Guns

D.C.'s Homicide Rate May Be Through the Roof, but Montanans Kill Themselves a Lot

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Citing a connection between gun ownership and "firearm death rates," the Violence Policy Center concludes that the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold the District of Columbia's gun ban:

The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee and Alabama. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000.

By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, "Blind allegiance to the Second Amendment comes at a deadly price. Many residents in pro-gun states cheer the possibility of a June Supreme Court ruling that could place gun controls across the nation at risk, never realizing that those states stand as proof of the need for such laws."

Using state-level data for this comparison is problematic, since it ignores intrastate differences in gun control and gun ownership—between New York City and upstate New York, for instance, or between Chicago and downstate Illinois. In any case, the VPC's full table suggests that the relationship between gun ownership and gun-related deaths is not quite as neat as the group's press release implies. North Dakota, Kansas, Utah, Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, and Iowa all have relatively high gun ownership rates (above 40 percent), but all have firearm death rates below the national average.

Nor is it clear that the firearm death rate—which includes suicides and accidents as well as homicides but excludes deaths caused by other means—is the correct way to measure the success of a policy (gun control) that presumably aims to achieve a net reduction in deaths, not merely a change in the mixture of methods. Nine out of the 10 states with the lowest overall murder rates—Vermont, Iowa, Utah, Montana, Maine, Wyoming, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, and New Hampshire—have relatively loose gun rules. States with relatively strict gun control do look better in the overall suicide rankings. Presumably suicide is the reason why a state like Montana, which ranks near the top in gun ownership, 44th for murder, and first for suicide, comes in third on the VPC's list of states with the highest gun death rates.

It's not clear, of course, whether Montanans' propensity to kill themselves is caused by all those guns. With any comparison like this one, we need to keep in mind that correlation does not prove causation—especially when the correlation is based on a cherry-picked outcome measure and a simplistic top five, bottom five comparison. Even given those parameters, the VPC's presentation of the data is skewed by its decision to leave out a jurisdiction that has both the country's strictest gun control and by far its highest murder rate—more than twice the rate of its nearest competititor. The omission is especially puzzling because it was the controversy over this jurisdiction's gun laws that evidently prompted the VPC to assemble its table.

Speaking of which, shouldn't the constitutionality of D.C.'s gun ban hinge on the Constitution, as opposed to the suicide rate in Montana? By cautioning against "blind allegiance to the Second Amendment," the VPC essentially concedes that D.C.-style gun control is unconstitutional, while arguing that it should be upheld anyway.

The VPC press release prompted a credulous, one-sided UPI story and a Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial crowing about the superiority of Hawaii's gun laws.

[Thanks to Dan Gifford for the tip.]

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  1. Far northern, cold and isolated territories generally have high suicide rates, especially during winter. This is documented across the world from Sweden to Alaska. I bet you if they adjusted for latitude, temperature and population density it would be a different story.

  2. And btw, tell someone in New York City they have one of the lowest gun violence rates in the country and they’d probably mug you on the spot for being so fucking stupid.

  3. Speaking of which, shouldn’t the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun ban hinge on the Constitution, as opposed to the suicide rate in Montana? By cautioning against “blind allegiance to the Second Amendment,” the VPC essentially concedes that D.C.-style gun control is unconstitutional, while arguing that it should be upheld anyway.

    Fortunately, my understanding (having dealt directly with this stuff before) is that the Supreme Court and its clerks mostly use friend-of-the-court briefs along these lines as bathroom reading material and supports for wobbly tables. Whether liberal or conservative, the Justices overwhelmingly make their decisions based on their reading of the Constitution or the statute at issue.

  4. Let’s flip this and determine which states have the most gun deaths per square mile.

  5. Nine out of the 10 states with the lowest overall murder rates-Vermont, Iowa, Utah, Montana, Maine, Wyoming, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, and New Hampshire-have relatively loose gun rules.

    Those states also happen to be much more rural than most states. Indeed, it seems to me that the most restrictive gun laws are found in urban areas while the most relaxed are in rural areas. Can anybody point me to studies that figure out a way to control for the rural/urban variable? Just curious…

  6. Population density, folks. How many people are in Alaska as compared to New York? 625,000 compared to 19,000,000. 1/30th the population. If Alaska has 1/29th the gun deaths of NY–including suicides and accidents and anything else the VPC crams in there–it still comes out worse.

