Do Guns Give Us Liberty Or Death?

I think all sane people will agree that the Sandy Hook tragedy was one of the saddest days in the history of our country. The idea that 20 little children were all killed in cold blood mortified our nation. However, their bodies had not yet been removed from the school grounds when the fierce cries of 2nd Amendment advocates pierced the nation’s airways, as they all feared that their beloved guns would be taken away.

Anybody that dares argue a gun control position with gun advocates is often subjected to rabid condescending retorts. How many pro-gun posts have you seen on Facebook in the last month that deride people who choose not to own guns as morons that are just begging to get it from the bad guys? Here’s one I saw recently:

My next door neighbor wants to BAN ALL GUNS! Their house is NOT ARMED! Out of respect for their opinions, I promise NOT to use MY GUNS to protect THEM.

Well, it turns out the neighbor with no guns is much more likely to attend a gun-related funeral of the gun owner than the other way around. A 2004 national case study in the “Annals of Emergency Medicine” concluded that people who own guns in the home are almost twice as likely to be killed by a gun as those who do not own guns. This can primarily be explained by guns used in domestic violence crimes and, secondarily, by accidental deaths.

Even though you can go through reams of statistics, such as the fact that 31,672 people were killed in the U.S. by guns in 2011, gun ownership is such a staple of American life that a vast majority of citizens (myself included) are not in favor of outlawing handguns for home protection or rifles for hunting. However, this doesn’t stop the paranoia. For example, here’s an excerpt from an article written by country singer Charlie Daniels on

America, no matter what Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the far left in America say, they want your guns.

This is just one example of many shrill claims by the far right that President Obama is conspiring to take away their guns. However, here’s an excerpt from Obama’s position on guns:

Barack Obama respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns. Obama and Biden also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

President Obama is not alone among presidents when it comes to the issue of supporting a ban on assault weapons. When the law was first enacted in 1994, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton supported it.

I would challenge any pro-gun advocate to cite even one life saved by a private citizen using an assault weapon when a handgun would not have been sufficient. I don’t think it’s ever happened, but you can point to countless shootings in places like Newtown, Aurora, Columbine, and Virginia Tech where dozens of people were slaughtered because the gunmen had the capacity to rapidly empty bullets into scores of victims.

So what’s the rationale for allowing assault weapons? It’s our freedom! For example, here’s a beauty that radio host Alex Jones shouted/frothed during an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN:

We have all these foreigners including megabanks that control the planet. When they take our guns, they can have their world tyranny… The establishment knows that no matter how much propaganda, the Republic will rise again when you try to take our guns!

Can somebody please point out to these nut-jobs that we have a military to protect our nation from world tyranny and that the chubby middle-aged wannabe cowboy “patriots” can put down their guns? The lunatics are truly running the asylum in this debate.

These 2nd Amendment fanatics love to spout patriotic slogans such as, “Give me liberty or give me death!” But it must be asked, who will give us liberty from their sure path to more deaths? spt

Jack Baric can be reached at