Tools

James I. Ausman, Miguel A. Faria
  1. Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, Los Angeles,
  2. Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA,
  3. Departments of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical History, Mercer University School of Medicine (ret.), Macon, GA, USA.

Correspondence Address:
James I. Ausman
Departments of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical History, Mercer University School of Medicine (ret.), Macon, GA, USA.

DOI:10.25259/SNI_480_2019

Copyright: © 2019 Surgical Neurology International This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: James I. Ausman, Miguel A. Faria. Is gun control really about people control?. 04-Oct-2019;10:195

How to cite this URL: James I. Ausman, Miguel A. Faria. Is gun control really about people control?. 04-Oct-2019;10:195. Available from: http://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint-articles/9682/

Date of Submission
09-Sep-2019

Date of Acceptance
09-Sep-2019

Date of Web Publication
04-Oct-2019

Abstract

The Second Amendment of the USA Constitution states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today around the USA and the world some people are advocating the removal of guns from the citizens, called “Gun Control,” as the solution to violent crime that they associate with guns in the hands of the public, contrary to what the Second Amendment states.

Keywords: Central government control, Gun control, Mental health, Right to be armed, Violent crime

INTRODUCTION — MASS MURDER, CASE EXAMPLES — USA — WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

Parkland, Florida: (February 14, 2018)

“In the aftermath of the tragic 2018 Valentine’s Day high school shooting in Parkland, Florida — where 17 students were massacred by a criminal gunman — dramatic calls for drastic gun control measures and exaggerated claims about the number of mass shootings in the U.S. were made. For instance, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut made the untruthful claim, “This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America.” The colluding American media did not take Senator Murphy to task, as they do with President Trump’s every pronouncement.”[ 10 ]

Wikipedia reported that at least for a 2-year period before the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local sheriff’s office had information that the shooter wanted to commit a school shooting. Nothing was done. Furthermore, at the time of the shooting, several police officers remained outside the school and did not confront the murderer. Subsequently, the state legislature raised the minimum age for buying guns from 18 to 21. It banned certain kinds of firearms, established background checks, and waiting periods for gun buyers. It also allowed teachers to be trained and armed and prohibited mentally unstable people from possessing guns.[ 23 ]

Most of these new regulations have been found not to reduce gun violence.

In fact, America is not the worst country for mass shootings and does not even make it to the top ten, despite the record number of guns in the hands of Americans. For example France, Norway, Belgium, Finland, and the Czech Republic, all have more deaths from mass shootings than the U.S., and in fact, from 2009 to 2015, the European Union had 27 percent more casualties per mass shooting incidents than the U.S.”[ 10 ]

All of the talks about establishing safeguards are meaningless for the following common-sense reasons. If you have a child in school, would you want teachers and others to be armed to prevent or stop such an attack on your child and others? Or would you want your child to be defenseless? What will happen if the police do not act on information they are given about a threatened attack, or if the police even responded but did not confront the killer? What good do the laws do if no one follows them or if they are not enforced? Only armed citizens or armed school sentinels on the spot can stop these murders.

San Bernardino: (December 2, 2015)

The San Bernardino terrorist attack took place on December 2, 2015, when 14 people were massacred and 22 others were injured in the mass shooting and attempted bombing of the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The perpetrators were a married couple, both of Pakistani descent, who had been radicalized by Islamic fundamentalism in the United States. Their target was a Department of Public Health Christmas party at a rented banquet room with about 80 employees in attendance, including the husband who was a public health inspector. After the shooting, the couple escaped but were pursued and later killed in a shootout with police. The motives were Islamic terrorism, incited by jihad and, apparently, seeking martyrdom. Several friends and family members were subsequently arrested under a variety of charges, ranging from conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, perjury, sham marriages, and immigration fraud. An armed citizen could have stopped the shooting rampage, but in a restricted public health setting, we must admit that armed self-defense would have been highly unlikely. Besides the fact that a group of public health workers is unlikely to have among them Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) holders, the Inland Regional Center is also most likely designated a gun-free zone (GFZ) that consigns those present to be helpless and defenseless victims in a mass shooting incident.”[ 10 ]

Since 1950, 97.8 Percent of Mass Shootings have occurred in “Gun-Free Zones” “[Jerome Hudson. 50 things they don’t want you to know. Broadside Books; 2019; Chapter 6; available at amazon.com].

Santa Fe, Texas High School Shooting: (May 18, 2018)

Ten people – eight students and two teachers – were fatally shot and thirteen others were wounded. The suspected shooter was taken into custody and later identified by police as a 17-year-old student at the school.”[ 26 ] Could these murders have been prevented by an armed citizen?

First Baptist Church, Southerland Springs, Texas: (November 5, 2017)

We suffered another tragic mass killing when a young man dressed in black and armed with a Ruger AR-556 rifle entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5 and opened fire killing 26 people and wounding 20 other parishioners. No one, who was at the church, was untouched by death and destruction. The gunman fled the church but was pursued by two armed citizens. Thankfully, those two Texas heroes ended what could have been a series of massacres by another deranged malcontent.”[ 10 ]

Assault Rifles: The other side of the story

In November 1990, Brian Rigsby and his friend Tom Styer left their home in Atlanta, Georgia, and went camping near Oconee National Forest, not too far from where I [Miguel A. Faria] live in rural Georgia. Suddenly, they were assaulted by two madmen, who had been taking cocaine and who fired at them using shotguns killing Styer. Rigsby returned fire with a Ruger Mini-14, a semiautomatic weapon frequently characterized as an assault weapon. It saved his life.[ 6 ]

In January 1994, Travis Dean Neel was cited as citizen of the year in Houston, Texas. He had saved a police officer and helped the police arrest three dangerous criminals in a gunfight, street shooting incident. Neel had helped stop the potential mass shooters using once again a semiautomatic, so-called assault weapon with a high capacity magazine. He provided cover for the police who otherwise were outgunned and would have been killed.[ 6 ]

What would have happened if these citizens did not have the “assault weapons” to save their lives and others from these mentally unstable assailants or outright criminals?

