Ron Paul on Gun Control

In his latest essay Ron Paul addresses the issue of gun control. When the government makes guns illegal, only criminals – and the government itself – will own firearms. The result is less freedom and less safety for everyone else, i.e. law-abiding citizens.

Gun Control: Protecting Terrorists and Despots

by Ron Paul

Tragically, over the Thanksgiving holiday, the world was reminded how evil and cruel people can be. According to emerging accounts of the events in India, about a dozen well-armed and devastatingly well-trained terrorists laid siege on the city of Mumbai, killing almost two hundred people, and terrorizing thousands.

Regardless of the reasons, the indiscriminate shooting on masses of unarmed and defenseless people is chilling and reprehensible. How were these terrorists able to continue so long, relatively unchallenged, killing so many?

India’s gun laws are her business, of course. However, once the shock of these events and the initial reaction of fear passes, Americans should take away a valuable lesson about real homeland security and gun control from this tragedy.

Gun control advocates tell us that removing guns from society makes us safer. If that were the case why do the worst shootings happen in gun free zones, like schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, or military bases. It bears repeating that an armed society truly is a polite society.

The fact is that firearm technology exists. It cannot be uninvented. As long as there is metalworking and welding capability, it matters not what gun laws are imposed upon law-abiding people. Those that wish to have guns, and disregard the law, will have guns. Gun control makes violence safer and more effective for the aggressive, whether the aggressor is a terrorist or a government.

History shows us that another tragedy of gun laws is genocide. Hitler, for example, knew well that in order to enact his “final solution,” disarmament was a necessary precursor. While it is not always the case that an unarmed populace WILL be killed by their government, if a government is going to kill its own people, it MUST disarm them first so they cannot fight back. Disarmament must happen at a time when overall trust in government is high, and under the guise of safety for the people, or perhaps the children. Knowing that any government, no matter how idealistically started, can become despotic, the Founding Fathers enabled the future freedom of Americans by enacting the second amendment.

In our own country, we should be ever vigilant against any attempts to disarm the people, especially in this economic downturn. I expect violent crime to rise sharply in the coming days, and as states and municipalities are even more financially strained, the police will be even less able or willing to respond to crime. In many areas, local police could become more and more absorbed with revenue generating activities, like minor traffic violations and the asset forfeiture opportunities of non-violent drug offenses. Your safety has always, ultimately been your own responsibility, but never more so than now. People have a natural right to defend themselves. Governments that take that away from their people should be highly suspect.


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  • DN

    To those who are defending gun control with statistics, correlation does not imply causation. There are thousands of other factors that cause one society to be more violent than another.

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    • derogative

      Yes like social injustice and economic gaps between classes, instead of protest people use guns.

      Or the countless anecdotes of children taking their father’s gun to school.

      Everything is working great in europe and canada shooting spree wise. But america will always love their big guns.

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  • john the x robber

    as an x robber as, in my teens and being a crook, i prayed on the helpless. (call me a cowerd if you like, but im alive,) i robbed from the person i KNEW was unarmed. i broke into houses i KNEW they had no firearms. i even took a wallit strate out of a victims hands and he had tears in his eyes becouse he knew there was NOTHING he could do. ( easy pickins) im an adault now but i can still remember the looks on the helpless faces when they did not stand a chance. i do not do those things anymore but i DO know the unarmed are sitting ducks waiting to be plucked. and the way the economy is going, i may have to resort to that way of life again. ( i realy hope not) but if i do have to return to that kind of life , it would be easy when the law is on my side unarming the populace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  • th

