It Takes Brains

February 2013Norris

Reducing Violent Crime in the US

Chuck Norris

Israel: America's Model for Reducing Violent Crime (Part 1 of 4 on reducing violent crime in the US)

This past week, I made an audio recording endorsing the re-election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel's general election Tuesday, Jan. 22.

I explained in the endorsement: "You might think I'm a tough guy in my films, but in a rough neighborhood like the Middle East, Israel has its own tough guy. His name is Bibi Netanyahu."

Netanyahu's leadership and strength were evident as far back as 1967, when he was a part of the Israel Defense Forces' elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal. And they were just as obvious in his public service through the years, as I added in my endorsement: "Bibi brought the pressing issue of Israel's security to the world, speaking loudly and clearly at the United Nations and in Congress, bringing the world together to put sanctions on Iran. He has raised a wall along the whole southern border of Israel, stopped the missiles raining on Israel and showed Hamas it will not be tolerated. He also made the bravest decision in securing the release of Gilad Shalit," an Israeli sports columnist and former soldier who was abducted inside Israel by Hamas militants.

I concluded the audio recording by encouraging Israeli citizens, "So vote for Benjamin Netanyahu, because a strong prime minister is a strong Israel."

As our ally, Israel is also a model from which we can learn — from the intrinsic value of Judaism to Israel's fortitude and security. And with the deep pains and grief over the years from so many mass shootings in U.S. schools, Israel stands as a beacon of light for how to protect our children in public places.

First, though Israeli law does not guarantee the right to bear arms as the U.S. Constitution does, private citizens can obtain gun licenses for defense, hunting or sport. For those who legally own guns, carrying a firearm openly or concealed in a public place is allowed without a permit.

Most citizens are trained to use weapons in Israel's mandatory military service. And when there is an outburst of violence in Israel, gun ownership immediately is expanded to those who hold a certain rank in the military.

True, Israel has fewer guns per capita than the U.S., but it's also a tiny country with virtually no opportunity for hunting or other recreational use of firearms. Anti-gun advocates love to point out that there are only about 500,000 weapons that are privately owned in Israel, but in terms of area, that's in a country that is only about one-fifteenth the size of California or one-twenty-fifth the size of Texas.

When it comes to guns, however, it's not the number of them that is critical but how and where they are used. For example, Israel mandated armed guards at the entrances to all schools in 1995, and those guards are backed up by special police forces. Despite the fact that these school defenses are primarily intended to thwart terrorists, they also deter any would-be psychos who would cause harm to their children.

According to CBS News, Israeli schools have suffered from only two shootings in the past 40 years: one in 1974 (22 children and three adults) and another in 2008 (eight youths).

Back at the home of the brave, the U.S. has faced multiple mass shootings on academic campuses, and the majority of the population still refuses to post any type of armed guard or even unarmed security at schools to protect our children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 70 percent of public schools do not have a police officer, and 57 percent have no security staff. There is an old-fashioned term for that lack of security response in these times: stupid.

Also compare Israel's plan to reduce terrorism and violent crime with our own President Barack Obama, who announced Jan. 16 that a new and tougher assault weapons ban and a 10-round limit on magazines would be a part of his comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence (aka limit our Second Amendment rights), including 23 steps without congressional consent.

Regarding a solution to reduce the rash of U.S. school shooting sprees, Oren Shemtov — CEO of Israel's Academy of Security and Investigation and one of 16 people in Israel authorized to train those who instruct school guards, which he has done for 22 years — recently told Fox News that "gun-toting teachers could, at the very least, buy time for kids to escape while police race to the scene." Shemtov explained, "Two (armed) teachers would have kept (the Newtown, Conn., shooter) occupied for 45 seconds each."

He further added in reflection of school security in Israel, "At one point, the Interior Ministry mandated that a certain percentage of teachers be armed, but ... due to increased terror attacks, private guards were mandated at all schools." He said the two most important keys to defending children at schools anywhere are armed guards and armed teacher response teams.