Banning of kitchen knives in England

In an article entitled “Amid Push for Knife Control, UK Shows Gun Control Doesn’t Increase Safety” by Amy Swearer,[ 20 ] she writes:

The United Kingdom has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world, so the increased murder rate in the British capital is largely a result of a sharp rise in knife- related crime. The surge in violence prompted London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to announce a massive ‘Knife Control’ campaign reminiscent of those sometimes suggested in the United States in response to firearms-related violence…The U.K. already criminalizes the purchase or possession of various types of knives, and the carrying of any knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in public is illegal unless it is carried “with good reason.” Self-defense is not considered a good reason.”

This crackdown on knives, and the surrounding rhetoric demonizing those who would carry them in public, should serve as a warning to Americans disconcerted by the vocal anti-Second Amendment activists in our own country. They will not be satisfied by merely taking away your scary “assault weapons.” In theory, the 1689 English Bill of Rights protects the right of individual British subjects to possess arms for purposes of self-defense. In reality, modern Britons have had this right completely stripped from them [by over more than 300 years of restrictive legislation in violation of the subjects’ rights-Ed], to the point where they may be reprimanded for using kitchen knives against home intruders…Disarming law-abiding citizens is dangerous because it does not stop criminals, who will never voluntarily discard their weapons, from engaging in violent activity. It is dangerous because it leaves law-abiding citizens defenseless against both crime and tyranny.”[ 20 ]

This article describes the relentless progression of legislation restricting the right of citizens to be armed and explains why US citizens are so adamant in their defense of the Second Amendment rights, and to be against even minor compromises in that Right.

NYC truck terror attack (October 31, 2017)

Dr. Faria states, “Before closing on the issue of Islamic terrorism, a word should be said about the most recent incident in New York City, which underscores not only the increasing new terroristic threat to American cities but also the use of cars and trucks to plow into unsuspecting crowds with mass casualties of innocent civilians. A vehicle driven into a crowd is becoming the terrorists’ weapon of choice in Europe, and the sanguinary practice seems to be taking hold in the U.S. as well.

The Halloween truck attack on October 31, 2017, in Manhattan, a few blocks from the site of the Twin Towers [where the largest terrorist attack in the US history occurred on September 11, 2001], is the most recent egregious example. The atrocity also emphasizes the switch from mass shootings caused by deranged citizens to deliberate jihad by foreign and domestic Islamic terrorists. The courts’ disapproval of President Trump’s ban on immigration from seven countries with strong ties to terrorism has permitted dangerous individuals to continue to enter the country. Our faulty immigration laws and virtually open borders facilitate Islamic terrorism in this country, whether by mass shootings or by the use of vehicles to plow into crowds.”[ 10 ]

Will banning guns stop these mass murders?

Bombs in Boston Marathon by terrorists (April 15, 2013)

During the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs detonated 12 s and 210 yards (190 m) apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish line of the race, killing three people and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs… Three days later, the FBI released images of two suspects who were later identified as Chechen Kyrgyzstani-American brothers… They killed an MIT policeman, kidnapped a man in his car, and had a shootout with the police in nearby Watertown, during which two officers were severely injured, one of whom died a year later. One brother terrorist died. The other brother stated that they were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs… and learned to build explosive devices from an online magazine of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. He also said they had intended to travel to New York City to bomb Times Square. The remaining brother was sentenced to death.”[ 22 ]

Will banning guns stop these crimes?

THE PRESS: INACCURATE REPORTING AND CENSORSHIP

Editorial in the Lancet: “Gun deaths and the gun control debate in the USA”

In the October 22, 2017 issue of The Lancet, an Editorial was published entitled, “Gun Deaths and the gun control debate in the USA.” There was no author listed. The editorial begins, “The numbing parade of mass shootings in the USA — like the one in Las Vegas that left at least 59 people dead — has often obscured the gun debate’s open secret: horrific, attention- grabbing, and mass shootings represent only a small minority of gun deaths each year. Two-thirds of all gun deaths in the USA are attributable to suicide…” The editorial continues, “…Rural counties have a higher prevalence of suicide than do small and medium metropolitan, or urban counties…” The author cites the passage of “the Dickey Amendment, [a] federal law that bans funding for most gun violence research, effectively stopping the CDC (since 1996) and National Institutes of Health (NIH; since 2012) from examining gun violence and ways to prevent it….”

JAMA editorial on “Death by Gun Violence — A Public Health Crisis”

The JAMA Editorial by Bauchner et al. was entitled “Death by Gun Violence – A Public Health Crisis,” JAMA: 318:1763, 2017. Dr. Bauchner and colleagues start by repeating the details of the Las Vegas mass shooting in which 59 people died and over 500 were injured. They continue by saying that almost 100 people die each day in the USA from gun violence. They state that there were 36,252 deaths from firearms in the USA in 2015, which exceeded the number who died in motor vehicle accidents. They agree that 60% of gun deaths were from suicides. Their conclusion was, “the key to reducing firearm deaths in the United States is to understand and reduce exposure to the cause, just like in any epidemic, and in this case that is guns.”

Dr. Faria’s response

[Miguel Faria, MD, Associate Editor in Chief SNI Publications submitted editorials to each journal in response to their editorials. Both of Faria’s responses were similar. The following is Dr. Faria’s letter to the JAMA about its Editorial on gun violence. Neither of Faria’s Letters to the Editor were published. He was given no reason for their inaction.]