  7. How about most gun deaths per Democrat representative?

    Doing it by county/city would be more enlightning.

  8. Speaking of which, shouldn’t the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun ban hinge on the Constitution, as opposed to the suicide rate in Montana?

    Brown vs Board of Education was decided on “mental health” grounds not fairness and equality under the law.
    See Dr Thomas Szasz’s The Therapeutic State for more goodness, and that book was published at least 30 years ago. It only gets worse.

    There are quite a few ’round these parts who favor “science-informed public policy” as opposed to say “liberty”.

  9. Epi-
    I think all the stats refer to rates (like per 100,000 pop)

  10. I live in (and love) Montana.
    The reason we off ourselves here is because this place has only two seasons:
    Winter and construction.
    Fucking place is a cold, gray lady for 8 months out of the year. Only in the summer is it gloriously beautiful.
    It ain’t our access to guns. Fucking East Coast idiots are clueless.
    If we didn’t have guns, we’d jump off of glaciers, drown oursevles in lakes, drive off of mountainsides or simply start the car in the garage and slip away painlessly.

  11. If we didn’t have guns, we’d jump off of glaciers, drown oursevles in lakes, drive off of mountainsides or simply start the car in the garage and slip away painlessly.

    Or be eaten by really big, mean critters.

  12. Or be eaten by really big, mean critters.

    True. You really want to kill yourself Montana-style? Go flick a mother grizzly on her nose while kicking the shit out of her cub.

  13. True. You really want to kill yourself Montana-style? Go flick a mother grizzly on her nose while kicking the shit out of her cub.

    What about sending bombs to universities and writing badly? Or or what about kiteing checks against federal property?

  14. Brown vs Board of Education was decided on “mental health” grounds not fairness and equality under the law.

    That was just a fig leaf for the Court so that it wouldn’t have to admit that Plessy was erroneously decided.

    The Court, for a variety of ego-driven and practical reasons, is quite loathe to overrule itself. To a degree, the Court’s authority rests on the myth of its infallibility and permanence, and retracting its prior rulings puts a serious dent in that.

    Mostly, the Court prefers to whittle down troublesome prior decisions by finding a million little exceptions to them. That wasn’t feasible in Brown, so out came the social science.

  15. What about sending bombs to universities and writing badly? Or or what about kiteing checks against federal property?

    Those are ways to get a free vacation to Club Fed, not commit suicide.
    BTW, I have a framed, hand-written note from Ted Kaczinski saying how much he appreciated his treatment in the Lewis and Clark County Jail. He wrote it to the newspaper I worked at, and I (of course) photocopied it and kept the original.

  16. Also note that these western states have large native american populations and they have horrific suicide rates. With everyone else having higher rates of suicide (since they don’t lots of people nearby to scream their troubles at they use their hunting rifles to ventalate themselves) you have the highest rates in the US.

    Sometimes Hell isn’t other people (or maybe they are but they lessen your chances of offing yourself).

  17. BTW, I have a framed, hand-written note from Ted Kaczinski saying how much he appreciated his treatment in the Lewis and Clark County Jail. He wrote it to the newspaper I worked at, and I (of course) photocopied it and kept the original.

    Jamie, you are so hosed when they come for you with that in your possession.

  18. Also note that these western states have large native american populations and they have horrific suicide rates.

    We like to be called Indians, thank you very much. All States have high percentages of people who were born in the USA.

  19. VPC on Blue’s comment: ‘It should be illegal to sell guns to Indians’.

  20. “Nor is it clear that the firearm death rate-which includes suicides and accidents as well as homicides but excludes deaths caused by other means-is the correct way to measure the success of a policy (gun control) that presumably aims to achieve a net reduction in deaths, not merely a change in the mixture of methods”

    How about a comparision of the overall murder and violent crime period, regardless of whether the cause of death, injury or threat of injury was by gun or not?

