A Sensible Position On Crime and Guns

I haven’t written much about the latest round of gun control hysteria, mostly because I have said everything I have to say on that topic many times over the years. The liberal solutions to mass shooting incidents, which are very rare, are every bit as silly and ineffective as their solutions to crime in general, which is ubiquitous and therefore vastly more important. Defunding the police makes about as much sense as banning some arbitrarily selected category of firearm. Neither measure will do anything to stem the tide of crime and violence that has swept over us.

The National Rifle Association has a great deal more expertise on these issues than left-wing politicians, and as you might expect, the NRA’s proposals make much more sense. The NRA’s response to Joe Biden’s televised gun control speech includes this:

The NRA has long supported securing our schools so that our teachers and children will be safe. We support strict enforcement of all our nation’s laws that target violent criminals. We support prosecution and punishment of criminals who break these laws. Indeed, the NRA supports the arrest, prosecution and punishment of any violent criminal or other dangerous prohibited person who tries to purchase or possess a firearm.

The Obama administration whined about gun crime, but actual criminal prosecution of crimes involving firearms sank like a stone, compared with the Bush administration, when Obama took office.

We support fully funding law-enforcement agencies. And, we wholeheartedly support the right of any law-abiding American to defend themselves and their loved ones. Even though it’s rarely reported, more than a million law abiding Americans use firearms in self-defense every year – most without ever firing a shot. What we don’t support are senseless policies like no-cash bail that create a revolving door justice system that only endangers good citizens. And, we will fight any proposal that will disarm law-abiding Americans.

This is perhaps the most important point, which for some reason we don’t hear much about:

And, America does have a critical mental health crisis. Many are sick, too few people are able to recognize their illness, and even less get help. The sad reality is there are too few resources for those who need it. Over the last 60 years, the number of beds available at psychiatric hospitals in America has dropped by 96 percent. In 1955, there were an estimated 340 beds per 100,000 people with mental health illnesses. In 2016, that number fell to 11.7 beds per 100,000 people. We must find a way to reach these people before they hurt themselves or others. And, we must fund places for these people to find refuge and treatment.

Emphasis added. The U.S. once had a mental health care system, but it was dismantled after a couple of unusually stupid movies portrayed closing down mental hospitals as a species of liberation. Now the mentally ill are either tossed out onto the streets or remitted to the care of their families, who often are entirely unable to deal with them. The Sandy Hook murderer killed his mother; the Uvalde murderer shot his grandmother. The liberals’ idea that families can cope with the seriously mentally ill is delusional.

Until this country develops an actual, functioning mental health care system that includes identification and hospitalization of the dangerously mentally ill on a reasonably consistent basis, we will continue to see high crime rates as well as occasional explosions of mass violence by the deranged.

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