    Like most anti-gun folks. The previous posts fail to correct the bulk numbers for homicides into per capita values. There are 310 million people in the US vs 61 million in the UK, 34 million in Canada, and only 22 million in Australia. C’mon get a brain! So at the very least you need to divide the 10,000 US homicides (assuming that strangely round number is correct) by 5 to compare the US and UK. Also, the assumption that the statistics are collected in the same way from country to country is unlikely. What about he definition of homicide? Does it include justifiable homicide in the UK (i.e. self defense shootings and police shootings). In the US it probably does, while in the UK probably not, since they’d rather see an innocent person raped or murdered than see a criminal killed in self defense. According to polls guns are sued over 1 million times a year to prevent crime in the USA (most without a shot being fired or a bad guy killed). That’s a lot of crime prevented. Also violent crime is down in the US despite slacker gun control, adoption of castle doctrine law, and adoption of shall issue policy for concealed weapons permits. So the more guns = more crime argument just doesn’t work for the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • PTB

      On a per capita basis, Americans only kill each other 3 times more often than in Australia, Canada, or the United Kingdom. The below numbers include firearms, knives, clubs, etc.

      Crime Statistics > Murders (per capita) by country
      United States: 4.2802 per 100,000 people
      Australia: 1.50324 per 100,000 people
      Canada: 1.49063 per 100,000 people
      United Kingdom: 1.40633 per 100,000 people

      Specifically looking at murders by type of weapon in the US, FBI statistics show 10,086 people were murdered by firearms in 2007. This total excludes persons shot by peace officers or shot by a private citizen in the course of stopping a crime or accidental deaths (law enforcement officers justifiably killed 391 individuals, and private citizens justifiably killed 254 individuals)

      I have not seen “According to polls guns are sued over 1 million times a year to prevent crime in the USA”. Can you provide a reference/source for this number?

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      • tvyatm

        4x murders here in the US does not come close to reason in giving up our only vehicle of defense of our life of liberty is challenged. Get a new argument. I will die protecting my right to defend myself.

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      • JohnWest

        The US has higher kill rate because you have the largest Nigga population of those mentioned and of course the most repressive drug laws.

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    • PTB

      See below for statistics per capita. US statistics specifically do not include justifiable homicides or accidents.

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  • mac B

    Its amazing to me that the gun nuts just dont get it. The stats in England are being construed by you people in such a way to make your case!!! The bottom line is still this. Even with a 53% increase in gun violence as you say , that takes the total number of gun deaths and crimes to 70 from 46. Thats still 9,930 less crimes committed by guns than here in the US. England has about 100 million people so … you do the math. Similar stats can be found for other conties such as Canada and Australia and most of Europe. Open your eyes and see that having hand guns only exaserbates the problem. Honestly dont you think that our founding fathers worded the 2nd ammendment in such a way as to deal with 18th century problems? Time to come back to the future people!!!! We live in a different world today and having everyone walking around with a handgun only clouds the issues as to who the criminals are and who normal people should be afraid of

    Hotly debated. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 25

    • Libertarian777

      why do people like you consistently think anyone who stands up for the 2nd amendment is a ‘gun nut’?

      it’s like saying anyone who stands up for the fourth amendment is a criminal because they have something to hide.

      England is known for its pretty violent society. There are daily reports in the newspapers about kids stabbing each other and civilians to steal cellphones and minor items.

      England is the nanny state. It has very high surveillance of its population (drive in downtown London and take a look around). Has all those CCTV cameras stopped crime? NO.

      The question is… why are YOU so scared of guns? If guns are so evil why do we let cops have them? Are cops by their nature super altruistic, highly trained and no longer human as a result? Have you never heard of any corrupt cop? Do you believe all gun owners are murderous civilians waiting to kill each other?
      If the latter why then don’t people currently run around with kitchen knives stabbing each other over minor arguments?

      Yes, guns kill people. Cars kill people too. So do doctors.
      Compare the number of deaths by firearms (I’d say exclude suicides, but include them if you want to skew the statistics), and compare it to the number of deaths in car accidents and number of deaths by physician mistakes. You should be protesting more for higher drivers license restrictions.

      Highly rated. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

      • PTB

        It is so much harder to kill someone with a knife or club than with a gun. There are no drive by clubbings or knifings. Stabbing a store clerk on the other side of the counter is not easy to do. A brief twitch of a trigger finger allows murder at a distance or suicide by gun. Hanging, poisoning, hari-kari are possible to commit, but require much more time and effort. By the time you feel the suicide bullet, you are dead. Stabbing yourself multiple times or making a twelve inch cut requires much more time, effort, and determination. AFTER you feel the pain or to take the poison, there is much more time to change your mind or call for help. Not so with a gun.