“Your editorial on gun violence has a number of glaring errors and distortions. For example, the statement that guns in the home are more likely to result “in the death of the loved ones rather than the intruder” has been thoroughly disproved directly in the criminology and sociologic literature by a number of investigators, including Dr. Edgar Suter, Prof. Gary Kleck, Prof. John R. Lott, as well substantiated by the seminal work of Professors James Wright and Peter Rossi.[ 15 - 17 , 19 , 28 ] You also disingenuously implied that the U.S. has a high suicide rate because of easy gun availability. Well, it is true that a gun is a very effective method of suicide. People in other countries kill themselves very effectively and at higher rates than the US by other methods. For example, recent figures (2016) show that Japan ranks 26thin International Suicide Rates; the Japanese commit suicide via hanging, suffocation, jumping in front of trains, and Hara-kiri at a rate of 19.7/100,000, much higher than the United States. Americans rank 48thand the rate is 14.3/100,000. Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, and many other European countries have higher rates of suicide than the U.S., and again all of them have stricter gun laws. As long as there are ropes, knives, pesticides, and trains, there will be suicides. Will we have to return to the Stone Age to stop suicides? Like it or not, possessing firearms is a constitutional right of Americans, supported by two Supreme Court decisions.”[ 5 , 27 ]

As to most of the investigations linking gun availability to violence, they have been …shown to be biased and politicized studies, conducted with predetermined conclusions — which is the case with most of the public health studies on gun violence. As to the rural suicide studies, Dr. Thomas Gift, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical School, has recently debunked the Maryland study on gun violence as faulty and poorly designed. Dr. Gift complained, “While the authors claim to be comparing rural and urban data, the counties in Maryland they label as “rural” seem to be largely suburban. They conducted numerous statistical tests without any attempt to control for the associations they call “significant” but which arise solely by chance in the course of doing so many numerical manipulations.”[ 11 ] In short, the CDC was restricted from conducting such gun studies because the studies were politicized, flawed, and conducted with preordained results so that they could only be characterized as junk science. I was one of the four experts, who testified to the Congressional Committee that led to the ban in 1996. It was and remains the correct step that public policy should be based on sound scholarship with consideration of constitutional issues, not emotionalism, and pseudoscience.”[ 2 , 14 , 19 , 29 ]

According to the writing of Dr. T. Wheeler, Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership,[ 21 ] the readers should know that the American Medical Association has taken a position against gun ownership by the public since the AMA’s President Richard Corlin’s inaugural address in 1991. He spoke against guns, public gun ownership, and gun manufacturers for catering to the criminal market. The AMA has been joined by the Joyce Foundation and its anti-gun advocacy research money although denying this position vigorously. The AMA’s House of Delegates has not subsequently fully supported Gorlin’s position. The Editorial attests to the AMA’s continued biased stance agaist gun ownership by the public. The AMA’s membership has declined from 70% of the practicing physicians in the 1950s to 15% by 2011, indicating a lack of support by US physicians for its policies.[ 21 ] This is another example of bias behind some medical reporting that is assumed to represent most physicians thinking.

In his paper on “America, guns, and freedom. Part I: a recapitulation of liberty”[ 4 ] Faria states, “As neurosurgeons, we can be compassionate and still be honest and have the moral courage to pursue the truth and viable solutions through the use of sound, scholarly research in the area of guns and violence. We have an obligation to reach our conclusions based on objective data and scientific information rather than on ideology, emotionalism, or partisan politics.”

ADDITIONAL FACTUAL INFOMATION ON GUNS AND VIOLENCE

More gun possession in the United States has not resulted in increased crime

In his paper, “America, guns, and freedom. Part I: a recapitulation of liberty,”[ 4 ] Dr. Faria states, “The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world except, perhaps, in Israel and Switzerland.”[ 4 ]

Indeed, although the American people continue to purchase and possess more firearms, homicides, and violent crimes have continued to diminish for several decades because guns in the hands of the law-abiding citizens do not translate into more crime.”[ 4 ]

Evidence guns prevent crime

Dr. Faria[ 3 ] cites a study by Dr. Edgar A. Suter, former Chairman of Doctors for Integrity in Research and Public Policy, and others, whose studies we have cited, which states,

the defensive use of firearms by citizens amounts to 2.5 million uses per year and dwarfs the offensive gun use by criminals. In the United States, between 25 and 75 lives are saved by a gun in self and family protection for every life lost to a gun in crime. The Media tend to cover the sensational side of the mass killings and not the successes of those with guns who prevent attacks or limit their severity by the armed citizens’ quick action.”

From his research, Faria states,

Australians learned the lessons of indiscriminate, draconian gun control laws the hard way. In 1996, a criminally insane man shot to death 35 people at a Tasmanian resort. The government immediately responded by passing stringent gun control laws, banning most firearms, and ordering their confiscation. More than 640,000 guns were seized from ordinary Australian citizens.”[ 3 ]

As a result, there was a sharp and dramatic increase in violent crime against the disarmed law-abiding citizens, who, in small communities and particularly in rural areas, were now unable to protect themselves from brigands and robbers. That same year in the state of Victoria, for example, there was a 300% increase in homicides committed with firearms. The following year, robberies increased by almost 60% in South Australia. By 1999, assaults had increased by almost 20% in New South Wales. 2 years following the gun ban/confiscation, armed robberies had risen by 73%, unarmed robberies by 28%, kidnappings by 38%, assaults by 17%, and manslaughter by 29%, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.”[ 3 ]

He continues…

Switzerland stood… “against the Nazi threat during World War II, because each and every male was an armed and free citizen …Nazi Germany could have overwhelmed Switzerland during World War II, but the price was too steep for the German High Command. Instead, the Nazi juggernaut trampled over Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, and other countries, and avoided the armed Swiss nation, the “porcupine,” which was prepared for war and its military was ready to die rather than surrender.”[ 3 ]

