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Words matter, President Obama once said. He’s right. How we choose words gives a very good insight into our feelings upon the subject under discussion.
In the current debate regarding the Second Amendment, conservatives have made the mistake of ceding oratorical control to Progressives. How? By accepting the phrase “gun control” as the operative phrase to describe the debate.
Calling the debate “gun control” presupposes that there will be control — i.e., that government control over guns is the end, rather than the means. The only question remaining in such a debate is how much control the government will ultimately exert over citizens’ guns.
Most people, though, if they thought about it, would say that what they’re really aiming for is “violence minimization.” If one properly identifies minimizing violence as the goal, the debate changes dramatically. It forces those participating in the debate to ask, not “how many guns can we take away or how many magazines can we limit?” but, instead, “what approach results in the fewest number of gun deaths or overall violence?”.
When it comes to overall violence, data from the world over easily answers that question. Those Countries that have extremely strict gun bans also have extremely high violence rates — and those rates have often climbed in direct proportion to the increased gun bans. England’s experience is the most stunning example. From the time it imposed limitations on guns so stringent that almost all law-abiding citizens are now disarmed, England has seen its violent crime rate soar, to the point where the number of violent crimes per capita is the highest in the First World. Conservative blogger “Wolf Howling” studied the numbers and came to some conclusions that would surprise gun control proponents, assuming they are willing to open their minds to facts:
In the U.K., gun ownership is virtually banned. Even the police force in the U.K. is, for the most part, unarmed. Raw figures show that the UK has a lower homicide rate than the U.S., 1.2 per 100,000 of population in the U.K. versus 4.8 in the U.S. But when it comes to violent crime overall, the UK is a much greater hotbed than the U.S., with 2,034 violent criminal incidents in the U.K. per 100,000 of population versus 486 in the U.S.
Incidentally, when it comes to discussing murders in the United States versus those in England, don’t make the mistake of getting caught up in the fact that England has a lower homicide rate than we do. It has always had a lower murder rate than America, which is not a surprise given that, until recently, it was a small, homogeneous nation, as compared to the brawling, sprawling frontier that is America.