    People are better able to defend themselves and ward off criminal attacks in states where they have legal access to guns.

  21. People are better able to defend themselves and ward off criminal attacks in states where they have legal access to guns.

    “access” is a relative term. I just found out the “instant check” through nics often takes 3 business days, and when did they start running this shit on long guns? I’m ready to dump my long time NRA membership over this weasely compromise.
    Been a long time since I’ve purchased a gun through an ffl.It wasn’t the easy pleasant shopping experience I assumed it would be.

  22. “…shouldn’t the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun ban hinge on the Constitution, as opposed to the suicide rate in Montana?”

    This is the first Reason posting on gun laws that struck me as overexcited. If the Court decides that the Constitution either forbids any regulation of gun ownership, or if it decides that the Constituion permits any regulation, then the case would be decided on constitutional grounds alone. However, if the Court decides that the Constitution allows limited regulation of firearms, then evidence that restriction of ownership can reduce firearm deaths could provide justification for DC’s ban.

    There’s little doubt that most DC residents support the ban. I can live with it, though I wouldn’t be upset at a repeal. Isn’t this supposed to be, you know, a democracy?

    Whenever DC types like me wonder why we can’t have a Representative, we’re told that we can always move to Virginia. Guess what my next sentence is going to be.

  23. Nine out of the 10 states with the lowest overall murder rates-Vermont, Iowa, Utah, Montana, Maine, Wyoming, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, and New Hampshire-have relatively loose gun rules …

    The VPC press release prompted a credulous, one-sided UPI story and a Honolulu Star-Bulletin editorial crowing about the superiority of Hawaii’s gun laws.

    Ummm, Jacob, which is it — Hawaii has loose gun rules or tight gun controls? (Hint — the latter).

    The lower murder rate in Hawaii isn’t because of laws disarming law-abiding citizens, it’s because people here tend to be pretty mellow and full of aloha, relative to some other states.

    The Hawaii Rifle Association printed a pretty good rebuttal to the Star-Bulletin editorial.

  24. Guns are a much less popular means of self-cancellation here in Montana than automobiles; we should ban cars. I would be happy to snowshoe ten miles (each way) to the grocery store, if it would preserve the life of a single pimply-faced video store clerk.

  25. Isn’t this supposed to be, you know, a democracy?

    Vanneman,

    No !

  26. SIV- Unless somthing has changed very recently, nics usually only takes a few minutes. The only way it should take longer is if it comes up with some sort of hold on your name.

  27. We like to be called Indians, thank you very much. All States have high percentages of people who were born in the USA.

    Well spoken, Guy, but that ain’t what’s bein’ taught in Browning, Montana. In fact, saying as such in certain bars will get you shot real good.

  28. “something”

  29. “Nor is it clear that the firearm death rate-which includes suicides and accidents as well as homicides but excludes deaths caused by other means-is the correct way to measure the success of a policy (gun control) that presumably aims to achieve a net reduction in deaths, not merely a change in the mixture of methods”

    Or ignoring “substitution”, the tendency to substitute another method when guns are unavailable.

  30. Whenever DC types like me wonder why we can’t have a Representative, we’re told that we can always move to Virginia. Guess what my next sentence is going to be.

    “Who’s a real estate agent in Virginia”-?

  31. JLM,

    The sporting goods store told me “delays” happen about %20 of the time. If they don’t resolve in an hour it usually goes the whole three days.Perhaps I should have given the “optional” SSN.

  32. If Kristen Rand weren’t blinded by her hatred of firearms, she’d realize that a bullet to the head is a far less painful mode of suicide than alternatives like hanging or wrist-slashing.

    -jcr

  33. “We like to be called Indians, thank you very much.”

    I remember hearing a long time ago that only pinkos and BIA bureaucrats cringe at calling Indians “Indians”. Might have been Russell Means who said that.

    -jcr

  34. We like to be called Indians, thank you very much.

    Shit, when did that happen? I need to get caught up on my email. Is it still OK to call African-Americans African-Americans?

  35. ” You really want to kill yourself Montana-style?”

    I’d love to see Ingrid Newkirk go try to feed a vegan meal to bear cub. I’d pay ten bucks for that on pay-per-view.