In his book on America Guns and Freedom, Faria states,

In Switzerland, where gun laws are liberalized, there was not a single report of armed robbery in Geneva in 1993! Except for isolated instances, Switzerland remains relatively crime free. Obviously, it is not all about guns; it is also about having a homogeneous population, and a civil and cultured society…”[ 10 ]

Faria concludes, “that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens deter crimes, and …nations that trust their citizens with firearms have governments that sustain liberty and affirm individual freedom. Governments that do not trust their citizens with firearms tend to be despotic and tyrannical, and are a potential danger to good citizens---and a peril to humanity.” He quotes “Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States of America, who warned us, “When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”[ 3 ]

Value of concealed carry weapons to the citizens

“On the other hand,” Faria states, “Professor John R. Lott, Jr.,[ 17 ] using the standard criminological approach, reviewed the FBI’s massive yearly crime statistics for all 3054 U.S. counties over 18 years (1977–1994), the largest national survey on gun ownership and state police documentation in illegal gun use.”

The data show that neither states’ waiting periods nor the federal Brady Law is associated with a reduction in crime rates. But by adopting concealed carry gun laws that allowed law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons for self-defense, the death rates from public, multiple shootings (e.g., as those which took place in 1996 in Dunblane, Scotland, and Tasmania, Australia or the infamous 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado in the United States) were cut by an amazing 69%. Allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime, without any apparent increase in accidental death.”[ 3 ]

Faria concludes from his review

…”how citizens can protect themselves from criminal assailants when the police, more often than not, are not there to protect them. the National Victims Data suggests that “while victims resisting with knives, clubs, or bare hands are about twice as likely to be injured as those who submit, victims who resist with a gun are only half as likely to be injured as those who put up no defense.”….“The gun is a great equalizer for law-abiding citizens in self and family protection, particularly women, when they are accosted in the street or when they are defending themselves and their children at home” (3, and multiple sources cited by Faria).

The Second Amendment of the Constitution does not describe any restrictions for citizens to carry arms. However, as Faria describes in detail in his new book, America, Guns, and Freedom,[ 10 ] legislation has been passed in some states restricting the use of guns. This legislation would appear to violate the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Faria writes in his book on this subject,

….”.“Shall issue” refers to a legal requirement that a jurisdiction must issue a license to carry a concealed handgun to any applicant who meets a specified set of reasonable requirements. Implicit in the “shall issue” is the understanding that the applicant need not demonstrate a specific need or a “good cause.” Thus, the jurisdiction does not have the power to exercise discretion in the awarding of licenses, but “shall issue” them because the permit owners are subject only to meeting specific criteria written in the law. Therefore, most citizens should have CCW permits issued on demand.”

Faria continues, “Before 1990 there were very few states with ‘shall issue’ concealed carry laws. Beginning with Florida in 1987 and over the next 30 years, states began to pass CCW legislation [rapidly].” Presently, most states have approved either “shall issue” CCW licensing or laws for “constitutional carry” …which means that a person can exercise their Second Amendment right openly, and does not need a permit at all to carry a concealed… handgun openly. Twenty-nine states have CCW and eight states have “constitutional carry” freedom legislation…

There are 16 million concealed carry permit holders in the US, with 8% of Americans having permits. California and New York have “may issue” licenses by which the citizens may apply for a license by expressing need, but the privilege is so stringent that, even after providing evidence of a pressing need, licenses are frequently delayed or denied, and citizens have been killed while waiting to obtain one…

Before the American Civil War most states were “constitutional carry.” After the Civil War many states began to add gun control restrictions, and strict “may issue” gun licensing became the norm…”[ 10 ]

The central concern about gun control legislation that is proposed is that “gun registration is the gateway to civilian disarmament which often precedes [tyranny and] genocide.”[ 10 ]

Violent crimes and crimes of passion

What is the profile of the person committing violent crimes?

From his research Faria answers:

According to the United States Department of Justice, the typical murderer has had a prior criminal history of at least 6 years, with four felony arrests in his record, before he finally commits murder. FBI statistics reveal that 75% of all violent crimes for any locality are committed by 6% of hardened criminals and repeat offenders. Less than 2% of crimes committed with firearms are carried out by licensed law- abiding citizens (e.g., CCW permit holders).”[ 3 ]

Interpreted differently that means over 98% of violent crimes are committed by people without permits to carry concealed weapons.

In regard to “Crimes of Passion,” supposedly a result of impulse action by the killer, Faria concludes, from the evidence,

that violent crimes are a result of “violence in highly dysfunctional families in the setting of alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, or other criminal activities. Violent crimes continue to be a problem in the inner cities of the large metropolitan areas, with gangs involved in robberies, drug trade, juvenile delinquency, and even murder. Yet crimes in rural areas, despite the preponderance of guns in this setting, remain low.”[ 3 ]

Faria states in his recent book,

“The state with the most mass shootings (e.g., California) and the cities with the highest rates of serious crimes (Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, et cetera) are those with the strictest gun control laws.”[ 10 ]

Identify and treat the mentally ill. Those deemed dangerous should be prevented from hurting themselves and others by an effective mental health system that includes institutionalization

Faria blames changes in “the mental health system for the problem with the deinstitutionalization of mental patients, which began in America in the 1960s and put thousands of mental patients including dangerous ones back on the streets, which has only worsened in recent years.”[ 6 ]

Why have these developments taken place? Faria explains,

“This change has happened not only because of the recent drive for containment of health care costs but also because of the decades-long, misguided mental health strategy of administering mental health care via community outreach and outpatient treatment. In many cases, these strategies have led to inadequate follow-up of and poor compliance by patients as well as legal restraints placed on families. Some families cannot even obtain the health records of their children who are over 21 years of age to find out about their health history.”[ 6 ]

He also states that

“deadly rampages are the result of failure of the mental health system” [to identify those deranged individuals who have the potential to harm others.] He cites numerous examples in which armed citizens stopped a rampage killing using guns they had a license to carry or had nearby for personal protection.[ 6 ]

Faria cited a New York Times study in 2000 which revealed that in 100 cases of rampage shooting incidents, 63 involved people who “made threats of violence before the event, including 54 who threatened specific violence to specific people.” Nothing had been done about the threats. Moreover, over half of the shooters had overt signs of mental illness that had gone untreated.[ 6 ]

Thus, the evidence indicates that many people with mental illness who will commit violent crimes can be identified before the crime and should be managed more carefully or institutionalized.

