogy to a murderer or child molester. Harsher penalties for heinous crimes will do more to reduce crime than gun control could ever hope to accomplish! It's sad but true; fear is and has always been a strong deterrent.
The old hack that guns don't kill people -- people kill people is, unfortunately, a fact. So is the statement: when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns! Who's going to consider giving up the only means most have of protecting themselves when murderers are held in such esteem, the crime rate accelerates daily and death by answering one’s front door is part of the package? A citizen doesn’t even have to be in a public place to be attacked as criminals are now bold enough to practice home delivery!
Gathering up all guns and believing that will produce kindness, generosity and good will among men is one of the biggest fallacies on the face of the earth. People were killing, murdering and dismembering one another long before the gun came on the scene. Instead of gun control just putting teeth in our sentencing laws and restructuring our prison and parole system would put a dent in the rising crime rate.
A famous, old, East Texas judge perhaps put the answer as succinctly as possible. He had finished hearing a heinous murder case, the jury had convicted the murderer and the judge had just ruled the death penalty. The murderer asked to address the court, the judge agreed and thus commenced the most pitiful, distasteful, self-aggrandizing, promise to do better statement the judge had ever heard. He stopped the man within two minutes and in mid-sentence:
"Mr. Brown, in the State of Texas, the first murder is not free! Case closed!"
NOTE: The author is in no way, intentionally or unintentionally, intimating, inferring or suggesting any entity, state or nation, its citizenry or its government is in anyway inferior to the State of Texas; she resides in Texas and is therefore most familiar with that state's attitudes, politics, government, laws and legal system.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2009 Angela Blair