    -jcr

  36. “I can live with it….”

    Alas, others are dying with it.

  37. “Speaking of which, shouldn’t the constitutionality of D.C.’s gun ban hinge on the Constitution, as opposed to the suicide rate in Montana? By cautioning against “blind allegiance to the Second Amendment,” the VPC essentially concedes that D.C.-style gun control is unconstitutional, while arguing that it should be upheld anyway.”

    Maybe someone should come up with a “study” tha analyzes state by state statistics on slander and libel cases and recommend the parameters of 1st Amendment Freedom of speech be regulated on that basis.

    That would be a good way to mock the VPC’s concept of Constitutional interpretation.

  38. …if it would preserve the life of a single pimply-faced video store clerk.

    *cracking voice*
    Thank you, sir!

  39. Whether liberal or conservative, the Justices overwhelmingly make their decisions based on their reading of the Constitution or the statute at issue.

    Good one. Thanks, I needed a laugh.

    If the Court decides that the Constitution either forbids any regulation of gun ownership, or if it decides that the Constituion permits any regulation, then the case would be decided on constitutional grounds alone.

    Not really. The outcome of the case doesn’t tell you anything about the reasons for the outcome, which may or may not have much to do with the words on the Constitutional page.

    There’s little doubt that most DC residents support the ban. I can live with it, though I wouldn’t be upset at a repeal. Isn’t this supposed to be, you know, a democracy?

    Uh, no. Its a constitutional republic.

  40. Whenever DC types like me wonder why we can’t have a Representative, we’re told that we can always move to Virginia. Guess what my next sentence is going to be.

    The fucking bridges going into DC are jammed again!? All because of one guy threatening to jump off of one over burning his toast that morning?

    How the hell do you get anywhere in this Roads by Escher? state? I’m lost again!

  41. Nine out of the 10 states with the lowest overall murder rates…

    prolefeed | May 5, 2008, 4:45pm

    I reacted the same way as you did until I realized that Hawaii was the tenth state. ie the one without “relatively loose gun rules..”.

  42. SIV-

    20% sounds high. I think it should come back with either proceed, deny or hold, and if the hold doesn’t turn into a deny within 3 days they have to make the sale.

    I’ve always given them my SSN, so I don’t know how much that might have to do with it. Then again, my last few purchases have been with my NC CCW permit, so I get to completely bypass NICS.

  43. I was told delays occur about 1 in 5 sales.

    It comes back as you say, proceed, delay, or deny. I was unaware of how often it is delayed by more than a half hour up to the full three business days.I assumed delays were uncommon and unwarranted denials rare.I now know better than to drive an hour to save $25, or to pass up any good deal in a FTF private transaction.

  44. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York.

    What is the murder rate in Camden, NJ?

    Does gun control work there?

  45. Isn’t this supposed to be, you know, a democracy?

    Yes…with protections for minority rights (like gun ownership).

    Whenever DC types like me wonder why we can’t have a Representative, we’re told that we can always move to Virginia.

    Were you not aware of the lack of representative situation when you moved to DC?

  46. Isn’t this supposed to be, you know, a democracy?

    No, it is a Republic.

  47. Hey Guy Montag,
    Only seven posts / 3hours and 13 minutes late. Better luck next time.

  48. I hate utiliatarian arguments regarding unalienable rights… especially when it comes to 2nd Amendment rights.

    I still want my right to defend myself regardless of what the murder / suicide rates are.

  49. I hate utiliatarian arguments…..

    ’nuff said right there.

  50. SIV, you’re against Brown vs. Board? Seriously?

    How bout Plessy v. Ferguson?

  51. Brown v. Board was a crappy decision BECAUSE it didn’t just say the racist bastards in Plessy were wrong. Instead it went everywhere BUT there.

  52. Juris haven’t heard that argument before, but I think we can all agree the racial segregation established in Plessy was unconstitutional and un-American.

  53. Just saw a hysterical news piece on the local Radley channel (FOX5) that there were loads of full-auto shooting sprees in DC this weekend and the cops want to play too, so they are getting AR-15s.

    I thought those things were already illegal in DC? Did something change?

