Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.
— Donald Trump, Aug. 9, 2016
Trump’s statement was greeted with a storm of condemnation. Democrats inferred that Trump was advocating violence, because they assumed that “Second Amendment people” are inherently violent, innately criminal, gun-toting, ignorant rednecks. But in reality, those with concealed-carry permits make up the most law-abiding demographic in the United States.
This is a classic example of projection, the psychological mechanism whereby we take unwanted feelings such as hate, we deny them, and we attribute them to others — preferably our political enemies. Do we fear that if we owned a gun, we would lose control and shoot anyone who annoyed us? Oh no, we’re much too noble for such primitive urges. Instead, we convince ourselves that it is not we who harbor such ugly feelings, but the others.
Did Trump mention violence, much less assassination? Did he mention shooting? Did he even mention guns? No, he mentioned “Second Amendment people.” All the rest was inferred by Trump’s critics. The bottom line is that anyone who supports the Second Amendment is now automatically viewed with suspicion. Presumably this includes four current Supreme Court justices, many other judges, and numerous law professors and legal scholars. If you can’t refute the argument, demonize your opponent.
But be honest — extreme rhetoric is making which candidate more likely to be assassinated? Consider the torrent of abuse poured onto Trump. Consider the so-called security experts declaring that Trump would be a dangerous president. Consider the putrid deluge of insults, from “Nazi” to “Satan” to “Anti-Christ,” flushed onto Trump.
And consider that when Hillary was trailing Obama in 2008, she was asked why she didn’t drop out. She replied, “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” An unstable person easily could have heard this as a call to assassinate Obama. But the liberal media gave Hillary a pass. Compared with her remark, Trump’s statement pales into insignificance.
All this reminds me of something I read many years ago:
"I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit to the absurdities that can…come to be generally believed…I will undertake…to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense…Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the ice-box when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones, but not to be acted on in daily life."
— Bertrand Russell, “Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”
Sunday truths are proclaimed loudly — for example, in church on Sunday — but not put into action on the other six days of the week. Such ideas are not limited to religion. In the irreligious world of today, Sunday truths are much more likely to be secular, leftist beliefs. But we know they are Sunday truths because no matter how stridently people shout them, nobody, not even the most fanatical believer, acts on them in their own lives.
Guns are dangerous. If they were not, they would be useless. But life itself is dangerous. So the question is, are we safer with guns or without them? Or more accurately, are we safer if we have guns, given that evil people will always find ways to arm themselves?
Prof. Gary Kleck showed that guns are used much more often to thwart crimes than to commit them. Yet you’d never know it from the media. When a student went on a shooting spree at a law school, he was stopped by two armed students. But Dr. John Lott found that of 280 news stories, only four mentioned that those who stopped the attack were armed. One newspaper said that they “tackled” the murderer, and another that they “helped subdue” him.
Lott also showed that in states where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns, violent crimes decreased. Conversely, after guns were banned in Britain and Australia, violent crimes (even gun crimes) rose alarmingly. Overly restrictive gun laws cost lives.
Anti-gun activists in Britain now claim they never thought that crime would fall — they only wanted to end the “gun culture.” In other words, if your experiment fails, change the objective. Instead of reducing violent crime, which is easily measured, activists now assert that their real objective was reducing the “gun culture,” which can’t be defined, much less measured. Therefore, gun-control laws can’t be shown to have failed. How convenient.
An idea that can’t be disproved by any available evidence is an irrational belief, not a logical conclusion.
But we’re almost as bad as the Brits. In all the time since 9/11, we have allowed only a handful of pilots to be armed — the only measure that might have prevented 9/11. We trust pilots to fly planes loaded with passengers, but not to carry guns, though many pilots are retired or reserve military officers. We babble about the risk of a stray bullet injuring a passenger or damaging the plane. But in a colossal contradiction, we scramble jet fighters to shoot the plane down if necessary
The notion that we are safer without guns is a Sunday truth. If it were not, anti-gun activists would post signs outside their houses stating, “There are no guns in this home.” But have you ever seen such a sign? I haven’t, not in decades of walking and driving through some of the most affluent areas of Southern California. Instead, these liberal strongholds are peppered with signs announcing that the house is protected by a private patrol, often adding ominously, “Armed Response.”
The “elite” want you to believe that you are safer without a gun, while they rely on armed patrols, live in gated communities, work in high-security buildings, and often own guns themselves. It’s the same with fences. They put a fence around the White House. They put fences and walls around their mansions, including the Clinton estate. But a fence at the border? Oh no, that couldn’t possibly work. The “elite” imagine themselves entitled to privileges that we ordinary people can only dream of.
But you know what? I am one of the “Second Amendment people.” I don’t want to kill anyone. I just want to be left alone to live in freedom. To totalitarians, that makes me dangerous. To “progressives,” that makes me suspect. But to those who respect our Constitution, that makes me welcome.
Where do you stand?
Written by David C. Stolinsky, MD
Dr. Stolinsky is a retired medical oncologist and co-author of Firearms: A Handbook for Health Professionals, published by The Claremont Institute. For other articles written by Dr. Stolinsky, check out our search feature on this website.
The photos used to illustrate this article appeared in the original article posted on www.Stolinsky.com on August 15, 2016.
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