Today on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Vice President Joe Biden announced that the shooting of Trayvon Martin should spark a national debate about gun control:
It’s important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected, but that they also don’t, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly put themselves in harm’s way … The idea that there’s this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons… I think it’s the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I’m not so sure of.
The problem, of course, was not the gun laws in Florida. If Zimmerman shot in self-defense and is not prosecuted, the gun laws saved his life; if Zimmerman shot without proper provocation, he violated the relevant Florida gun laws. The law itself isn’t to blame, any more than insider trading laws are to blame when somebody violates them.
Beyond that, Biden’s bizarre notion that concealing and carrying guns doesn’t provide additional security is plainly nonsensical. Misuse of guns is always an issue – but as a general rule, of course carrying a gun makes you more safe than not carrying one. John Lott has pointed out clearly in More Guns, Less Crime: “Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.” This is called common sense, and the data backs it up.
But that’s been the two-barreled liberal agenda throughout this debate: first, raise the specter of race; second, crack down on guns. The left isn’t all that interested in what happens with George Zimmerman – if they cared, they’d stop tainting the jury pool – but they are interested in making political hay out of the killing. And Joe Biden is just following in his boss’ footsteps.