  54. Cesar,

    Clarence Thomas on Brown:

    Brown I did not say that “racially isolated” schools were inherently inferior; the harm that it identified was tied purely to de jure segregation, not de facto segregation. Indeed, Brown I itself did not need to rely upon any psychological or social-science research in order to announce the simple, yet fundamental truth that the Government cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race. . . .

    Segregation was not unconstitutional because it might have caused psychological feelings of inferiority. Public school systems that separated blacks and provided them with superior educational resources making blacks “feel” superior to whites sent to lesser schools – would violate the Fourteenth Amendment, whether or not the white students felt stigmatized, just as do school systems in which the positions of the races are reversed. Psychological injury or benefit is irrelevant. . . .

    Too lazy to see if their is a link to what Dr Szasz said about it.

    Brown decision said that State mandated segregation was wrong because of the detrimental social and psychological outcome, not that it is inherently wrong.

    Right decision for all the wrong reasons.

  55. Before the Honolulu Star-Bulletin gets too proud of itself for the low gun-related death numbers, maybe they should compare rates of assault, burglary, etc with, say, Utah.

    Or maybe they should just have their haole editor go for an evening stroll in Waianae, wearing one of those Chinese aloha shirts from the swap meet at the Bowl while carrying a copy of Frommer’s $70-a-day book and a camera.

    If there’s enough of him left to get a statement from, THEN ask how he feels about the subject of concealed carry . . .

  56. Rockwell-
    The haole editor will be fine. Guess what? If you’re not an asshole, people won’t be assholes back, like most places in the world.

    His sebring convertible rental, however, will probably be broken into, and cleared of anything easily pilfered.

  57. Recently I read an article about the Japanese trend of inhaling poisonous chemicals to commit suicide — which makes it dangerous for those who have to clean up. Japan’s annual suicide rate is about 20 per 100,000, which is higher than America’s suicide and murder rates added together.

    But at least the Japanese are not using firearms to commit suicide. Guns make killing too easy. Whether someone commits suicide or is the victim of a murder, the loved ones of the deceased will always be comforted by knowing that the death required a bit of elbow grease. (Or so the advocates of gun control seem to imply.)

  58. Maybe we can just get people from DC to shoot people from Montana. Sounds like a win-win.

    On the suicide point: suicide attempts with firearms are much more likely to work than by cutting, taking pills, or other common at-home methods. Really determined people can always go to a high building or something, but most suicide attempts aren’t carried out by really determined people. Many people who attempt suicide get help afterwards with their mental illness and go on to lead productive, meaningful lives, so reducing the effectiveness of those attempts actually can make a difference.

    If you want to make a pro-freedom argument, you have to contend honestly with the costs. Explaining them away just undercuts your credibility.

  59. joe – an alternate explanation is that people who are really serious about suicide will use guns and high buildings and walking towards a cop holding an unloaded pistol and other foolproof methods.

    the high rates of suicide in japan seem to be the real mystery here. what gives, japan?

  60. joe, the experience in Australia post nearly-total-ban on firearms has been that the total suicide rate remained stable, even though the gun portion of it went down.

  61. I think those who are questioning the relevance of this data to the case need to take a closer look at the case itself first. The 2nd Amendment has never been recognized by the Supreme Court as a right for the individual to bear arms. I’m sure a lot of you know this already, but the part about the “right to bear arms shall not be infringed” has been consistently recognized as a dependent clause by the majority of the court, specifically that “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.”

    So the question in this case is not as many of you assume, which is “is individual gun ownership constitutionally protected?”, but in fact it is a question of whether or not DC has provided their district with adequate “security” with their own “militia” (in this case, the DC Police). So the question being considered goes beyond a simple constitutional reading and instead goes to the heart of the relative safety of citizens and the relationship that has to the restrictiveness of gun laws.

    I know, I know. It sounds like bureaucratic nonsense. But you can’t be a constitutional literalist and only treat half of the amendment as true. The text just doesn’t allow for a universal, unrestricted protection of an individual’s right to bear arms.

