While the New York Post on Sunday called for stricter gun control laws, and the San Jose Mercury News takes a studious look at gun law shortcomings, there’s an interesting perspective offered up by the president of the Family Research Council that contends the “solution to gun violence is not what you think.”
Tony Perkins, an ex-cop-turned-Southern Baptist minister, wrote Sunday at Fox News, “While policies may have an impact on this issue, unfortunately the debate never gets beyond the stalemate over “gun control.”
“Though an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment,” Perkins explained, “I am willing to talk about laws regarding the ownership and use of guns by those who should not have them. But the missing component to this discussion playing on an endless political loop is the impact of the moral vacuum created by eliminating values, faith and civility from the public square.”
Then Perkins wrote this: “Restricting the implements of violence while ignoring the causes is futile. Our nation’s capital, with some of the most restrictive gun-ownership laws in the country, clearly illustrates this point. Washington has a gun murder rate of 18 per 100,000, and the city’s gun-control laws did not protect our organization. Nationwide, as many as 80 percent of gun-related crime involves illegal guns.”
The Family Research Council’s office in Washington, D.C. “was attacked by a now convicted, domestic terrorist,” Perkins recalled.
Seven years ago, in August 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins entered the FRC offices and shot a security guard who subdued him. But instead of blaming guns, FRC contended that Corkins was inspired to commit the crime because FRC had been labeled as an “anti-gay-rights group,” according to a Wikipedia report.
Regardless the motivation, Corkins went to prison, having pleaded guilty to all charges. Nobody blamed the 9mm pistol, nor did anyone demand restrictions on law-abiding gun owners for what Corkins did.
The New York Post editorial goes in the other direction. Citing a “recent Fox News poll” that found “90 percent back criminal background checks for all gun buyers, and 81 percent support red-flag laws.”
Cut and dried? Not so fast. The Mercury News cited its own research of three years’ worth of shootings in California. “The review found that guns were obtained in a variety of ways,” the newspaper reported. “Most of the shooters either legally bought weapons and passed background checks or used a gun that was stolen or belonged to a relative or friend.”
So, if someone passes a background check, what would gun prohibitionists recommend? A longer “waiting period?” This raises the question as to how long someone should be forced to wait before he or she can exercise a constitutionally enumerated and protected fundamental right?
As for shooters using stolen guns, rights activists have repeatedly argued that background checks and waiting periods are irrelevant when a criminal obtains a stolen gun. As the recent shootout in Philadelphia demonstrated, people with criminal backgrounds are not encumbered by restrictive gun laws.
Meanwhile, Perkins’ theory is likely to stir some reaction, especially from people who do not want attention shifted away from their gun control agenda. And Perkins’ perspective addressed that:
“The promises of security through more government restrictions will only serve to erode our freedoms while providing little protection.”
Isn’t that what Second Amendment advocates and self-defense activists have been saying for years?