Book Review: “Guns, Crime and Freedom” (I)

By Wayne LaPierre, 1994

Reviewed by Andrew McColl, 23/12/2014

My attitude is this: you cannot criticise or compliment an author justly, unless you quote them directly. Below are 3 from 12 quotes in italics from LaPierre’s book, with my added comments.

1.Switzerland is a land where crime is virtually unknown, yet most Swiss males are required by law to keep their guns in their homes what amounts to a portable, personal machine gun. The same situation exists in Israel, whose armed forces are similar to the Swiss model: Many citizens keep their military weapons-the well-known Uzi machine gun, for example-in their coat closets.

Street crime in Israel is very low by American standards. And it is plain from this evidence that the possession of firearms does not automatically foster crime (Forward by Tom Clancy, p.xiii).

In a truly free country, law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves, and the lawful possession of firearms by citizens clearly has an impact on criminal activity. Criminals are afraid of what could happen if they try and break the law. They could find themselves involved in a shoot-out if they attempt an assault or burglary.

After the city of Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring every home to have a gun, the crime rate dropped by more than 50% over the course of the next 23 years and there was an 89% decline in burglaries.

It is also true that “A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.” In a rapidly developing crime scene, the notion of getting help for victims from the police sounds good. But it could be way too late. I know places in Australia where police help is at least an hour away. A lot can happen in an hour, especially when an innocent person is surprised by criminals.

2.Thomas Jefferson penned these words in the Virginian constitution of 1776: “…No free man shall be debarred the use if arms within his own land” (p.7).

Thomas Jefferson, if he visited any nation today, would doubt he was in the land of the free. Why? Because of the scarcity of firearms among the population. Even in the US., he would wonder what has taken place since he wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. How our attitudes have changed, right around the world.

This means there is much work to be done by those who believe in the freedom of the individual and the family. The nations of the world need to be re-educated, and this will neither be quick or easy. The attitudes of people need to change, because we are quietly going down-hill, having opened the door to tyranny and abuse from government almost world-wide, with legislation restricting firearms.

  1. As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people (p.21).

In 1776 the American colonies refused to accept being disarmed by Britain, but for years (especially under Clinton and Obama) their own government has been trying to do it! The notion that government ought to be the servant of the people has gone right out the door, as attempts are made (under the guise of “public safety” and “national security”), to take away the right to bear arms.

In Australia, it is worse, especially since 1996. If an individual indicates they wish to purchase a firearm for self-defence, permission will be refused, such is the low value Australian political leaders place on freedom of the individual.

Scotland was similar:

The Dunblane shootings [in Scotland in March 13, 1996], which prompted the handgun ban, occurred in the run-up to a general election and that was the single most important factor. The politicians concerned did not care then and do not care now that the whole thing was a pathetic farce.[1]

This attitude must be challenged through public debate. Not only does this leave individuals and families unprotected. Preventing law-abiding citizens from bearing arms is an invitation for political oppression, as though only police and other governmental employees should be permitted to bear arms. It’s one law for us, and one law for them, and we’re the losers!                        

[1] The “Australian Shooter,” June 2008, p.34-35.