For example, while it is true that the number of shooting rampages has increased in recent years, the rate of violent crimes and homicides for both Blacks and Whites (including those committed with firearms) has decreased significantly over the same period, despite the tremendous increase in the number of firearms in the U.S., according to both the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (5, and other sources)

Hence, another source indicates that the increased availability of guns has been related to a decrease in the rate of violent crimes in the US.

Convicted felons and mentally unstable people should not be allowed to possess guns

Faria reviewed a series of cases of violence and shooting rampages. His conclusion is that “Convicted felons and mentally unstable people,” should “forfeit the right to possess arms by virtue of the fact they are a potential danger to their fellow citizens.”[ 6 ]

Sanctuary Place, City, and Sanctuary Country laws which allow the felons to escape punishment and exist in society should be revoked

In the Introduction in cases #1 through #4, violent crimes were committed to what are regarded as GFZ, or places where guns are usually not permitted or which do not have armed people in the vicinity. Such places are preferred sites of violent crimes for the shooters. As additional examples of the dangers of GFZ,

A deadly rampage shooting in Norway occurred in a country that is a “GFZ” (where guns are not allowed) which also exists in most of Europe. Sixty-nine teenagers were killed during this rampage. In this circumstance, the deranged killer was free to murder these 69 young people. That is the fault of the state, which has GFZ that only apply to the unarmed citizens and not to the killers.[ 6 ]

See Introduction, San Bernardino: (December 2, 2015) b. for more on GFZ.

A media that sensationalizes violence leading the perverted minds of criminal malcontents and deranged individuals to believe that committing those types of high-profile crimes, such as mass shootings, will turn them into the celebrities and achieve the macabre fame they seem to crave

Faria writes: There is the sinister and perhaps more insoluble contributing factor to violence — namely, the problem of how the media report and how popular culture sensationalizes violence, which in association with the fruitless pursuit of celebrity status in vogue today is all pervasive. What more evidence is needed for the “15 min worth of fame” phenomenon, than the immense popularity of vulgar “reality” television shows? It is not a big step to link extensive coverage of shooting rampages in both the press and the colorful electronic media as a major contributing factor in the pathologic and even morbid attainment of celebrity status even in death.”[ 6 ]

Where is the Responsibility of the Press? What other issues can the Press correct to reduce violent crimes?

Failure to honestly report those who prevented crimes by carrying concealed weapons

As Faria states,

…“the Media do not report these citizens with guns who protect others and stop the killers. Instead the media sensationalizes the violence, blames the use of guns for the violence, and do not praise the defenders. Thus, the public gets a biased view of the crime.”…Faria states, …“the truth is that the incidence of mass shootings is very low by any standard.” Consider the fact that mass shootings are a miniscule portion of homicides, <4%, because most shootings are committed by common criminals not mass shooters. Faria describes research that “has shown that firearms are used more frequently by law-abiding citizens to repel crime than used by criminals to perpetrate crime.” He continues, “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage.”[ 6 ] and renders the people at the school defenseless.

Thus, by a biased reporting of violent crimes particularly with the use of guns, the media fails to inform the public of the value of armed citizens in stopping crime. The purpose of this bias is to provide more propaganda to remove guns from the citizens and to support centralized control of the people.

Why is there only selective reporting of violence using guns? Are there other responsible steps the media and press can take to reduce violent crime?

A child who reaches the age of 18 has witnessed 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on television (American Psychiatric Association, 1988). The media need to take responsibility for this example

In a paper by Muscari published in 2003, she stated,

“American children watch an average of 28 hours of television a week. By the time they reach the age of 18, they will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence (American Psychiatric Association 1998). These numbers exclude time spent watching movies, playing video/computer games or with online interactive media, and listening to music- all of which may contain violent content. Since the deregulation of broadcasting in 1980, there has been a proliferation of media content that encourages violent and other antisocial behaviors.”[ 18 ]

She continues, “Media violence can be hazardous to children’s health. Six medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, recently released a joint statement on the impact of violence on children. They stated that studies point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive attitudes, values, and behaviors in some children.”[ 18 ]

With such bombardment of violence through the mass media and the popular culture, if guns were to be successfully banned, people will resort to violence using knives and any other available means.[ 20 ]

On this subject Faria states,

“It is not a big step to link extensive coverage of shooting rampages in both the press and the colorful electronic media as a major contributing factor in the pathologic and even morbid attainment of celebrity status, even in death.” Citing the work of Dr. Brandon Centerwall of the University of Washington School of Public Health, Faria adds, “The homicide rates, not only in Canada but also in the U.S. and South Africa, soared 10–15 years after the introduction of television in those countries. In the U.S., there was an actual doubling of homicide rates after the introduction of television. Moreover, it was noted that up to half of all homicides, rapes, and violent assaults in the U.S. were directly attributed to violence on television.”[ 6 ]

The Media needs to take responsibility on its own for presenting violent solutions to problems.[ 6 ] Government regulation of the Media is not the solution to this problem, no more than it should be involved in Gun Control legislation. Both issues deal with Fundamental Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The People need to decide these issues not the government, whose bureaucrats at the slightest chance, will limit our Freedoms and enhance their Power.

