Blame Evil, Not Firearms

I am not a “gun nut.” Matter of fact, I’ve been accused once or twice of not paying appropriate homage to the Second Amendment (for the record, I believe in it firmly).

But I own a few old guns and have some familiarity with firearms in general. That’s more than I can say for most of the folks eager to stop mass killings by banning “assault rifles.”

Because of what I do for a living and a deep interest in history, I also know a few things about evil people. What I know on that subject and about firearms persuades me that banning “weapons of war” will not stop people truly bent on killing large numbers of their fellow human beings.

Think about this: True professional mass murderers do not use firearms. Bombs can take far greater tolls. How often do you hear of “suicide shooters” in the Middle East? How frequently do suicide bombers strike?

But we’re not talking about overseas killers, of course. We’re discussing people like the man who slaughtered 49 people in an Orlando nightclub.

Remember Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols? In 1995, they set off a bomb at the federal building in Oklahoma City. One hundred sixty-eight people, including many children, were killed. Another 680 were injured.

Massacres at schools? The worst was in 1927. Forty-four people, most children, died at a school in Bath, Maine. Two bombs were used.

Our history is full of bombings that claimed dozens of victims at a time.

But suppose you’re filled with evil and can’t figure out how to make a bomb. Banning “weapons of war” will stop you, right?

Good heavens. How could anyone believe that?

Like it or not, there are about 300 million firearms in the United States. Many of them are more deadly than the “assault rifle” class of gun. If you’re determined to get one, you will find a way.

I wouldn’t have an “assault rifle” as most people picture them if someone offered to give me one. Too many of them (but not all) are owned by folks who should join the Army if they want to play soldier.

Want to confiscate every gun in the United States? Lots of luck with that. But even that wouldn’t address the real problem: evil.

Myer can be reached at:


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