As reported, 4 firefighters were shot (2 fatally) after a felon allegedly set a fire to lure the firefighters into the ambush in upstate New York. The alleged arsonist and shooter was prohibited from possessing firearms after being convicted of murdering his own 92 year old grandmother in 1980.
An ex-con set a car and a house ablaze in his lakeside neighborhood to lure firefighters, then opened fire on them, killing two, engaging in a shootout with police and committing suicide while several houses burned. . . .The gunman, William Spengler, had served more than 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death in 1980 at the house next to where Monday’s attack happened. . .Convicted felons are not allowed to possess weapons. Police say [the convicted felon] lay in wait for the firefighters’ arrival, then opened fire from outdoors, probably with a rifle and from atop an earthen berm.
Mr. Spengler unlawfully killed his own grandmother, and then allegedly unlawfully possessed a firearm as a convicted felon, unlawfully committed arson, and unlawfully murdered two firefighters on Christmas Eve. Not surprisingly, a person who would murder their own grandmother and then allegedly shoot firefighters after committing arson cannot be expected to obey the state and federal laws that prohibit them from possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony.
Instead, as should be obvious, gun control laws are just more laws for a criminal to break. By definition, a person who is willing to kill will not fear the consequences of breaking any other laws along the way, since the penalties for breaking any other laws are less severe than the penalties for murder. Rather than stopping criminals from having a gun, gun control laws only serve to disarm the people who were not going to commit a crime in the first place.
Faced with that fact and the myriad of examples of felons possessing firearms and using them to commit crimes, proponents of gun control will often argue that what is needed is a national ban on guns, on the theory that doing so will prevent killers from illegally acquiring guns at all. That argument is also flawed, for a few reasons:
- If guns were banned at the national level tomorrow, the hundreds of millions of guns currently in the country would not vanish. Guns are durable items, and guns manufactured 100 years ago can remain quite operational today. Criminals certainly wouldn’t turn in their guns, and many otherwise law abiding citizens would similarly choose to disobey such an unjust (and unconstitutional) hypothetical law. Moreover, given the protections against unreasonable search and seizure provided by the 4th Amendment, enforcing such a gun ban would be virtually impossible.
- Even if the hundreds of millions of guns in the USA did magically vanish, the demand for guns would not vanish. Instead, peaceful citizens who wished to be able to defend themselves, as well as violent criminals, would buy guns on the black market. These guns would be smuggled into the country, stolen from law enforcement, or simply manufactured by criminals. The fact is that in a free society, bans on popular items are doomed to fail.
- Assuming, for the sake of argument, that it were somehow possible to truly stop guns from existing in the USA, it doesn’t stand to reason that violent crime would similarly end. Crime is the result of the intentional actions of a human being, rather than the presence of an inanimate object such as a gun. Terrible crimes can be and are committed by people armed with knives, cars, hand tools, acid, flammable liquids, and every other imaginable item from everyday life.
The only true way to stop a violent criminal is with force. Firearms are the best self defense tool yet invented by humans to put a stop to a violent attack. While I don’t believe that every single instance of violence could be prevented by armed citizens, the statistical information and real-life examples show that armed self defense work. Indeed, there are examples of armed citizens saving the lives of police officers. It stands to reason that we as a society should encourage the ownership and carrying of firearms by the law-abiding members of the public, rather than trying to take away the gun rights of law abiding citizens.