Guns Don't Kill People, Neither Do Immigrants
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I’ve only gone hunting once, but what a revelation it was. Hunters are the personification of careful around guns.

So fearful was I of getting gun etiquette wrong on my lone trip that I paid an exorbitant fee for two shooting lessons beforehand. My instructor was clear that the quickest way to not have hunting partners would be for me to violate the myriad safety conventions that hunters follow. Among others, all on my trip were required to have their .28 gauges open and free of ammunition at all times. We could only load our guns when it was our turn to fire, and only after everyone in the party was behind us. Once shots were taken, the firing individual was expected to immediately crack open his gun, empty the spent rounds, and walk back to his horse with gun clearly open.

To be around gun owners is to see why they despise gun violence. They take safety very seriously, and gun violence and/or mass shootings run counter to all the rules that gun owners abide. That surely helps explain why gun owners recoil at calls for “gun control” and/or restrictions on ownership every time some thoroughly sick person uses firearms to kill innocent human beings. To mention “gun control” to owners of same after a mass shooting amounts to a non sequitur. 

The main thing is that there aren’t enough nines after 99.9 to convey just seriously gun owners take safety with firearms. Which is a repetitive way of explaining why so many gun owners are protective of their right to own and carry guns. The simple truth is that the gun itself isn’t a killer, but in the wrong hands it can be. As the saying goes, guns don’t kill, but people do. Tragically.

What hasn’t been adequately explained by proponents of gun control is why or how laws involving guns will make society safer. If people want to do others harm, they will. Try as we might, we can’t legislate away horrid acts.

It brings to mind the tragic murder of Laken Riley, a 22-year old nursing student at the University of Georgia. As many readers are aware, the individual who is being charged with her kidnap and murder is a migrant from Venezuela.

Former President Trump described Riley’s killer as a “monster.” About Trump’s description, there’s no argument there. If anything, his description was too kind assuming there’s a way to adequately describe someone so cruel as to take the life of someone else. Where it’s easier to part ways with Trump is when he politicizes the murder as part of an “invasion” from the southern border that is “killing our citizens.” Think about it.

Trump’s point, and the point of some who are rightly horrified by Riley’s murder, is that it’s a consequence of permissive or open borders to migrants from economically devastated locales south of the United States. Sorry, but to blame immigration for murderous acts is every bit the non sequitur as when gun control advocates blame guns for heinous shootings.

In reality, one Jose Antoio Ibarra is being charged with committing an incredibly despicable act. Immigrants shouldn’t own his sickness any more than gun owners should own the acts of mass shooters. Horrible people kill, not immigrants or gun owners.

In the words of Kelly Girtz, mayor of Athens-Clarke Country, “This murder was a violent, heinous act, and it rests squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator.” It certainly does. Girtz is a Democrat, but he’s defending immigrants in the way that Republicans frequently defend the 99.9999% of gun owners. Unknown is whether Republicans will see why Girtz is right that immigration shouldn’t be the victim of a hideous act, and whether Democrats will see why gun ownership similarly shouldn’t suffer the actions of the murderous few.  

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, President of the Parkview Institute, a senior fellow at the Market Institute, and a senior economic adviser to Applied Finance Advisors ( His latest book, set for release in April of 2024 and co-authored with Jack Ryan, is Bringing Adam Smith Into the American Home: A Case Against Homeownership

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