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]
That’s the plea, of course, when gun control advocates wax on concerning their views about how to save the world, one gun at a time. The articles written with this meme are too numerous to cite, but one recent commentary stands out as particularly bad. The author inveighs at the end:
Perhaps now is a good time for a reminder that the flood of guns onto our streets and in our homes is a hazard to all of us. Our cultural tolerance of ubiquitous guns is killing us. If nothing else, perhaps one memorial we might offer for the memory of Kassandra Perkins is to begin to talk about guns in our culture, and what we can do to change things.
Exactly how there is a “flood” of guns on the street we don’t learn, and why it’s a hazard to us all isn’t explained. I handle my firearms in a safe manner, as do most of the owners I know. Furthermore, in spite of the sweeping net they wish to cast for all gun owners, I have never even once felt the urge to shoot any loved ones. If the author or her commenters have felt this urge, they shouldn’t purchase a gun, and I support their right not to purchase a gun. As I’ve said before, “Crime is a moral decision, value judgment and social and cultural phenomenon. It isn’t related to the existence of guns, and if guns weren’t available, they will use hammers. Gun control laws cannot raise children to believe in values.”
But while there isn’t time to address all of the awful arguments in this commentary, the comments are most interesting, and a few different types seem to appear. First, there is the argument from ignorance. Ann Olivier says “nobody needs an AK 4(7) for self defense. They should be outlawed.” Of course, Ann knows no such thing. She doesn’t know anything about what response to a home invasion is required of the homeowner in order to stay alive.
Don’t forget that I have documented 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-man home invasions all over the country that could have been stopped with weapons and high capacity magazines. Perhaps the most remarkable case came with Mr. Stephen Bayezes. In order to survive the attack by three home invaders, he emptied a 30-round magazine and then had to retreat to his bedroom and grab another. Mr. Bayezes needed a rifle and high capacity magazine, and it’s likely that in order to survive, Ann would too.
Analogous to the argument from ignorance is the argument from fantasy. Tom Blackburn has this silly daydream.
He is sitting at a table in the bar when a gunman, armed to the teeth, starts shooting up the place. Our hero turns over his table and reaches for his own gun. Unfortunately, the table leg catches in the hem on his pants, and he can’t get his weapon out of his pocket. The gunman sprays his part of the room and our hero notices the table is not stopping the bullets. He rolls to his right, freeing up his pistol, which goes off, shooting a hole in his pants. Suddenly he is deafened by a fusillade fired by another armed self-defender, which attracts the gunman’s attention to his side of the room. He rolls further to his right to a spot behind the end of the bar, pulls himself up on one knee and draws a bead on the gunman. He fires just as a police officer, responding to the shots, steps in the way and wounds the officer. His fellow cops put down heavy fire on our self-defending citizen, hitting him in several places, while the gunman makes his escape.
Tom ends his fantasy with the notion that this gun owner “saw the light” and advocated “sensible” gun control policies, but the general thrust of the story has already been set.
While we don’t know the color of the sky in Tom’s world, we do know that it isn’t the same as the real one. In Tom’s world, the police aren’t really ten to fifteen minutes away, there are right around the corner ready to respond to his every whim. They are concerned most about his safety rather than their own, and thus they won’t wait on the SWAT team to arrive. They will charge ahead into gun fire to save Tom.
And in Tom’s world, the NYC police department doesn’t discharge 84 rounds at a single shooter, missing with 70 of them. The police are perfect shots, and they perfectly respond to all situations regardless of the level of stress.
In Tom’s world, those who carry firearms are just goobers who cannot tie their shoes correctly, much less be trusted to defend their own lives with a firearm. In Tom’s world, they would much rather leave the shooter alone, duck behind chairs and pray that the shooter doesn’t aim for them than have some law abiding citizen respond to stop the carnage. Tom would rather risk your life and the lives of your loved ones than allow you to carry a weapon to stop the death. Tom doesn’t care about you.
It’s difficult to respond to this sort of pathology because it is based on irrational fear, bigotry and fantasy. But rest assured, it is indeed based on fantasy. The facts show that shootings are best stopped by individuals carrying weapons than by the police. Tom is unaware that the Supreme Court has decidedly ruled that police are under no obligation to assist you or even to stop crimes during their commission. They are obligated to respond once the crimes have been committed (past tense).
Another observation is that while this publication is ostensibly a Christian publication, it’s remarkable how few Christians have developed a consistently and holistically Christian world and life view. The gospel becomes social work, soteriology becomes bettering mankind by laws and regulations (ironically, a distinctly Islamic view), and Christ was a passive doormat upon whom people could walk. These things aren’t true, and a good starting point for understanding what the second amendment is about can be found in my own Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense.
Finally, back to the meme of the article, I’ve seen this same appeal almost every day for the last year. And I’ve written on guns for just as long, as have most of the gun bloggers in my own blogging community. Lisa Fullam, the author, wants to have “the conversation about guns.” Lisa has apparently been absent for the last year. We’ve been having this conversation, again, and again, and again, and again. It isn’t that we’re not having it. We disagree, and what Lisa and her ilk want is for us to agree with them. And their real complaint isn’t that we’re not having the conversation, but that second amendment advocates are winning it.