One of the recurring themes in this blog is how some of the best and the brightest can still get it wrong; how even in the face of irrefutable evidence the highly intelligent can still reach the wrong conclusion. Even the most educated are slaves to their own bias and see what they expect to see, filtering out evidence that contradicts their bias and beliefs.
Henry Percy exposes this problem with Fareed Zakaria in ‘Gun Violence in America Is Off the Chart’ in American Thinker, 1/14/13.
Homicide rates within the US vary tremendously by locality, as data from the US Census Bureau shows. For 2009, the high was 24.2 per 100,000 (District of Columbia) and the low 0.9 (New Hampshire). Moreover, New Hampshire is only half as murderous as Belgium, one of the “rich” or “developed” nations writers like Mr. Zakaria are so fond of comparing us to. In fact, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont all have rates lower than Belgium’s.
Mr. Zakaria finds a “blindingly obvious causal connection” between “easier access to guns” and homicide rates. If that is so, why does the nation’s capital, with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, have a homicide rate nearly 27 times higher than that of New Hampshire (“Live Free or Die”), which has some of the most permissive gun laws (open carry without license, concealed carry licenses for $10)? Why does Illinois, likewise boasting extremely restrictive gun laws, have a rate over 9 times higher than New Hampshire’s? If there is a “blindingly obvious causal connection,” could it be that high homicide rates go hand in hand with restrictive gun laws? Or could the problem be with people, human beings, rather than inanimate objects?
I am a fan of Zakaria and his show, GPS. But even a PhD from Harvard can miss the obvious.
The private right to own a gun is the ultimate freedom. It is the government saying they have nothing to fear from an armed populace because they are ultimately accountable to them at the ballot box. It is not about self defense; it is about freedom. Those who see the government as the Great Oz that can solve all personal shortcomings and problems have to reconcile this power to rule with the individual’s freedom. The gun controversy looms large because that is the real focus of this debate.