It's beyond sickening to me that though the U.S. posts armed guards to protect such places as historical monuments, politicians' offices and presidential libraries, when it comes to our children — our greatest and most precious blessings from God and the inheritors of our republic — we repeatedly throw them to the winds of chance and the wiles of crazy men who could and would obtain armed weapons even if we abolished our Second Amendment rights entirely.

Tell me this: If various robbers repeatedly storm-trooped your house and stabbed your loved ones, would you try to rally Washington to minimize the production and distribution of butcher knives or simply post a sign outside your front door like the one I have outside mine, which has a picture of a gun and the words "We don't call 911"?

How many school massacres will it take before we protect our children at places they live en masse nearly eight hours a day?

And which one of our fine law enforcement or military personnel (in any branch) wouldn't consider it his greatest duty and honor to take a shift as a guard in front of one of our schools, protecting those precious souls?

Next week, I will prove once and for all why gun bans don't reduce violent crime.

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Do Gun Bans Curb Violent Crime? (Part 2 of 4 on reducing violent crime in the US)

Who isn't sickened by the moral decay and heinous acts of violence across our country? My heart and prayers continue to go out to victims everywhere.

But do gun bans — such as the one proposed this past week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., which would outlaw 120 specific firearms — curb violent crime?

Not according to a recent Fox News investigation titled "Assault-weapons ban no guarantee mass shootings would decrease, data shows." The report concluded, "Data published earlier this year showed that while the (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which was signed by President Bill Clinton) was in place, from 1994 to 2004, the number of mass shootings actually rose slightly during that period." elaborated: "Crime statistics compiled by a Northeastern University professor, the Census Bureau, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel show that in the 10 years before the Clinton gun ban, there were 173 mass shootings with 766 victims. But during the 10 years of the ban ... there were 182 mass shootings with 820 victims."

If one wants to see the ineffectiveness of countrywide gun bans and increased firearm regulations, one doesn't have to look any further than Mexico.

Sylvia Longmire, a former Air Force officer and special agent and a former border security analyst for the state of California, recently wrote a report titled "Mexico Proves Strict Gun Laws Won't Prevent Massacres."

Longmire explained: "Contrary to popular belief, Mexico's constitution has its own version of our Second Amendment. However, few private citizens own firearms. Federal laws have severely restricted the ability to own and carry weapons to soldiers, police, trained bodyguards, and a few others who can make it through the miles-long (gantlet) of the application process. If a Mexican citizen can survive the background checks, the mountains of paperwork, the half-dozen required personal recommendations, and the expense, they are limited to buying guns with low stopping power.

"There is also only one gun shop in Mexico where they can legally purchase firearms, and it's in Mexico City — not exactly a close drive for many Mexicans."

The gravest outcome, Longmire added: "More than 53,000 people have been murdered in Mexico in the last six years."

And we don't think the same thing could happen, given enough time, to our Second Amendment rights, which are being slowly strangled by the overreaching, bureaucratic tentacles of Washington?

As with most of society's ills, the key to curbing violent crime is not more government expansion and spending. Neither is the answer dissolving our Second Amendment rights; countries with super-strict gun ownership laws have equally violent crimes and proved that taking guns from good guys doesn't prohibit bad guys from obtaining them.

Despite all the preceding evidence, President Barack Obama announced Jan. 16 that a new and tougher assault weapons ban and a 10-round limit on magazines would be a part of his comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence (aka limit our Second Amendment rights). Immediately after the president spoke, he signed 23 actions, increasing government firearm regulations via presidential executive order.

Though many U.S. representatives and at least three states so far (Oregon, Texas and Mississippi) have vowed not to enforce new gun laws and to stop Obama's assault against our Second Amendment rights, citizens should be very leery of an administration that already has skirted around Congress and overreached the American people more than any in U.S. history.

And if we think we will get a little constitutional assistance from the U.S. Supreme Court, let's neither forget how the court ruled on Obamacare nor forget what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — appointed by Clinton — stated last January during an interview on the Arabic broadcast network Al-Hayat: "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa," which, incidentally, has a bill of rights that is 10 times the length of ours but does not have one word protecting an individual's right to bear arms.