        329 total persons were murdered (all homicides) in Australia all year.
        594 total in Canada. Winnipeg at a rate of 3.55/100,000 is their worst city. Detroit = 33.8, 10 times higher rate than the WORST city in Canada.
        New Orleans = 63.8, 20 times higher. Are Americans 20 times more evil?
        Less than 900 in United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales)

        According to the FBI, 10,000 people are murdered in the USA by guns, PLUS 16,000 people commit suicide with guns EVERY YEAR

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  • PTB

    According to the FBI, 10,000 people are murdered in the USA by guns, PLUS 16,000 people commit suicide with guns EVERY YEAR

    In Britain during 1998, when the Dunblane-inspired handgun ban took effect, there were 49 gun homicides, Britain’s Home Office says. Firearm homicides spiked at 95 in 2001, dropped to 68 in 2003, rose again the next year to 77, and have declined steadily since. Last year, there were 46.

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    • Lindsey

      Maybe we need to examine our own morality in this country! From these statistics it seems that the gun ban had no effect on homicide in Britain.

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      • PTB

        I agree. Almost no gun homicides in Britain before the additional restrictions, almost no gun homicides in Britain after the additional restrictions.

        Of course, Britain had quite severe restrictions on gun ownership before the Dunblane-inspired additions. The already existing restrictions could have something to do with the prior very low gun homicide rate.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • derogative

          Of course its about culture, guns are not ripe in the succesfull countries like uk and canada.

          Civil demand for guns is immense in the usa, gun laws is about rooting out the deathly culture of gun ownership.

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        • Allyn

          @derogative Guns are definitely deadly weapons, but they do their job. If we peer beyond the veil of the amount of murders between the UK and US which involve firearms and look at the real crimes that motivate these murders such as thefts and assaults we can see where guns do their job.

          “Home Office figures showed the murder rate in the US in 1998 was 6.3 per 100,000 people compared with 1.4 per 100,000 in England and Wales. The murder rate in London is 2.9 per 100,000 compared with 8.6 per 100,000 in New York and 49.15 per 100,000 in Washington DC. It shows the murder rate was 5.7 times higher in the US than England and Walesand the rape rate was about three times higher.

          The report also showed firearms were used in 68% of murders in the UScompared with 7% in England and Wales, and in 41% of robberies inAmerica against 5% in England and Wales. But the rates for assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft were all lower in America than in England and Wales. ”

          Guns end up in killing more people, but this is the higher risk of engaging with a firearm. This risk also serves as a deterrent for those who would commit crimes that endanger the health and property of citizens. This is what the founding fathers had in mind when they designed the 2nd amendment.

          I will take my firearms any day over reliance on some government power to protect my life and property since the criminals will always have access to firearms whether or not the citizenry is permitted to possess them.

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  • PTBItte

    Yearly statistics:
    Less than 400 total homocides in Autralia

    Less than 900 total homocides in England

    10,000 homocides via guns alone in the USA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • SS

      55% of gun deaths in America are suicide not homicide.

      John R. Lott, an economist who is now a senior research scholar at Yale Law School, has published studies that conclude that state laws allowing any citizen with no criminal record to obtain a concealed weapon permit lead to lower rates of violent crime, including murder.

      Britain has overtaken the US for all major crimes.

      In reality, the English approach has not re-duced violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States.

      In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban in Britain, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.

      Gun crime is just part of an increasingly lawless environment. From 1991 to 1995, crimes against the person in England’s inner cities increased 91 percent. And in the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled. Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York.

