Institutional Hoplophobia

My latest column is up at AND Magazine!

Here is an excerpt:

 

Last week, I was down in the LA area, and got to hear the local media reports about the crazed man who started shooting people in Santa Monica. According to the media, and city officials who were making statements in LA, the gunman was able to build an AR-15 rifle by purchasing various parts from different sources. He was able to skirt the background check that would normally be required by purchasing an incomplete lower receiver, which he was then able to finish, and assemble the complete rifle.

Santa Monica authorities and the Los Angeles media reported on this as though it was some kind of hideous conspiracy, but the truth is that this practice isn’t that uncommon. Partially completed lowers are out there and available for purchase. All it takes to complete one is a little know-how and the right tools. They provide a more affordable option for people who may not be able to afford a fully assembled rifle, but can purchase the parts a little at a time, and assemble the rifle themselves.

But it seems that where guns are concerned, our modern culture is more intent on instilling fear in the hearts of people than on understanding the important role guns can and do play as a stabilizing factor in much of our society. While the Right is often accused of being “anti-science,” the gun-grabbers continue to ignore overwhelming statistical evidence showing that crime rates tend to decline in areas where more law-abiding citizens own guns.

Continue reading here.

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