PSA: Gun Control Works
With the present emotional drumbeat of liberal heartstrings rising to a cacophony in the wake of the horrifying abattoir that was Sandy Hook elementary school , thinking people would do well to consider some facts from the past century .
One might honestly assess the twentieth century as the zenith(hopefully) of government power . At no time in the recorded past has the role of government(s) ever been so all-encompassing and dominant in the dealings of mankind . Would you agree ? That being said consider the list , incomplete though it is , of the twentieth century’s major government moments .
” As we approach the end of the Twentieth Century we look back on the bloodiest century in human history. Two world wars, the massacres of Stalin, the Holocaust of Hitler, the disastrous Great Leap of Mao, and dozens of less grandiose human tragedies in Eastern Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Africa, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Latin America, and Bosnia killed millions of humans and inflicted extreme suffering on hundreds of millions more. The killing continues as we move to the Twenty-first Century.”
” Every tyrant of the Twentieth Century, including Adolf Hitler, whether taking power through an election or through revolution, started off by promising to give the citizens equality, justice, prosperity, education, opportunity, and democracy. When the minority who objected to the price they were forced to pay grew to a size where they might win an election, the political leader used guns to make sure it didn’t happen.
We are debating these days a lot of social issues that are too important to too many people to be decided by a majority vote. The differences that divide us over such issues as freedom of speech, property rights, health care and who pays for it, drug prohibition laws, Second Amendment rights, educational curriculum, personal association rights, and a whole host of family issues are too important to many of us to let the majority rule us. With each of these issues, there are large minorities who will not accept majority rule and who will ignore the laws the majority passes, corrupt the system to weaken the enforcement of those laws, actively engage in violence in an effort to frustrate government attempts at enforcement, and organize politically in an attempt to reverse previous majority opinions.
If we continue to use government force authorized by narrow minorities to attempt to achieve social goals, we will continue to feed the spiral of violence that has created so much human misery through the Twentieth Century.
So what can those who want to use logic and reason to build a better world do, if they can’t use the power and violence of the state?”
By J.R. Dunn
“Over the past fifty years, something on the order of a half-million Americans have been killed by liberal policies.
That line appears to have gotten to people, as it should. Among the many welcome comments on my piece on Christopher Buckley, a number both on AT and elsewhere referred to that statement — my contention that liberalism is not only a failed ideology, but a deadly one, an ideology that kills, and kills in large numbers. Many of the comments called it “incredible”, “unbelievable” and “shocking”.That’s in no way difficult to understand. Achieving awareness of the lethal nature of liberalism’s excesses is much the same as coming to realize that your friendly, familiar neighborhood is actually overrun by vampires .But while there’s no such thing as vampires, there are such things as killer governments. And as the record clearly shows, the federal government of the United States of America — that is, the government that rules and orders the lives of almost everyone reading this page — must take its place among them. Not as a monster state, like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, but as a kind of halfwit state, one that kills not out of malice but out of stupidity, lack of attention, and softheaded idealism. But whatever the motives, the dead remain still all the same.The topic was originally suggested to me by an AT reader – which gives us a solid idea of the caliber of this site’s readers — who asked, “Is there such a thing as a Black Book of Liberalism, like those dealing with Nazism and communism?” I had to admit that there wasn’t but that — as I’m sure that reader intended — there certainly ought to be. And it would have to be a book. An article or essay simply wouldn’t do. It needed that heft, and required that impact. The concept takes in too much history, too many years, and too many topics, to be dealt with on a smaller scale.Among those topics is that of crime. When liberals in the late 1950s decided to tackle crime, how did they go about it? Through the strange means of decriminalizing criminals. Lowering prison sentences, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment, community action over policing. A series of Supreme Court decisions followed — Mapp, Escebedo, Miranda — disrupting the criminal justice system and effectively evening the odds between criminals and the public.And the result? Beginning in 1964 — the year of the Escebedo decision — the murder rate shot up as if strapped to a rocket. Within a few years it exceeded 10,000. By the mid 70s that number had nearly doubled. Rapes, assaults, robberies and other violent crimes mushroomed as well. It went on for thirty years, with terrified neighborhoods taken over by thugs, entire cities destroyed by crime. All the while, liberal experimentation continued: prisoner rights, legal bans on executions, special release programs. It ended (if, in fact, it has ended) only with the restoration of public order by people like Rudy Guiliani.A deficit of 260,000 Americans were murdered during this period. Over a quarter of a million people, dead before their time, many under the most terrifying circumstances conceivable. It is possible that no family in the United States has not been at least indirectly affected. “
” RUDOLPH J. RUMMEL, b, 1932, BA and MA from the University of Hawaii (1959, 1961); Ph.D. in Political Science (Northwestern University, 1963); Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa. Taught at Indiana University (1963), Yale (1964-66), University of Hawaii (1966-1995); now Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii. Received numerous grants from NSF, ARPA, and the United States Peace Research Institute. Frequently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (see here). Received the Susan Strange Award of the International Studies Association for having intellectually most challenged the field in 1999; the Lifetime Achievement Award 2003 from the Conflict Processes Section, American Political Science Association; and the 2007 The International Association of Genocide Scholars’ Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Genocide and Democide Studies and Prevention.