What else can be done to reduce violent crime in the US, particularly in GFZ, as schools.

Encourage teachers and those who are willing and properly educated in the use of guns to carry weapons in schools to prevent school shootings

Faria proposes that we consider allowing teachers to have special concealed- carry firearm licenses to defend students. It would be a sensible and easy strategy “to protect the children in this mad, dystopian world we are creating in which we are too permissive to criminals and too protective of the rights of deranged individuals, while we easily blame and propose more laws and controls to limit the rights of the lawful citizens in society at large.” “Guns are inanimate objects. The responsibility for crimes rests on the criminals and those who facilitate their crimes!”[ 6 ]

Can Public Education be returned to its original principles that include compulsory studies on Social Science, History, Civics, the Constitutional Principles of Government, and factual objective data on Criminology including Violent Crimes and their causes? Will removing guns from society solve this deficiency in our education systems? Or is our only solution to disarm the people but not the criminals and to establish a nationwide GFZ that will only incentivize Violent Crime as this paper has shown?

Need for public education on the principles of liberty, democratic governments, and the need for citizens to be armed against authoritarian government control

On the subject of Failed Social Systems and Gun Violence, Faria states,

“The American media and proponents of gun control assert that the problem lies in the “easy availability of guns“ and “too many guns” in the hands of the public. Second Amendment and gun rights advocates, on the other hand, believe the problem lies elsewhere, including a permissive criminal justice system that panders to criminals; the failure of public education; the fostering of a culture of dependence, violence, and alienation engendered by the welfare state; and the increased secularization of society with children and adolescents growing up devoid of moral guidance.”[ 6 ]

Other factors influencing criminal behavior are a prevalent attitude in the past half of the 20th century which degrades the wisdom of generations of human history and the values of religious principles for guiding life, while replacing them with beliefs that life is meaningless and that human existence has no purpose, all of which leads to alienation, despair, violence, and suicide.

By the way, these are all goals necessary to establish authoritarian rule, goals supported by those who want to eliminate our Constitutional Republic.

Faria believes there are additional, contributing, and more proximate causes for the loss of moral compasses in our youth that lead them to violence — for example, the misguided role of the media and popular culture in the sensationalization of violence.[ 6 ]

In his paper on “America, Guns, and Freedom. Part I: a Recapitulation of Liberty”[ 4 ] Faria states,

“… freedom comes with responsibilities. Children should be taught not only the basic academic subjects but also instructed in civics, constitutional principles of government, and the meaning of liberty. Simply stated, education is important, and a system of constitutional governance that guarantees individual liberties and protects citizens from disarmament (by their own governments) comes with concomitant responsibilities. The citizens’ necessary civic involvement in the society in which they live is paramount, and it requires that the empowered population remain an informed and vigilant citizenry, the ultimate guardians of their own rights and freedoms.” These fundamental educational principles are an essential part of the understanding and responsibility for the use of firearms.

In regard to the education of children in the use of firearms, Faria describes a study performed by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.[ 3 ]

“The Agency tracked 4000 juveniles aged 6–15 years, in Denver (CO), Pittsburgh (PA), and Rochester (NY) from 1993 to 1995. The investigators found that children who were taught to use firearms with parental supervision, as in hunting or target shooting, were 14% less likely to commit acts of violence and street crimes than children who had no guns in their homes (24%); whereas, children who obtained guns illegally, did so at the whopping rate of 74%. This study also provided more evidence that in close nuclear families, where children were close to their parents, youngsters could be taught to use guns responsibly. These youngsters, in fact, grew up to be more responsible in their conduct and more civil in their behavior.[ 3 ]

Constitutional protection of the rights of citizens to bear arms against the state — Second Amendment

Faria explored the genocide attacks that have occurred throughout modern time.[ 3 ]

All these genocides occurred after guns had been taken from the people by the government, so the people are helpless to protect themselves against the armed militias of the state. He states that well-recognized legal scholars have concluded, “The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms” — for the purpose of defending themselves against the state.[ 4 ]

Nevertheless, Faria writes in his paper,[ 4 ]

… “gun prohibitionists, in justifying their crusade for gun control in place of crime control, have erroneously maintained that the Second Amendment only permits the National Guard or the police to possess firearms for collective police functions… In 2008 the Supreme Court of the USA ruled that U.S. citizens have an inalienable, personal right to keep and bear arms in the federal districts of the nation, a preexisting natural right guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution…. and Under legal tradition, a constitutional right is protected and inalienable under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, if it is considered a fundamental right, an inherent natural right deeply rooted in American history and jurisprudence.[ 4 ]

Attempts to subvert the Second Amendment

After mass shootings, the gun control movement has immediately demanded passage of laws restricting the sale of guns before the investigations into the causes of the crime have been completed, even though these proposed regulations are ruled unconstitutional.

“To further their efforts to over-rule the US Constitution, the Gun Control supporters have appealed to the UN to adopt a worldwide sanction on the possession of guns by the public. For years the UN has been trying to formalize a global, civilian disarmament treaty with the intention of circumventing the Second Amendment rights of American gun owners … so far without success.”[ 4 ]

Faria writes that

...”the United Nations is already set to commence discussing and approving its Small Arms Treaty in March 2013, which its proponents believe would overrule the Constitution and establish gun laws in the USA, formulated by people from other countries where the problems are worse. As one can see, the fundamental goal of the gun control proponents is to find a way to prevent all citizens from possessing arms that threaten the establishment of an authoritarian government.

President Obama encouraged the Democrats in Congress to pass gun control legislation that he could sign into laws.

