Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Truth About Gun Control

gun, control, gun control, freedom, Confucius, disarm, defense, Mencken, illustration

Confucius said that our first task is to “rectify the language.”

That amounts to word control, but we probably should not take that too literally. We cannot “control the language.” Instead, we should take caution: error often rests upon improper word choice.

Take as an example not word control, but . . .

Gun control.

Which, Thomas Sowell reminds us, isn’t what it seems to be. “The fatal fallacy of gun-control laws in general is the assumption that such laws actually control guns,” Sowell wrote on the first day of winter. “What such laws actually do is increase the number of disarmed and defenseless victims.”

A new wisdom? No. Sowell, in 2016, is disabusing The New York Times for its inanities regarding the bearing of arms. In 1925, H. L. Mencken took on The Nation.

Gun control, Mencken wrote, “would not take pistols out of the hands of rogues and fools; it would simply take them out of the hands of honest men.”

Sowell argues that, no matter how irrational spree and mass murderers may seem, they “are usually rational enough to attack schools, churches, and other places where there is far less likelihood of someone being on the scene who is armed.”

Mencken noted that the gunman of his day “has great advantages everywhere. He has artillery in his pocket, and he may assume that, in the large cities, at least two-thirds of his prospective victims are unarmed. But if the Nation’s proposed law (or amendment) were passed and enforced, he could assume safely that all of them were unarmed.”

Maybe, following Confucius*, we should call laws against concealed carry not “gun control” but “citizen disarmament.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* “Confucius” is the Western name for Kong Qui (551-479 B.C.E.), the great Chinese sage. He was often referred to by the honorific Kong Fuzi, meaning “Grand Master Kong,” which Jesuit missionaries to China in the 16th-century Latinized to “Confucius.”

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gun, control, gun control, freedom, Confucius, disarm, defense, Mencken, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. John F. Brennan says:

    The saddest part of the progressive attack on the right to self defense is its persistence, in light of all of the evidence which proves the concept’s falsity. This position from those who condemn anyone who do not buy into totally the climate change theory, a theory based on much less conclusive science and no experience base to even suggest the proposed corrections will prove efficacious. 

  2. R Miller says:

    Thomas Sowell is a smart man and I enjoy his columns. However it doesn’t take a genius, or even a very smart man, to figure out that ‘gun control’ is nothing more than ‘citizen disarmament’, as you stated in your missive. As someone else stated, they’d rather live on a street posted that all residents were armed, not on a street posted as a ‘gun free zone’ Most of my neighbors are armed, and I’m very comfortable with that. What I fear are the gang bangers and others that are packing and would just as soon shoot me as look at me, regardless of the ‘gun control’ laws.

  3. Brian wright says:

    Terrific observations, Paul, and superbly, tautly presented. Also the image is apropos, tho I’d like to see more of the gun. The elites always seize language–eg ‘conspiracy theory’–to hobble honest men.

  4. Not So Free says:

    Like so much of what the government attempts to do, it is all about control; nothing else.

  5. Kenneth H. Fleischer says:

    I’m all for real gun control, by which I mean controlling your own guns. By the way, in a saner era, my brother got a high-school letter in marksmanship. Yes, using a gun, and it was in Los Angeles, where I still live.

    • John F. Brennan says:

      I was in the junior NRA marksmanship program from age 12 and a member of  Jesuit college rifle team in undergraduate. I have harmed no one with a firmarm, mine are indeed controlled. 

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