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Joking About Gun Control

Making Sense by Michael Reagan

When I was a kid my father gave me three rifles and a shotgun.

First he gave me a single-shot .22 rifle. I was about eight.

Then in 1958, when "The Rifleman" came on, my father gave me a rapid-fire lever-action .22 Winchester rifle like the one Chuck Connors had. I was about 12.

Later, when I was a teenager my father gave me a .243 hunting rifle to hunt deer in Arizona and a 12-gauge shotgun to hunt birds.

He bought all the guns legally. But he gave them to me without first doing a background check to see if I was a criminal.

He didn't even check with my mother to see if I was doing my homework.

That was a joke.

But President Obama's use of executive action to make it tougher for law-abiding citizens to privately buy, sell or trade guns is no joke.

At his teary appearance with the survivors and victims of gun violence on Tuesday he said it was time for the country to show "a sense of urgency" to end gun violence.

Obama's executive grandstanding still leaves a lot of unanswered legal questions about who does or doesn't have to get a gun-dealer's license and conduct instant background checks before selling or trading a gun at a gun show or flea market.

But his executive order will not save one American from dying from gun violence this year.

All it will do — if Congress doesn't have the guts to reverse it — is create a new class of criminals and do nothing to stop real criminals from getting guns.

The tears the president shed on behalf of the innocent victims of Sandy Hook, Aurora and Charleston were genuine. We all want to cry when we think of those senseless slaughters.

Yet nothing in the president's executive action would have prevented their deaths, either.

The dead at Sandy Hook, Aurora and Charleston were killed by guns purchased legally long before the time the mentally disturbed young men put them to such evil use.

All the background checks in the world won't do much good if your mother gives you the guns you kill with, as what happened at Sandy Hook.

What Obama was really doing Tuesday was giving a feel-good political speech about gun violence designed to get the Democrat base fired up for the 2016 election.

He and his fellow gun-control nuts are constantly misleading and trying to scare the American people about gun violence and what causes it. Despite the media hype and the political hysteria about spiking murder totals in cities like Baltimore,the annual homicide rate from guns and everything else has been falling in the USA for decades. It's half what it was in 1990.

When the White House and Hillary throw out the claim that"30,000 die from gun violence a year" they are deliberately being deceptive.

That 30,000 number, which the mainstream media never get around to scrutinizing, is padded with about 21,000 gun suicides, which aren't quite the same as being shot down by a madman in a church or a robber in the parking lot.

It's an old argument, but still true -- guns don't kill people, people do.Bad or mentally troubled people.

Want proof guns are not the problem? There reportedly are more than 300 million privately owned guns floating around the USA.

If just 1 percent of those guns were used to kill someone every year, there would be 3 million gun homicides in the United States.

In 2014, according to the FBI, there were 8,124 gun homicides. It's still way too many, and most of them are in cities or states with strict gun laws.

But if my calculator is correct, that means 0.00002708 per cent of the guns in America were used in 2014 to kill someone and .99998 percent were not.

I don't know how many knives and sharp objects there are in the United States, but in 2014 about 1,561 of them were used to murder someone.

Is an executive action on knife control next on the president's emotional bucket list? Clubs and hammers?Didn't Cain kill Abel with a rock?


Copyright© 2016 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at and Send comments to Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

Mike's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Sales at

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