The American people and their conservative representatives in Congress rose to the occasion and stopped the passage of gun control laws sponsored by the Obama administration and his liberal allies in the Democratic Party. And then in 2016 a pro- Second Amendment Republican, Donald Trump, was elected President. It seemed as if the gun control activists were at least temporarily neutralized.[ 6 ]

Still, these efforts to establish laws restricting gun ownership continue to this time. It is obvious to those pursuing this gun regulation that Amending the Constitution to make such a change in gun possession would fail. It seems that calls for gun control occur immediately after a mass shooting even before any analysis of the facts in each case is made. It is reasonable for people to be upset when people are killed. Are there calls for banning automobiles which are involved in far more deaths than are killed in homicides with guns?[ 24 , 25 ] No. Are there calls for banning trucks used in the intentional killing of people? No. What is the reason behind this selective almost hysterical emotional reaction to control guns? Guns do not kill people but People using guns do. Could it be that there is an organized effort to take guns from the public?

People and Tax-Exempt foundations promoting gun control while acting as social or public health research organizations

An answer to the questions raised previously about the immediacy of the calls for gun control before the facts are known in mass shootings, the lack of a similar response to mass murders using trucks, bombs, or knives, and the hysterical emotional responses almost perfectly timed and organized at each shooting event can be found in Dr. Faria’s new book, “America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey into Politics and the Public Health and Gun Control Movements.”[ 10 ] He states,

“While the CDC has tempered its stand on guns and violence research in the last two decades following the restrictions of 1996 (events that will be described in other chapters), the rest of the PHE (Public Health Establishment) movement — supported financially by wealthy gun control proponents such as Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, as well as progressive (Leftist, Collectivist) gun prohibitionist organizations such as The Joyce Foundation — continue to promote gun control masquerading as social or public health scientific research[ 10 ] [page 18].

“It should also be of interest that private researchers, particularly those associated or sponsored by the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, are frequently disparaged by those in the PHE as if the fiduciary association of the former immediately taints their integrity, work, and conclusions. But why is this not so the other way around, for those receiving tax money or donations from anti-gun magnates such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg? Why is this not the case also for research funded by private tax-exempt foundations, such as the Joyce Foundation, which are known to have progressive, socioeconomic agendas to reconstruct society in their image and with ideological axes to grind? Why do those same gun researchers, decade after decade, keep telling us that more studies are needed (and additional funding necessary) — acting for their own financial self-interests as well as subsidizing their ideological agendas? These are good questions whose answers may save taxpayers bundles of money and in the long-term, perhaps, even preserve their freedom!”[ 10 ][page 127].

Faria ends by providing his opinion after years of study of this problem. He states, “Let’s stop demonizing guns and end the shootings by incarcerating the criminals and healing the mentally sick. Much work needs to be done in the mental health arena and in the task of de-sensationalization of violence by the media in our dumbed-down popular culture.”[ 6 ]

DISCUSSION BY THE AUTHOR

Statement by Thomas Jefferson: “When the government fears the people there is liberty. When the People fear the government, there is tyranny.”[ 3 ]

The USA is a Constitutional Republic which means the rulers are bound by the rule of laws. Thus, in a Republican form of government, the rights of the minority are protected from the tyranny of the majority. A democracy governs by majority rule and the capricious and mischievous rule of man.[ 7 ]

All of the evidence presented in this review article points to the complex issues surrounding “gun violence.” It presents a different perspective from what you read in the Mainstream Media (MSM), which focus on the elimination of guns and civilian disarmament, instead of the reasons for criminal behavior. This simplistic approach of eliminating guns is not the answer. People will find other means to express their frustrations or outright criminality. The most reasonable solutions are education about guns and gun safety; instruction in civics and ethics; learning the principles of self-government and liberty; supporting the rule of law inherent to a Constitutional Republic, which we still are; and understanding the perils of Tyranny. The facts presented here indicate that after disarming citizens, crime escalates by the use of illegal guns or by substitution methods of lethality, such as knives, bombs, and vehicles plowing into crowds. Disarming good citizens does not prevent violent behavior. It leaves them defenseless and only encourages more crime by the criminal elements and deranged people. However, a clear fact stands out from this review. Arming citizens is the most reasonable, economic, and best choice to discourage gun- based violent behavior by empowering the citizen to protect one’s self, family, fellow citizens, and ultimately be used as a check on government.[ 12 ]

Although eliminating guns is a “quick fix” in response to this complex set of issues, it should be obvious to the reader that the solution to these issues is multifaceted and will take time. It has taken time for our cultures and civilizations to disintegrate into the chaotic situation that we are experiencing today. Family dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, and violent behavior from repeat offenders are central to this problem. Add to that mental illness that is not properly treated and the misuse of guns becomes obvious. Filling minds with an incessant stream of Media and Entertainment featuring gun violence, over and over, conditions individuals to resort to those copycat behaviors. Having an Educational system that does not equip the young with the proper civic and ethical principles to deal with life’s challenges and to appreciate our Republican form of government only compounds this problem. Taking guns from the citizens will not solve these problems as this paper has shown. The problem goes deeper.

On top of all of these new challenges, the individual is subjected to a world that is being transformed as people, family structures, jobs, societies, industries of all types, communication technology, and legal and governmental systems are changing rapidly in the 21st century. There are different populations all over the world in different stages of technological advances and civilizations. However, the global elites, who desire power, want to enforce a rigid same-size- fits-all type of approach, including forcing the adoption of the type of government that the elites themselves want without noting ethnological, historic, and political differences, and above all, the desires of the people.[ 1 ] The oligarchical types of social democracy, or rule by a few, are the preferred system of rule of the Western European elites.

