By Bob Allen
A former Southern Baptist Convention official termed the declaring of certain public areas as “gun-free” zones “an invitation to mayhem,” citing what he said was evidence that increased gun ownership is a deterrent to violent crime.
Richard Land, former president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, discussed gun ownership Aug. 28 and Aug. 31 in his regular two-minute radio broadcasts titled Bringing Every Thought Captive.
Land, now president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, a non-denominational school near Charlotte, N.C., on Friday accused Democrats of using the tragic on-air shooting death of two TV journalists in Virginia for political gain.
“I, like many others, was sickened by the ghoulishness of the reactions of those like Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — followed quickly by Hillary Clinton and President Obama — who instantaneously in the wake of this terrible tragedy proclaimed that we need to pass greater gun-control laws to stop mayhem like this,” Land said.
News reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were shot to death while conducting a live television interview on CBS affiliate WDJB in Roanoke, Va., Aug. 26. The gunman, Vester Lee Flanagan, was a former colleague who appeared on air as Bryce Williams until the station fired him in 2013.
McAuliffe, a Democrat, renewed calls for background checks on firearms purchasers, something he has already proposed twice to the Virginia General Assembly.
“Everyone who purchases a gun in the Commonwealth of Virginia should have to go through a background check,” McAuliffe told the Huffington Post. “You go into the store, you hand your license over. It doesn’t take … but three, four, maybe five minutes maximum.”
Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state now running for president, pledged to work for solutions that balance Second Amendment rights with common-sense measures to statistically reduce gun violence. “We’ve got to do something about gun violence in America, and I will take it on,” she said.
President Obama said “it breaks my heart every time” he reads or hears about incidents like last week’s shootings.
“What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,“ Obama said.
Land, however, said the killer would have qualified to own a handgun under almost all proposed waiting periods for background checks in existing gun-control laws.
“The only way to prevent people like Flanagan from having a handgun legally would be to bar private citizens from owning handguns altogether,” Land said.
“When people like President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe use the Virginia tragedy as examples of why we need more restrictive controls on guns, what they are really arguing for is not gun ‘control,’ but gun ‘confiscation,’” Land said.
Land said such “draconian” measures, along with being unconstitutional, wouldn’t prevent anyone from getting a gun illegally. Chicago, for example, is alleged to have one of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws and one of the highest murder rates.
“Research shows conclusively that an armed citizenry is a deterrent to crime, and publicly declared gun-free zones are an invitation to mayhem and are inherently more dangerous places than localities where law-abiding citizens are permitted to carry weapons to defend themselves against those who would do them and their loved ones harm,” Land said.
On Monday Land cited a June Rasmussen poll that found that 68 percent of likely U.S. voters would prefer living in a neighborhood where they have the option of owning a gun than to live where no one is allowed to be armed.
The number of concealed handgun permits has virtually tripled in the last eight years alone, Land said, coinciding with a 25 percent drop in the murder rate.
“This is very strong evidence that given the fallen nature of humanity, an armed citizenry is a deterrent, a strong deterrent, to crime,” Land said. “Is it any wonder that out in the Old West they called the Colt .45 ‘the peacemaker?’”
Land also pointed out that while arguing for greater gun control, Obama, Clinton and McAuliffe all have armed security details.
“The hypocrisy is mind-blowing,” Land said.