  62. TheSimulacra, you need to do a little more research on what the “Militia” is. The DC Police would qualify as neither the organized or unorganized militia. These are defined under federal law. The unorganized militia being the body of the people at large.

    To forestall your next argument, ‘Well regulated’ in this context does not mean encumbered by laws, it means properly armed & equipped. Think of a ‘regulated’ clock.

  63. “Gun related homicides” (aka “gun deaths”) is a nearly meaningless red-herring statistic. It is also, however, an extremely deceptive term that people fall for nearly every time. It’s like answering the question “How many vehicles are in the parking lot?” with the statement “Five motorcycles.” That sounds like a valid answer but completely ignores the fact that the parking lot asked about has 300 spaces with 295 filled with cars. “gun deaths” or “gun homicides” or “gun crimes” are a meaningless stat by themselves.

    A more meaningful comparison would be: What is the murder rate /100,000 in Chicago (and gunowners/100,000) vs the murder rate/100,000 in Phoenix or Salt Lake City (with total legal gunowners/100,000 for each)? Or what is the violent crime rate/100,000 in Cheyenne (and total gunowners/100,000) vs. Washington D.C.? I say again: the term “gun deaths” is a (maybe deliberately) deceptive term and should NEVER be accepted if used out of the context of violent crimes or even just murders.

    How many gun deaths in the Rwanda machete massacres? If we use that criteria than Rwanda has no gun death problem, but I sure wouldn’t want to go there even if Phoenix does have a higher gun death rate /100,000.

    The whole notion that favorable gun laws do anything to reduce violent crime is bogus. Here is more information about the VPC’s “gun deaths” info and other analysis exposing VPC credibility problems:
    From the Arms and the Law blog:
    http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2008/05/ev_nappen_on_vp_1.php#comments
    “Ev Nappen on VPC state rankings
    Posted by David Hardy ? 5 May 2008 10:16 AM
    Ev Nappen has a column in the Union Leader on the subject.
    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Evan+F.+Nappen%3A+Pro-gun+NH+exposes+faulty+thinking+of+anti-gun+activists&articleId=ea87483c-c115-464f-b0b2-689f97d0f8d9
    “The VPC dares not look at the bottom seven states instead of the arbitrary five. That is because, lo and behold, New Hampshire ranks seventh from the bottom in per capita gun deaths. New Hampshire is undeniably a strong pro-gun state that greatly respects the individual right to keep and bear arms.”

    In the same blog entry there’s a reference to an analysis of the correlation of gun control rankings by the VPC to homicide rates.
    From Arms and the Law:
    “UPDATE: Reader Denton Bramwell has this pdf examining the similar Brady Campaign rankings. Essentially, if you chart States’ Brady rankings and their homicide rates, you find no relationship at all. States with As and States with Fs are equally as likely to have a high or low homicide rate, suggesting that Brady’s agenda doesn’t do anything to reduce violence..”
    http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/brady_effectiveness.pdf

  64. “the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”

    I think that sounds like blanket protection to own any type of firearm to me. Unless of course infringed has changed definition in the last three hundred years.

  65. The “shocking” statistics on firearm related deaths in more rural areas like Alaska are easily explained by the distance needed to be traveled in ordered to receive good medical treatment versus the amount of bleeding induced by a gunshot wound. People are more likely to die in Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee and Alabama than in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York because they are typically further from good quality medical care. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York have some of the best hospitals in the world and quiet a few of them I might add. If you are shot in Massachusetts they send you to the trauma center at BMC you wil have a much better chance of surviving than if you are shot in the woods of Alaska. Please stop manipulating the truth to suit you personal objections to a right that many men from Lexington and Concord fought to for along with you your other rights.

  66. TheSimulacra you should study American history and read the Federalist papers of Hamilton. The farmers of Concord hid their guns from the Brits who had tried to confiscated them and so the founding fathers recognized the importance of individual right being necessary to the ability to form an impromptu well regulated militia to fend off a tyrannical government (most people at that time were Tories who refused to rise up against the Brits). No real American (read non-Tory) alive at that time would have sacrificed their right to bear arms. Sorry to say this but it is you my liberal Tory friend who is ignoring American history and twisting things out of context to put through your own agenda.

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