Free Men Bear Arms

Herschel Smith · 15 Dec 2014 · 3 Comments

Mike Vanderboegh: You know the Founders were as suspicious of unrestrained democracy as they were of absolute monarchy. Both can be tyrannical. Both can be deadly. Both are threats to life and liberty and property. This is why they crafted a constitutional republic. The Founders knew that the mob could be manipulated by cynical elites to rob other citizens of their liberty, their property and their lives – cynical elites, wealthy men, powerful men, with unceasing appetites for more and more…… [read more]

Concealed Carry In Illinois

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 1 month ago

The editorial board of The Daily Illini waxes know-it-all on concealed carry of handguns.

Illinois is the only state in the country that does not have a concealed carry law. We think it should stay that way.

Ten mostly rural Illinois counties voted to support a concealed carry provision last Tuesday, pushing the issue to the forefront and adding pressure to the state government to join the rest of the country in allowing concealed handguns to be carried into public spaces. But the arguments behind concealed carry are couched in emotion, ideology and correlative statistics; allowing individuals to carry hidden guns is simply not a defensible solution to crime and violence.

The federal government already allows for citizens to possess and own guns, and that right is enshrined in the Constitution, not to mention on the state level. We have no issue with the right to bear arms. However, we don’t think allowing concealed guns into public places is, or should be, part of this right.

The arguments for concealed carry are compelling at first glance. Essentially, supporters claim that because violent criminals already have concealed weapons, preventing a legal avenue for concealed carry only harms law-abiding citizens or potential victims.

A form of this argument arose this summer after the deadly shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last summer. Shortly after the tragedy, Slate’s David Weigel quoted Greg Brock, a California firearms safety expert, who said: “All you need is one person there with a gun …. If this went down in Texas or Arizona, (James Holmes) would have died quick.”

Similarly, after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association said during a speech that “the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” LaPierre then claimed that there is an across-the-board reduction in violent crime in jurisdictions with right to carry laws compared to those that do not.

There are a number of issues with this argument. First of all, most individuals when confronted with danger are not likely to take measured and calm action. With the presence of bystanders, the possibility of innocent, civilian death goes up tremendously. But even more strongly, the numbers just don’t back up the claim that a right to carry a concealed weapon reduces violent crime.

Fact-checking website Politifact also took issue LaPierre’s claim of a connection between right-to-carry and lower violent crime and rated his statement as “false” for its contention that data supports an “across-the-board” reduction.

The hard truth is that these arguments are not verifiable. In a 2005 study, The National Academies of Sciences concluded that “with the current evidence it is not possible to determine that there is a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.” Even more troubling, after analyzing the data the authors found that even the term “self-defense” is unclear in this context, writing, “We do not know accurately how often armed self-defense occurs or even how to precisely define self-defense.”

In the end, concealed carry is a reality in most of the country, and a recent report from the Government Accountability Office puts the number of individuals with conceal carry licenses at 8 million. But we think this measure will not alleviate the problem of violent crime and that this issue has more to do with an ideological position on the Second Amendment than a legitimate solution to violent crime.

We realize that the argument for right-to-carry concealed weapons makes intuitive sense: If the bad guys already have guns and will use them, why can’t we possess them in kind? But if we don’t truly understand how guns impact violent crime, and if supporters of the measure have only correlations to stand on, then there is little to suggest the utility of such a law.

I’m sorry to bother my readers with such sophomoric writing (the form was very bad and stilted), but I had to quote at length for you to get the full affect of their arguments.

Let’s ignore the silly reference to what Politifact says about anything (their analyses are far from trustworthy and their presuppositions usually obvious).  After charging the second amendment community with the unwarranted use of anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that weapons can save lives, they turn to backyard psychology (how people react under pressure) and associated anecdotal evidence about how weapons don’t make us safer.  Our arguments are merely anecdotal, but it’s okay for them to use whatever they wish, or something like that.

But notice how their axioms turn the argument on its head.  For some reason, we have to demonstrate conclusively that crime rate drops for the community at large (i.e., the greater good is served) before it’s acceptable to have a concealed carry law.  Note the use of the word “utility.”

Let’s turn the argument head up again the way it should be.  The constitution gives us a right to self defense, and doesn’t include merely a right to own a gun.  It includes the right to bear arms, and we have discussed the ubiquitous presence of firearms in colonial America before (including on the person) – that America that gave birth to our nation and its constitution.

I needn’t prove the utility of any right in order to legitimize the proper exercise of that right.  But continuing on with the argument concerning utility, one would suppose that if prohibiting the carrying of handguns decreased crime, those areas of the country that had such a statute would be able to demonstrate the utility of such statutes.  In fact, tell us how gangland Chicago is doing with their gun statutes, editorial board?  Show us the statistics for how gun laws reduce violent crime, and start with your own back yard.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (14)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (41)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (45)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (26)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (114)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (162)
Federal Firearms Laws (15)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (265)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (229)
Guns (620)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (36)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (72)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (48)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (24)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (205)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (17)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (1)
Police (128)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (143)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (77)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (142)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (23)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (10)
SWAT Raids (51)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (87)
Thanksgiving (5)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (39)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (12)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.