On Tuesday, United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said current U.S. gun laws “lack rational justification.”
With rhetoric akin to those now pushing for a ban on AR-15 rifles, human rights chief Hussein said the ability to buy firearms “including battlefield-caliber assault rifles — defies all reason.” He did not mention that battlefield rifles are fully automatic, whereas civilian rifles in a similar caliber only fire one shot each time the trigger is pulled. Moreover, he did not point out that many hunting rounds are much larger and much more powerful that the rounds fired from an AR-15 or similar rifle.
According to Voice of America, Hussein said:
It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms. How many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation?
Hussein did not mention that almost every mass killer in the last 10 years who used a firearm also passed a background check to acquire that firearm. Aaron Alexis — the DC Navy Yard gunman who opened fire on “co-workers” — passed a background check. Dylan Roof — the alleged gunman who shot the “African-American churchgoers” — passed a background check. Jared Loughner — the gunman who shot and wounded Gabby Giffords — passed a background check.
Adama Lanza — the infamous gunman who shot and killed school children at Sandy Hook — did not pass a background check, but that is because he stole his guns, thereby bypassing all gun control whatsoever.
Hussein’s spokesman Rupert Colville said those who defend gun rights — and especially those who claim “firearms makes society safer” — ignore “evidence [which] points to the contrary.” But Colville did not supply evidence to support his “points to the contrary.” Nor did he grapple with the research performed by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, who has demonstrated that guns are used for defensive purposes approximately 760,000 a year in the United States.
That is not a typo, that is the figure — 760,000 times a year.
Kleck first entered the public dialogue with these findings in 1993. He then refuted criticism of the findings in 1997, 1998, and 2001. Most recently — in February 2015 — Kleck reaffirmed that his findings have yet to be refuted by anyone who can present empirical evidence to the contrary.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.