I want violent crimes curbed as much as anyone, but not at the expense of our Second Amendment rights — which are there to protect us. And it's double-trouble lunacy when gun bans have proved to be ineffective in reducing crime in many other countries.

When our Founding Fathers secured our right to bear arms, they didn't do it so that we might go duck hunting. They did it so that we could defend ourselves. And that right was enacted into constitutional law and was never to be encroached by anyone at any time, especially those in Washington.

Could 27 words be any clearer?! "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

What don't they get about the words "shall not be infringed"?

Thomas Jefferson explained, "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse or rest on inference."

That is why Jefferson could encourage his nephew Peter Carr, "Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."

But then again, maybe infringing on and restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners, too, is exactly the ulterior motive behind the White House's present gun and ammunition ban.

And why would the White House do that?

George Mason — delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention and co-father of the Bill of Rights, along with James Madison — gave the answer way back in 1788, in his speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, where he explained: "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Reducing Violent Crime in the US From the Inside Out (Part 3 of 4)

In the past two weeks, I've highlighted ways we can reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I've saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out.

In Part 1, I revealed how rational and rewarding it would be to post armed guards at our schools.

In Part 2, I showed how reducing the number of firearms in the U.S. would not curb violent crime.

Today and next week, I will discuss an age-old solution that America's Founding Fathers knew was key for maintaining civility in our communities — a solution being mimicked by a few nonprofit organizations in our public schools.

Our founders knew that more government regulation and taking away guns from law-abiding citizens would not curb violent crime. And they didn't expect the law of the land to well up peace in people's hearts, either. As proud as they were of their newfound republic, they would rely instead upon personal core values to perpetuate decency, respect, morality, honesty and restraint, to name a few.

Our founders' "human values curriculum," if you will, consisted of two primary principles: 1) Human life has an intrinsic or inherent value esteemed far above the rest of creation. 2) Human life is to be respected and cared for via each person's accountability to moral absolutes (that is, a moral creed to which he confesses and clings). I will discuss the first point today and the second next week.

Most people's view and value of humanity were shaped around two beliefs: that God created us and that we were created equal.

The book of Genesis says, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness'; And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

That creed was codified in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

The founders believed that equality eventually would give legs to everyone's freedom, though they themselves struggled with its execution as much as any generation — with slavery and their treatment of Native Americans and women, for example.

John Adams, our second president, said, "We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society."

Scholar Thomas West, author of "Vindicating the Founders," explained: "The Founders believed that all men are created equal and that they have certain inalienable rights.

All are also obliged to obey the natural law, under which we have not only rights but duties. We are obliged 'to respect those rights in others which we value in ourselves' (Jefferson)."

Thomas Jefferson also explained that preserving human value and life was even government's primary role: "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

So lofty was their view of human life back then that in 1786, George Washington explained, "We have probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation."

But gone are the days when such a pervading elevated value of human life existed. We've abandoned the past. We've left its core values. We've lost our way. We've traded in the Good Book for our pocketbook. We've completely redefined human life and its value, and the way we treat one another proves it.

The law of the jungle is what guides most today. Value, honor and respect are out the door. Belittling and bullying are the king and queen of the playground and the blogosphere. Gangs kill for sport. And violent crime is the soul of digital gaming.

And we blame assault rifles for the proliferation of violent crime?

Today the Declaration of Independence isn't living; it's dead. It's a historical document encased under bulletproof glass in the National Archives in Washington. It's something we tour to see, like all the relics of the past. It reminds us only of a valiant time when men fought to gain our independence from Britain. But gone is its power to aid us in the fight for equality — to remind us of one another's value and challenge us to treat one another fairly.

Do we still need the Declaration of Independence? More than ever before! It is part of America's values curriculum because it reminds us of our worth, which is established and echoed in the Bible.

America doesn't need to "turn the page" on its past; it needs to reopen its pages and original documents. We need to resurrect the value of human life if we are to restore civility across our land — in our schools and in our homes.