      When you take the guns of law-abiding citizens, guess what, the criminals still have guns.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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  • RJ

    The gun buying frenzy in recent weeks is NOT because,

    Obama is black and to assassinate a black president,

    Nor is is because we the people are afraid our government will ban guns,

    Sure, there may be exceptions, but no, the real reason is that,

    We the People know that we may have to stand up to a tyrannical, socialist government hell bent on destroying our rights and freedoms and it IS every United States citizens’ DUTY, yes DUTY, to keep and bear arms. All armament, not just a handgun, per OUR God given rights and the Constitution of the United States of America. Anyone against these principals is a traiter to this country which so many have died to protect. Your and your childrens freedom and liberty are at stake and the second ammendment is what stands between being a controlled slave and a free man when your government no longer represents its people. I will take freedom and liberty or death before being a slave.

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    • 1950 US Patriot

      Amen, Amen;
      Ever notice how our valiant leaders have never served our country in the military?
      Agree, our solemn duty is to the preservation of America as a Democracy. Millions of us civies have fought and served before; looks like round two just may be called. Only trouble is, patriots are scattered all over our great land, no central organization.
      We owe our liberty and freedom and allegiance to America and interestingly enough we owe the rest of the world to show them sheeples how to fight back and win against the NWO. Getting tired of U.S.A. always being the tip of the spear.

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      • RJ

        America as a ‘constitutional republic’ as intended by our forefathers. And to the ‘republic’ for which it stands….. Democracy is just mob rule.

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        • 1950 US Patriot

          Right you are.
          Just think, without Democracy, we could have always been just as miserable as the rest of the socialist world.
          America, a most complex and wonderfully free and generous society.

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  • Connelly Barnes

    I read on Wendy McElroy’s website:

    That an economist did an analysis of whether police use traffic tickets to offset financial crises. The answer turns out to be yes. This doesn’t really surprise me, as I live in Princeton, NJ, and there are so many traffic tickets given out by the police here, that I find it more convenient just to walk everywhere (plus it’s healthier, but still the situation is sad). I contested and won a traffic ticket case for going 37 MPH right before a 40 sign. Sigh.

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  • http://n/a Matt Sr.

    If guns kill people, then I can blame misspelled words on my pencil!

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  • mike w.

    “In my country, Sweden, the population is disarmed. We have one of the lowest crime rate in the world.”

    It’s not the guns it’s the culture. Swedish culture is entirely different than the U.S. That and you guys have an extremely homogeneous society not seen in the U.S.

    And actually the U.S has very little crime outside of major cities. A huge majority of violent crime in this country is urban black on black crime perpetrated by 18-25 year old black men.

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  • mike w.

    “I doubt anyone would sell guns if they knew that they would be responsible for the damage it does.”

    Sean – You’re kidding right? Why should the seller be responsible for criminal misuse of their products? Can you imagine what that’d do to our legal system. Following your logic we should make car manufacturers and liquor companies responsible for drunk driving deaths and knife manufacturers and cutlery stores legally responsible for stabbings……

    Wonderful idea there buddy.

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  • mike w.

    “We should outlaw pistols and concealed weapons. What need do we have to hide our weapons in order to use them for self defense? A shotgun would help just as much.”

    What? Should we outlaw the internet because of the potential harm it might cause? After all we still have newspapers and other free speech mediums so outlawing free speech online wouldn’t be an infringement on the 1st Amendment right? (just drawing a parallel to your “let’s ban handguns” idiocy) You do realize handguns are constitutionally protected arms don’t you? or does the Constitution not matter to you?

    Oh, and newsflash. The folks out committing crimes with concealed weapons are carrying them illegally. Folks like myself who go through the hassle of getting concealed carry permits aren’t the ones committing crimes.

    If it weren’t for the fact that so many Americans have an irrational fear of guns I’d just carry openly.

    I suggest you go about your business carrying a shotgun everywhere for self-defense. Let me know how that works out for you.

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  • mike w.

    “There are limits to the rights granted by the first amendment (yelling “fire” in a movie theater for free speech, polygamy for freedom of religion, libel for freedom of press, etc.), why should there not be reasonable limits on the rights granted in the second amendment?”

    Irish. You seem to have missed the fundamental difference in your “crowded theater” comparison.

