Freedom–the Founding Fathers’ greatest ‘mistake’

Well whaddya know–the day I finally decide to end my sudden disappearance from the blogosphere, but am kind of hard pressed to find material, I stumble (pretty much by accident) on this little gem, by Robert Smith, Jr. (titled, simply enough, “Ban All Guns”):

The Founding Fathers of our country made a mistake when they said we had the right to bear arms. They did not know we would be allies with the British and no longer have to worry about them coming over to oppress and colonize us. The British found greater spoils in Africa and India and never looked back on the United States after the Revolutionary War.

Never heard of the War of 1812, eh Robert (and why should he have heard of it–it’s not as if it inspired our national anthem or anything)? There’s also the little issue of the fact that the Constitutional guarantee of the fundamental, absolute human right of the individual to keep and bear arms exists not only for fighting off British imperialistic ambitions–actually, that was never even the primary reason for the Second Amendment.

The right to bear arms is killing all of us.

Setting aside for the moment the fact that rights don’t kill, I’m a little puzzled about how, with a national population that grows every year, anything can be said to be “killing all of us.”

In 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,006 children and teens killed by gunfire, most of them young, black men in inner-city neighborhoods.

Most of these “children and teens” are men? Apparently, Robert defines either “children” or “men” (perhaps both) in a rather . . . unusual manner (unusual, at least, outside forcible citizen disarmament circles).

Robert then lays some numbers on us.

The Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois gun killings took 32 lives, and the world was upset and every day 128 young people are shot to death in hard-pressed, poor communities across America and there is no outcry to change it, just report it on the local news.

Punctuation, evidently, is no more a strong suit of Robert’s than history is. Looking at those numbers, I’m afraid I can’t vouch for his mathematics skills either. I refer to his claim that “every day 128 young people are shot to death in hard-pressed, poor communities across America.” That would come out to over forty-six thousand shooting deaths per year. The number of shooting deaths in the U.S. (all U.S. shooting deaths–more than half of which are suicides–with no filtering for age or economic status) has hovered around or a bit above thirty thousand per year for the last several years, but Robert somehow finds over one and a half times that number of deaths, just among young people in poor communities.

And this is the guy who would lecture the Founding Fathers about their “mistake.”


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