We must question with boldness and ask ourselves: What are we and others teaching our children and grandchildren about their intrinsic worth and value? And are we treating them according to their high appraisal and calling them to treat others with the same value?

Next week, I will not only discuss the second core value our founders utilized to maintain civility but also show you how two nonprofit organizations are utilizing core value curricula to do the same.

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Reducing Violent Crime in the US From the Inside Out (Part 4 of 4)

In the past few weeks, I've highlighted ways we can reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I've saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out.

In Part 1, I revealed how rational and rewarding it would be to post armed guards at our schools. In Part 2, I showed how reducing the number of firearms in the U.S. would not curb violent crime. In Part 3, I began to discuss the first of two ways in which our Founding Fathers expected to produce and maintain civility and decency in society. They esteemed all human life as equal and possessing intrinsic value far above the rest of creation, albeit while struggling with executing their beliefs as much as any generation — e.g., with slavery and the treatment of Native Americans and women.

The second thing our founders did was embed that value and care of humanity via the freedom yet accountability of moral absolutes — codes of ethics, namely through religion. They believed in the absolute and imperative role of religion in society and that without it, civility and decency would vanish.

For our founders, moral fortitude was dependent upon the foundation of religion, not the laws of men. As John Adams, our second president, explained, "religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society."

Gouverneur Morris, who, in 1787, represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and subsequently signed the U.S. Constitution, said, "Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore, education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."

Benjamin Franklin put it this way: "That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater Respect among the common People."

Because our founders firmly believed that religion prevents liberty from turning into licentiousness, President George Washington warned the nation in his Farewell Address to beware of the time when leaders dismantle society's basis of morality: "And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Unfortunately, in our day, we have discarded Washington's warning by not respecting and cherishing the role of religion, and in so doing, we've abandoned moral absolutes in lieu of personal expediency and selfishness. We've confused liberty and licentiousness. We've discarded the high value of human life in exchange for lower life forms. And we're paying the price for it, as Washington predicted; the ways we treat one another prove it.

So should we really be so shocked with the degradation in our own modern society?

My great friend Mike Huckabee said something very similar after the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

Huckabee asked: Why should we "be so surprised" at the violence in society when "we have systematically removed God from our schools"? Yet many in the mainstream media assailed Mike for repeating exactly what our founders believed.

That is why I believe that youths today need to return to America's core values. As Benjamin Rush — a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the presidential administrations of Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison — wrote, "I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament."

We must return to being a nation where mutual respect is king — where I am my brother's keeper and we agree to disagree agreeably. It's time to renew our commitment to the basic premises of humanity: Do unto others as you would have them do to you, and love your neighbor as yourself.

I might play a tough guy who protects victims from bad guys on screen, but in real life, I'm an advocate for those who are at-risk, too, particularly through my KickStart Kids foundation. My wife, Gena, and I consider KickStart Kids our lives' mission. KickStart Kids means building strong moral character in our youth through the martial arts. Its purpose is to help raise self-esteem and instill discipline and respect, which so many children are lacking today.

Two other warriors who are raising the bar of societal and youth decency are our dear friends Darrell and Sandy Scott, who spearheaded Rachel's Challenge and Columbine Redemption in memory of their beautiful and kind daughter, Rachel, who was murdered at Columbine High School more than a decade ago. Rachel said, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same."

KickStart Kids and Rachel's Challenge recently partnered to further help American youth and families, and we're doing it with a core values curriculum that reinstates civility and decency back into the souls of individuals and, hence, the soul of society.

On May 27, 1999, a month after the tragic shootings at Columbine High School, Darrell appeared before a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee to discuss what he believed could reduce violent crime in our country. In the midst of his eloquent and moving statement, he cited a poem he wrote that perfectly describes where the blame lies and our answers must come from:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs.
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped our heritage.
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere
And ask the question, "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed.
And you fail to understand
That God is what we need.

Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook's "Official Chuck Norris Page." He blogs at To find out more about Chuck Norris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


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