The real tragedy of America’s gun violence By Fareed Zakaria, December 8th, 2013
“As part of a GPS special airing tonight, we went all over the world in search of solutions and lessons that we might apply here to bring down the epidemic of gun violence that afflicts us. We saw many interesting ideas that worked, all of them centering around some simple, common sense ideas that would put some checks on the unfettered sale and possession of firearms.
What we did not find was a large-scale, nationwide example where expanded attention to mental health issues could be tied to a reduction in homicides or suicides using guns.”
“There you go again” – the phrase spoken by Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Cater during the 1980 Presidential debate comes to mind and is a profoundly fitting response to gun control advocates recurring attacks on the 2nd Amendment. Seeking to once again exploit the Sandy Hook tragedy, CNN pundit Fareed Zakaria twists facts and shares distorted truths that appeal to his elitist and emotionally manipulated audience. He is a smart, well educated man with expertise in international affairs and has made significant contributions in that arena. However, we firmly disagree with his view that further infringement on the individual right to keep and bear arms would lessen firearm related violent crime. In his books he provides valuable, informed insight into the root causes of the War on Terror. Therefore, it is difficult for us to explain his lack of objectivity and truthfulness in his piece on gun violence other then pandering for ratings.
Zakaria did not find a nationwide example of “where expanded attention to mental health” reduced such crimes. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that other countries, unfettered by America’s out of control intimidating army of lawyers, deal more effectively with mental health issues before their manifestation in violent crime. Mr. Zakaria: let’s talk root causes, not half truths.
His reference to gun violence incidents and results (statistics conveniently absent and not quoted) is, at best, a distortion and intentionally misleading. At the least he should have known that Australia’s firearm crime rate has shown no significant change since it imposed draconian gun controls including confiscation in 1997, but other measures such as use of weapons other than guns, robbery, sexual assault and assault have grown steadily – All according to the Australian Government: Australian Institute of Criminology.
To dispel the argument of increased gun control legislation as a solution, he only needs to look at our own “Meccas” of gun control: (click for crime statistics) Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York (United States). Despite their strict gun laws, each of these cities lead our country and most of the world in murders and criminal gun violence. If his argument for greater regulation and restriction on firearm ownership was valid, where is his correlation of results to solutions in light of those statistics? Maybe the other countries he cited don’t subsidize fatherless homes, out of wedlock births, and don’t promote class warfare and a victim mindset?
Zakaria attempts to rekindle the ‘militia’ challenge to 2nd Amendment rights by quoting Warren Burger and ignoring history, facts and recent Supreme Court rulings (District of Columbia V. Heller). This is more than a little sketchy when we consider that Burger’s quote was taken from a talk show interview and not by any means his legal opinion.
Maybe this article is just another example of sloppy, get-it-out-fast journalism. Instead of demonstrating a real commitment to the truth and fostering real solutions, he falls into the “There you go again” class of self-serving manipulators of public opinion. His employer and audience may like it, but it serves no purpose in a real discussion on the prevention of criminal gun violence and mass shootings. Mr. Zakaria, you are too intelligent for that. We despise shootings and the sick villains who perform them as much as anyone, but lets get to the bottom of this and stop blaming the gun.