NY Times Praises Europe For Restricting Legal Gun Ownership

NY Times Praises Europe For Restricting Legal Gun Ownership
The truck used by a terrorist to plow into a holiday crowd on December 19 in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring 48 people. photo from CNN.comweb photo

The New York Times is on a roll lately when it comes to anti-gun rights content.

Recently we ran a story about a NYT editorial that was lambasted by Thomas Sowell, a Senior Fellow at Stanford University, in The National Review.

While that editorial focused on why America would be doomed if a National Concealed Carry Reciprocity law were to be passed, a new piece from the NYT Editorial Board praises the European Union for its recently agreed upon expanded gun control efforts with the goal of fighting terrorism, which you can read about here.

The editorial states, “The proposals, which are headed toward a final vote by members next year, would extend bans on semiautomatic assault weapons to more models, institute medical checks for gun buyers, tighten sales on the internet, and track the resale of guns to foil black-market dealers.”

First, a "semiautomatic assault weapon" is an oxymoron—the Times is referring to semi-auto rifles that look scary to people. Now that that's out of the way, it's obvious none of these measures are designed to impact anyone but legal gun owners in Europe. Regarding the bit about busting up the black market—if it were so simple as to "track the resale of guns" on the black market, would a black market actually exist? And why aren't they doing this anyway?

From the editorial:

“In obeisance to America’s gun lobby, Congress has sidestepped votes on gun safety despite strong public desire driven by repeated mass shootings. Republican leaders have even shied away from proposals to deny gun sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch lists.”

Apparently it never occurred to the NYT editorial board that Congress is avoiding pointless gun control votes—let’s make that clear, we’re talking about gun control here, not gun safety—in an effort to preserve the integrity of the Second Amendment.

The editorial then goes on to repeat some bogus gun statistics that are constantly trotted out by anti-gunners, like “Over the last decade, 10,000 homicides were committed with firearms in Europe. This is just a small fraction of the more than 300,000 gun deaths per year in the United States, where citizens own guns at far higher rates.”

Using these numbers, that breaks down to roughly 1,000 gun homicides per year in Europe—a group of countries containing 743.1 million people. That’s a rate of 1 per 743,100. With a rate that low, are guns really the problem when it comes to terrorists who attack innocent crowds of people with moving trucks, not guns, like the incident earlier this year in Nice, France and the more recent attack in Berlin?

That glaring 300,000 number is obviously taking the bogus statistic of "30,000 gun deaths per year in the U.S." and multiplying it for ten years, even though the rate of gun deaths has fluctuated over the past decade. Further, that 30,000 figure includes suicides, which account for about 60 percent. The remaining deaths include 6 percent that are gang-related homicides, and 3 percent that are accidents. That accounts for 20,700 deaths, leaving just 9,300 non-gang-related homicides in the U.S. in a given year, with a population of 319 million.

Numerous studies have shown that a lack of guns doesn’t reduce the number of suicides in a given country and that people still find a way to kill themselves. South Korea, which only allows government-authorized personnel to own or carry firearms has the second highest suicide rate in the world with a rate of 28.9 per 100,000 people. India is #11 and Japan is #17 while the United States is at #50 out of 107 slots, solidly in the middle.

Perhaps the most infuriating section of the NYT editorial repeats anti-gun rhetoric that has been proven ineffective and to only impact law-abiding gun owners in the U.S:

“The final compromise did not ban all of the most dangerous semiautomatic weapons, like the AK-47, as some nations wanted, nor limit ammunition magazines to 10 cartridges for all of them. But it would require member nations to share more information to prevent gun sales in other jurisdictions after a buyer is rejected by one country. The rules also aim to control the problem of guns that are pronounced deactivated as collector items but then refitted for sale as weapons.”

All those devious antiques dealers who are actually arms dealers in disguise will be foiled, apparently.

It also sounds as if Europe is trying to set up a system similar to the NICS system in the U.S., which is notoriously out of date and has serious problems with individual states reporting information about felonies and mental health. And we all speak the same language.

As for the concern over banning the AK-47 in the EU—the fully-automatic assault rifle, one of the most common firearms in the world, was used in the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris this year. Despite being banned in France, the rifles were used by terrorists who reportedly purchased them on the black market. Apparently, the country's strict gun laws can't even stop regular criminals from acquiring firearms, like the ones who stole millions of dollars-worth of jewels from Kim Kardashian at gunpoint in October.

The Times ends its piece by saying, "The European move on gun safety is not a cure-all, but it is a worthy public health initiative that deserves emulation in the United States. Congressional leaders, unfortunately, show no sign of mustering the courage of the Europeans."

It’s worth pointing out that the last time only the police and military were permitted to have firearms in Europe, dictatorial leaders were able to take power and seize unarmed and mostly peaceful nations at a rate previously unthinkable. World War II resulted in the deaths of an estimated 60 to 80 million people.