Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – November 22, 2017 –
I am thankful for the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, because what happens when self-defense is against the law?
First, let’s look at the 2nd Amendment:
“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.”
Democide is the term created by Rummel. It is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as “the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder”. … Rummel explicitly excludes battle deaths in his definition.
Rudolf Rummel was employed for a short while by Indiana University, Yale University and then for 29 years at Hawaii University. He died in 2004.
After extensive research, he put the figure of 212,000,000 people murdered by their governments during the 20th century, of which over half was by Communist regimes.
In his book, Death by Government, Rummel discusses genocide in China, Nazi Germany, Japan, Cambodia, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Poland, the Soviet Union, and Pakistan. He also writes about areas of suspected genocide: North Korea, Mexico, and feudal Russia. His figures included only when over 1 million people were murdered by their governments.
His underlying principle is that the less freedom people have, the greater the violence; the more freedom, the less the violence. Thus, as Rummel says, “The problem is power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.”
Let’s compare that 212 million worldwide figure to mass shootings in the US with a population of over 300 million. Albeit it’s not a great comparison, but the point being that “government sanctioned” murder is far worse than mass shooting violence. If we just look at what our “government” did during the 19th century, we can call it the American Indiana Holocaust – eliminated Indians through stabbings, beatings, shootings, sickness, etc., the sheer numbers are staggering and in the millions. But, since records weren’t kept, it’s hard to know if that number was 2 million or as high as 18 million. We do know that thousands and thousands of Indians died when our government insisted Indians be relocated to Oklahoma in a 2,200 mile trek.
Getting back on track with shootings and gun violence, where do you go to find out about the numbers involved in mass shootings: Mass Shooting Tracker or www.gunviolencearchive.org.
Here are some numbers from the last 4 years:
2014 – TOTAL DEATHS – 12, 564
2015 – TOTAL DEATHS – 13,507
2016 – TOTAL DEATHS – 15,084
2017 – TOTAL DEATHS – 13,850 the worst being Las Vegas on Oct. 1st with 441
The point is that an armed populace would be a serious threat to a tyrannical US government. I’m uncomfortable with the thought that our California legislature can take away the people rights to possess and own guns similar to guns that could be used against us. We could become sitting ducks. Today, the California Dept. Of Justice has just released new regulations on “assault weapons.”
If you can see the logic in having the freedom to possess and own guns per our 2nd Amendment rights to “keep and bear arms”…. I wonder if it doesn’t make more sense to spend time and money on mental health rather than restricting and banning guns?
A few final notes about mental health. In 2004, California voters approved Prop 63 – a 1% tax on incomes over million to fund mental health. In 2016, questions are being asked where that $13 billion is going since it’s not being spent as proposed. In our own County, Mental Health is sitting on over $400,000 for the last four years supposedly to build and house the severely mentally ill.
At the June 22, 2016 meeting of the Physicians Advocacy & Info Task Force, members discussed a class action suit against the state to demand the funds be restored that were directed to other programs or suing the individuals engaged in misappropriating funds. This issue needs to be looked at in the context of fraud and profiteering.