Wrote about two-dozen books and over 100 professional articles. Most recent books: Death By Government (Transaction Publications, 1994), The Miracle That Is Freedom (Martin Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, University of Idaho, 1996), Power Kills (Transaction Publications, 1997), and Statistics of Democide(Center for National Security Law, 1997).
Through his undergraduate term papers, MA Thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, and academic career, R.J. Rummel has focused his research on the causes and conditions of collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. He published his major results in Understanding Conflict and War, Vols. 1-5 (Sage Publications, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, and 1981). His conclusion was that “To eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom (liberal democracy).” Given the supreme importance of this conclusion published in 1981, Rummel then spent the next fifteen years refining the underlying theory and testing it empirically on new data, against the empirical results of others, and on case studies (as in his Death By Government). All this theoretical, empirical, and comparative research is documented in his final work, Power Kills, nominated for the 1998 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.
Power Kills sums up Rummel’s research on violence and reaffirms and extends his earlier work. In theory and fact, democracies do not (or virtually never) make war on each other; the more democratic two regimes, the less likely violence between them; the more democratic a regime, the less its overall foreign violence; and the more democratic a regime, the less its genocide and mass murder (which in this century has killed about four times the battle dead of all its foreign and domestic wars). “
It is true that democratic freedom is an engine of national and individual wealth and prosperity. Hardly known, however, is that freedom also saves millions of lives from famine, disease, war, collective violence, and democide (genocide and mass murder). That is, the more freedom, the greater the human security and the less the violence. Conversely, the more power governments have, the more human insecurity and violence. In short: to our realization that power impoverishes we must also add that power kills.
Through theoretical analysis, historical case studies, empirical data, and quantitative analyses, this web site shows that:
- Freedom is a basic human right recognized by the United Nations and international treaties, and is the heart of social justice.
- Freedom is an engine of economic and human development, and scientific and technological advancement.
- Freedom ameliorates the problem of mass poverty.
- Free people do not suffer from and never have had famines, and by theory, should not. Freedom is therefore a solution to hunger and famine.
- Free people have the least internal violence, turmoil, and political instability.
- Free people have virtually no government genocide and mass murder, and for good theoretical reasons. Freedom is therefore a solution to genocide and mass murder; the only practical means of making sure that “Never again”
- Free people do not make war on each other, and the greater the freedom within two nations, the less violence between them.
- Freedom is a method of nonviolence–the most peaceful nations are those whose people are free.
The purpose of this web site, then, is to make as widely available as possible the theories, work, results, and data that empirically and historically, quantitatively and qualitatively, support these conclusions about freedom. This is to invite their use, replication, and critical evaluation, and thereby to advance our knowledge of and confidence in freedom–in liberal democracy. It is to foster freedom.
Pray tell, my brother, Why do dictators kill and make war? Is it for glory; for things, for beliefs, for hatred, for power? Yes, but more, because they can.