Compounding all these issues, in this group of self- appointed leaders are a number who have their own “tax- exempt foundations,” which they use to fund support for their ideas. In general, these elites believe they are smarter than the average citizen, whom they are convinced should not be allowed to make decisions on life’s complicated issues, such as the possession of guns. Evidence shows that this type of thinking is now infiltrating the US government and private institutions.[ 1 ] Examples involve the revelation of unlawful spying on and the attempted “Coup” against the President of the US, Donald Trump, as a citizen, President-Elect, and now President, in violation of the US Constitution. It is becoming clear this “coup” was planned and executed over time by unelected people in various branches of government including the FBI, Justice Department, Intelligence agencies, and others to remove the duly elected President from office and to establish their own form of authoritarian government.[ 1 , 9 , 13 ]

We have already witnessed Anarchy in our streets as unchecked, political, mostly left-wing groups (Antifa), prevent citizens from expressing opposing viewpoints, and limit Free Speech. Violence has been used by them with little condemnation from the MSM.[ 28 ] In fact, these groups are supported by the MSM and the entertainment industry in all its forms, as outlined above in this paper, in its biased reporting, in its violent-prone entertainment, frequently paid for by certain “charitable” and “nonprofit” corporations. They are committed to limiting conservative free expression, and in particular, opposite points of view in their television programming, print media, and worldwide websites. That is why most of the public is unaware of all the facts behind these events. These actions all point to the establishment of authoritarian rule and the elimination of our Constitutional and Republican form of government.[ 1 , 9 , 13 ]

The methods being used today for gun control were described by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin to establish and enforce collectivist central control and authoritarianism. These same tactics also apply to government-controlled health care. Unfortunately, a detailed discussion of all of these issues is beyond the scope of this paper but will be addressed in a separate publication in the future. For those interested in further reading, the following references should be useful.[ 1 , 7 - 9 , 12 , 13 ]

Asking the government to solve the problem of violent crime with gun control will ultimately lead down the path to authoritarian and Tyrannical government. It is like asking a dictator what he would decide about Liberty for his people. The government should have less responsibility for our lives rather than more. The problem of violent crimes and the factors behind them should be debated and solved in each community.

FINAL COMMENTS BY THE AUTHOR

From the evidence presented in this paper, Gun Control is not about guns. Guns are not responsible for killing people. Guns cannot be blamed for deaths, being inanimate objects that require a person to pull the trigger. People who use guns irresponsibly are to blame. Therefore, the real subject of the “sometimes hysterical” Gun Control movement seems to be People Control by the elimination of the individual possession and use of firearms, despite the guarantee of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Gun Control is intended to make it easier to control the people. For the same reason, Gun Control is constantly supported by the self- appointed media elites and the hypocritical entertainment industry. The progressive stripping of the citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms in the 300-year history of the U.K., which began not long after the Glorious Revolution (1688), has reached the point where people are incarcerated for using kitchen knives against home intruders. As crime increases in the U.K, it provides evidence of how futile gun control legislation is in stopping criminal behavior and reducing violence. Tyranny is progressing as violence increases. And why just gun control and not knife control, or truck, or bomb control? Why is the focus on guns? There is no other logical reason except what I have stated:

People Control is the real purpose of depriving people of the right to possess arms for self-defense. Recent increases in violence seem not to be random events, but events that are used to cascade into more laws and more government intervention. Elimination of or circumventing the Second Amendment removes the fear of the collectivist authoritarian leaders that the citizens will rise against them with their firearms. At the same time, eradication of Freedom of Speech is already muzzling certain conservative media and website outlets, a practice the Media are now strangely supporting. The eventual elimination of Freedom of Speech, which is a collectivist goal, in the end will shock all of the Media. The Media are supporting its own destruction. Is Media Control the solution or is Media Responsibility to objectively report the Truth and to protect the people and the Constitution that grants the right to Free Speech, a better answer? The real goal of the gun control movement is to establish a governmental system that is centrally controlled and to overthrow Rule by the People or their Constitutional Republic. The issue is not about Crime Control either because we are seeing that the only way to reduce rampant crime is to arm the good citizens, as there are not enough police to prevent, much less, stop all crimes.[ 1 ]

Some gun control advocates may not even realize that they are being manipulated by people who seek Power to destroy their freedoms. Evidence is suggested that there are those who are determined to undermine our Constitutional Republic, and who are financing many programs planned to replace our individual rights and personal liberty with central control and an authoritarian government.

It is obvious that in the rapidly changing world, we need to find answers to the dynamically changing challenges we face. That will take time and patience. In the meantime, is there a gray area for compromise in the Guns and Violence issue? Yes, logically, from all the evidence presented, citizens should be encouraged to carry arms for self, family, and fellow citizen protection, and as a check on government, a right guaranteed by the Constitution and endowed by our God-given natural right. The challenges facing us are multifaceted.

All of the issues discussed in this paper are a result of the disintegration of the principles of moral and ethical behavior, a failed education system, a loss of the guidance of a good family structure, and an insatiable desire for self-satisfaction above family and country.

FREEDOM WITHOUT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THOSE FREEDOMS WILL LEAD TO A LOSS OF ALL FREEDOMS AND TO TYRANNY. DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC AND ITS FREEDOMS IS EVERY PERSON’S RESPONSIBILITY, NOT THAT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

As John F Kennedy stated in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961: “ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU. ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY,”

Financial support and sponsorship

James I and Carolyn R Ausman Educational Foundation.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the journal or its management.

The authors want to thank Russell Blaylock, MD for his contributions to this manuscript.

Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is the Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He is a Board-Certified Neurological Surgeon (American Association of Neurological Surgeons); Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He was appointed and served at the behest of President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2002-2005. Dr. Faria is an escapee from Communist Cuba at age 13 to the USA. Educated in the U.S., he became a neurosurgeon, was Editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, and founded the Medical Sentinel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He has authored a number of books and is an authority on Public Health and Gun Control. His latest book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements which is to be released October 1, 2019. Mascot Books, Herndon VA; President, https://haciendapublishing.com, USA-JIA]

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