By Jeff Knox
(July 28, 2016) Democrats have declared gun control as one of their top campaign issues this year (though they call it “gun safety,” “gun reform,” or “gun violence prevention” instead of gun control – those terms poll better). They are betting that GunVoters are not really the political powerhouse that we have been reputed to be, and that after atrocities like the San Bernardino and Orlando terror attacks, Americans will reward them for trying to restrict rights. They use mass murders – at home and abroad – as emotional launch-pads for their anti-rights rhetoric, but for all of their posturing about saving lives, they refuse to directly address the core problems: our broken mental health system, and fundamentalist Islam. They also ignore the fact that none of the atrocities would have been prevented, or even mitigated, by the “solutions” they offer. They are also ignoring the two most recent deadly attacks, because guns didn’t play any significant role in either of them.
Nineteen people were killed and 25 injured on July 26, when a young Japanese man broke into a care facility for people with disabilities near Tokyo and began stabbing residents as they slept. The young man, armed with an array of kitchen knives, had previously worked in the facility and had expressed his belief that seriously disabled people should be euthanized.
The murders have rocked the island nation, known for one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This was the third knife-related mass murder in Japan since June of 2001 when a mentally disturbed man stabbed 8 children to death at an Osaka elementary school. In 2008, another man drove a van into pedestrian crowds in a Tokyo shopping area before jumping out and attacking people with a large knife. Seven people died in that attack.
The previous most deadly mass murder in modern Japan took place in 1995, when a doomsday cult launched a poison gas attack in the Tokyo subway. Thirteen people were killed and thousands suffered varying degrees of illness from exposure to the deadly sarin gas.
The media still managed to use this latest Japanese mass murder to promote gun control by giving credit to Japan’s very strict gun control laws as the reason mass murders are so uncommon there. A report from the BBC phrased it this way:
“Mass killings are extremely rare in Japan, in part because strict gun control laws mean almost no-one has access to a firearm.”
This false correlation between firearms and crime is all too common in the media, and it is totally unsupportable. It is not a lack of access to firearms that keeps robbery, burglary, rape, and assault rates low in Japan, and among people of Japanese descent living in other countries. Nor does their lack of firearms prevent their suicide rate from being one of the highest in the world, including “family suicides,” which are categorized in most countries as murder-suicides.
It is no accident that these false assumptions are so readily accepted as valid. They are based on intentional distortions originating with gun control groups and anti-rights politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and perpetuated by biased media. When discussing these issues, they intentionally use the terms “gun murders,” “firearm suicides,” and “gun violence” in comparisons with other countries, many of which have higher violent crime and murder rates than the U.S. In fact, U.S. murder rates would be among the lowest in the world if it weren’t for drug and gang-related crime in about a dozen cities. And even those cities would have modest murder rates but for the high crime in a few of their neighborhoods. Tellingly, almost all of those high-crime cities have long been controlled by Democrats, and most of them have much stricter gun control laws than the rest of the nation.
The other recent mass murder that Democrats and the media aren’t talking so much about was the horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France on July 14. In that attack, the terrorist, who had been planning his assault for months, rented a large delivery truck which he drove through a crowd of people shortly after the conclusion of a fireworks show. The driver was armed with a pistol and several non-firing replica weapons (originally reported as a “huge cache of guns, grenades, and larger weapons”). He is reported to have fired at police during his mile-long run through the crowd, but there were no reports of anyone being injured by his gunfire. In all, 84 people have died so far – at least 30 of them reported to have been Muslims – and over 300 were injured, with over 60 still in the hospital in critical condition at this writing.
The terrorist in Nice, like the terrorist in the recent attack in Orlando, Florida, was known to be homosexual or bi-sexual. There has been speculation that part of these men’s motivation in seeking “martyrdom” was as a way to atone for what they saw as their sexual sins and get a free ticket to Paradise.
So far there have been no serious calls for “commonsense truck control,” and only some activists in England have called for the banning of “pointy” kitchen knives. There has also been no discussion of profiling Muslim men who engage in homosexual activities as potential terrorists. That sort of profiling is apparently reserved for opponents of abortion, returning veterans, and Ron Paul supporters, as the Department of Homeland Security suggested in a report to law enforcement a few years ago.
Now Hillary Clinton and Democrats are vowing to push gun control and reverse the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. They think this is a winning political issue. They need to be proven wrong on that.