Steven den Beste sent me a private Email with a link to this article by John Lott. In the op-ed, Lott discusses how Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin brought the subject of gun control up during a visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. This is after badgering the new US Ambassadore on the same subject when he arrived in Canada to fulfill his duties.
Steven asked a question in his Email.
“Why is it that gun control activists have so much trouble with this
I started to answer that question in the reply, but decided that it was long and involved enough to rate a post.
I’ve been a self defense advocate and active 2nd Amendment supporter for the past 14 years, and in that time I’ve debated a number of people who support gun control. It’s been my experience that the majority of the hard core true believers, the people who donate the majority of the time and money needed to keep the movement going, have lost a loved one to suicide by gun.
This makes sense when one considers that the majority of all gun deaths are suicides (close to 60%). I’m not qualified to render a psychological profile of the people with which I’ve come in contact, but it seems that they are uniformly extremely emotional about the issue. They also tend to be convinced that their program of abolishing all private gun ownership will reduce all levels of violence, from crime to suicides.
Itís obvious that the persons who provide the greatest impetus for the gun control movement are moral, concerned individuals that are genuinely convinced that they are attempting a great good for all of us. Unfortunately, the record shows that they are wrong.
But emotional motivations arenít affected by facts, and I donít expect the hard core supporters of gun control to ever change their mind no matter how effectively their position is shown to be without merit. Their extreme devotion to a lost and empty cause, however, can be manipulated by cynical politicians to garner support at the polls.
I think that is whatís going on in Canada right now. Gun control has always been a hot button issue on both sides of the border, and Canadian politicians havenít been slow to exploit it for whatever they can get. Even though their big solution to Canadian gun violence has resoundingly been proven to be a bad idea, and one that has led to disturbing allegations of corruption in that government, it would appear that they are trying to play the gun control card once again.
What the Canadians desire is for the US government to violate the Constitution, the highest law of the land in my country. This is idiotic in the extreme. Itís also idiotic to think that an internal law enforcement problem in Canada can be addressed by badgering a visiting Secretary of State. Since Martin is trying just that, I think it shows a failure by the Canadian government to come up with any reasonable solution. Or, at least, any solution that doesnít involve admitting that they were wrong and reversing the official position on gun control. This was possible in the United States when Bush was elected President. For some reason I donít think thatís going to happen in Canada no matter who is elected as Prime Minister.