Guns aren’t the problem…

John McPherson

By A Contributor

Another tragic shooting. I join the world in sorrow for the inconceivable and thoughtless slaughter of those children and faculty members. But make sense of it? Good luck with that.

I can, though, give an explanation. It’s complicated and many-faceted, so bear with me. Available space doesn’t allow me to give more detail or references, but this is all easy enough to verify via the Internet.

The root of it all is evil men. They exist in abundance throughout the world. With evil and mad men there is no sense or reason. From the beginning of time they’ve existed. They infiltrate us and, sadly, seldom look the way we expect evil to look and act. They’re camouflaged as next-door neighbors, chums, businessmen, schoolmates, the clergy and most dangerously, politicians. Until they act, we seldom have any idea of who they are. They earn our trust and then pounce. Coupled with the nuts, we also have the very real terrorists who are honored to give their lives to butcher the innocent. To borrow and paraphrase a quote, “These evildoers may be crazy but they sure as hell ain’t stupid.”

Deaths in perspective

Government in the name of society does all it can to prevent injury, suffering and death to its citizens while forgetting that, well, people die. Sometimes stupidly, but always they die. Ropes, four-wheelers, darts, drugs, alcohol, automobiles, paint, roller skates, baseballs, ice picks, falling pianos, et al. Being born begins the risk, but come the time, we’re gone.

Consider the accidental death rate for medicine and automobiles in relation to guns.

Guns, which are designed to kill, have a lower death rate than either of the other two. Discount-ing suicides and criminal-on-criminal killings, we have had 89,100 actual gunshot deaths in the civil public at large in the past 10 years; that’s 8,910 per year — 25 per day. Many of these are justifiable homicides by innocent civilians on criminals.

Medicine is for curing illness and relieving suffering. Medical mistakes are responsible for 197,000 deaths each year —  539 per day. This is acceptable to most because it’s collateral from doing good. That’s 21 times more deaths than from gunshots.

As for motor vehicles,  the 2011 low average figure shows automobiles killed 88 people each and every day. The yearly average of 39,150 deaths involving vehicles is acceptable to most because of automobiles’ convenience and usage. The 10-year average of 107 deaths per day is more than four times as high as firearm deaths.

Medicine and automobile collateral damage are accepted because medicine and autos do more good than bad. Firearm deaths do less bad than the others while doing good. Figures I presented in a letter in February 2011 show that guns could be saving as many as one and a quarter million lives a year.


Why guns? 

The founders of this once great country knew full well that guns kill but also that free men were in fact not free if they did not have the right to self defense from not only individuals but, most importantly, from the government itself.

The Second Amendment states, “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.”

People of today have argued about the word “militia.” Militia? People? There is no argument or controversy. In the mindset of all peoples of that era, including the founders who wrote the rules, the people were the militia. The militia was the people. They were one and the same. You need only read the writings of these men and the constitutions of several of the colonies or states from that period to see that.

“The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals.” Pres-ident James Monroe (Nov. 16, 1818).

The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It’s about defense of self — a right, not a privilege. It’s a natural right to protect yourself. It’s a privilege, on the other hand, to drive that automobile. A friend said he could see no reason for assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. My comment to him was that these were the exact arms that the founders were referring to.

The founders specified protection from the state and tyranny over and over again but never once said the people should be limited to match lock muzzle-loaders, a precursor to the most modern flintlock weapon of the time. They were fully aware of evil tyrants — they were in the process of kicking one out. You can’t stop the evildoers en masse if armed with a squirrel gun.

Guns in the hands of the people are the one guarantee that “We, The People”  retain control over those who run the country. Not shotguns and .22 rifles, but weapons fully capable of standing up for our rights. In Germany in the 1930s, restrictive gun laws made it easy for Hitler to make sure his opponents couldn’t get permits and thus would have no access to firearms. In 1938 Hitler effected total gun control for the Jews.

As per history, both recorded and current, millions upon millions of lives and human suffering could have been saved and still could be saved if only the people were armed.


In his quest for understanding the sufferings of man by man throughout the ages, John McPherson has been guided to the study of the hows and whys of history. Having seen the same mistakes made repeatedly to the detriment of mankind by the suffering individual himself in his quest for utopia, he’s about to throw his hands up in defeat. McPherson was in the paratroopers from 1964 through 1972, including one year of combat as an infantryman in Vietnam. He decided in the mid-1970s to live the woodsman’s life and built his entire homestead by hand, one piece at a time. Married for 25 years, he has written several books and made videos on wilderness skills, and since 2004 has been teaching the survival instructors from the U.S. Army Special Operations SERE survival school.

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