Noted economist and commentator, Dr. Walter E. Williams, often outspoken when it came to Second Amendment issues, passed away this week at age 84. 

A Philadelphia native who served in the U.S. Army and later became friends with social theorist Thomas Sowell while in college, Williams became a professor of economics first at Temple University in 1973 then at George Mason University in 1980. A champion of free-market laissez-faire economics and opposed to socialist systems, he spoke on various radio and television appearances over the years in addition to penning articles that appeared in over 150 publications. 

He also tackled gun rights, and the repeated efforts to stifle them, and did extensive research into what the framers of the Constitution felt on the matter. 

In his 1999 collection of essays, More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well, Williams argued that anti-gun laws and regulations were, in the end, a governmental infringement on the rights of individuals and had little impact on crime. 

Williams regularly called out what he felt was a decline in the country's moral standards of conduct over the years was the underlying societal problem, rather than the availability of guns. He did so in his nationally syndicated columns in 2013 and 2018 among others. 

This, from October 2019:

Gun controllers' belief that "easy" gun availability is our problem ignores U.S. history. Guns were far more readily available yesteryear. One could mail order a gun from Sears or walk into a hardware store or a pawnshop to make a purchase. With truly easy gun availability throughout our history, there was nowhere near the mayhem and mass murder that we see today. Here's my question to all those who want restrictions placed on gun sales: Were the firearms of yesteryear better behaved than those same firearms are today? That's really a silly question; guns are inanimate objects and have no capacity to act. Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns.

Below are two extensive interviews with Dr. Williams talking about gun control and the slippery slope that liberty is holding to, touching on the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994, the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and other matters. 

 

 

"Walter Williams lived a legendary life and he will be sorely missed," said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a statement on the professor's passing. "Born in the projects of Philadelphia to a single mother of two, Walter went on to achieve the American dream as a brilliant economist, accomplished professor, and profound author. As a teenager, I frequently read his work and was moved by his fierce defense of free markets and the virtues of liberty. Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer his family and loved ones. His legacy will endure as we continue to fight for liberty."

Banner Image: Walter E. Williams speaks at Texas Tech in 2013 via WikiCommons CC-BY

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