    1. Gun control laws are a priori restrictions on a Constitutional right. The crowded theater restriction on 1st Amendment rights is based on ones actions. The law doesn’t muzzle me or cut out my tongue in order to prevent me from yelling “fire” in the theater. It doesn’t punish me, a law-abiding citizen, because a subset of the population makes a habit of yelling fire in crowded theaters. No, in the crowded theater example you are punished for your actions because said actions cause immediate harm to others.

    Your comparison is 100% invalid, as the crowded theater exception punishes the MISUSE of free speech. We already have laws against rape, murder, robbery and other forcible violent crimes. Such laws punish criminals for their ACTIONS. Gun control does nothing but restrict the rights of those who have done nothing wrong.

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    Another thing,
    I have never and will never register a gun,all that does is gives the confiscators a direct path to where they need to go and take them from you,the NAZI SS used gun registrations to locate and imprison gun owners when the gun bans were put in place,those refusing to surrender,were killed,”BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT”
    don’t think it’s gonna happen here,keep dreaming,it’s here,that’s why Ron Paul is warning us now,he knows there is going to be a revolution,and an attempt at a hostile military takeover of our nation,”read between the lines”,
    THIS IS A WARNING FROM A SITTING CONGRESSMAN,please take his words as a warning of things to come,Realize that to the federal government of the United States,if you love your rights and freedoms,”YOU ARE A TERRORIST”….


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    Sean,and anyone else with his mindset,

    You need to look at history yourself,”WE” were totally defeated in Vietnam,Lost millions of acres of ground to the VC,over 50,000 American service men killed,another 35,000 maimed for life,countless returning Vietnam soldiers mentally dead from what this war did to them,and more that have never been accounted for and are still considered MIA,you call that a victory?
    I don’t know where you get your information,but we did not win the war in Vietnam,militarily or economically,and the whole fiasco was a shameful blackeye for this country,you’ve spewed a lot of crap about not liking guns,but have completely failed in providing an alternative to the situation,I am a gun owner,and like many other Americans,I refuse to be disarmed by a government that will in turn,use my vulnerability and defenselessness against me,even if every gun on the planet were to be done away with,people would still kill because they are just demented that way,they would find some other means whether it be ball bats,knifes,a piece of rebar,whatever,see you need to think before you go off on some rant about taking guns away from the people,if you don’t want to own a gun,”FINE”,enjoy being a victim,
    “but don’t you dare tread on my right to own a gun”,because I refuse to be a victim,and I have “No Faith” in the police ever protecting me or my family,remember,they only show up if you call them,if your dead,you can’t call anybody…
    I don’t know who you are,but I can tell by your post that you’ve never “studied” history,Stalin,Lenin,Hitler,Mao,all supported gun bans,look what happened to the people who went along with them,people who support gun bans should (first),be ashamed of yourself for claiming citizenship of America,but turning on the very document that allows you to be American,
    (second),if you want to live in a country that it’s citizens have no right to self defense,I suggest you move to China,they’ll gladly welcome anybody who likes total dictatorial rule,after all,no guns,no crime right?But also no rights,no ownership,no freedom of religion,no security in your home,no right to defend yourself in court,you see the can of worms you open if you start putting restrictions on any part of the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
    Regardless of how you think “Restrictions” would stop gun violence,you need to realize,
    so no amount of gun legislation will ever stop or reduce crime,it will only create a society of victims that can’t protect themselves,your reasoning makes no sense,if I,a legal gun owner have a gun stolen in a burglary of my house and that gun is later used in a crime,should I be held responsible for the crime?Remember,I was also a victim of this criminal,
    The solution to our problem is not taking guns away from people who have them legitimately,but putting the criminals that commit crimes in jail,instead of running them through a revolving door court system that has failed this nation grossly.Pot smokers spend more time in jail than murderers,is that justice?

    If you give up your right to self defense,what will you surrender next,the right to be secure in you home by letting law enforcement in to trample into your house,unwarranted and rooting through your life any time they please?

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