Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 603, January 16, 2011

"Liberalism as it's currently practiced,
isn't so much another point of view as
it is a form of mental illness"

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Why We Shouldn't Disarm Crazy People
by Doug Newman

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Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

This is a rehash of a piece I wrote in 2004. I am reworking it because of the calls for additional gun control after the tragic shootings in Tucson on Saturday. I have heard a lot of people say something along these lines:

"I believe people should be allowed to own guns. But there HAS to be SOME control. I mean, there are so many crazy people out there. You can't let just ANYONE have a gun."

Herewith are four scenarios to illustrate how gun control does not stop crimes.

  • You are a 23-year-old girl and you have recently broken up with your creepazoid boyfriend. He has been stalking you, so you purchase a gun for your protection, and you apply for a concealed carry permit so you can pack heat in your purse. Your application sits on some little nudenik bureaucrat's desk awaiting his "approval". Your ex-boyfriend follows you to the grocery store around 10:00 one night. As you exit the store, he proceeds to rape you.
  • You came to America from Egypt 25 years ago. You have an MBA and a well-paying job that affords you and your family a comfortable suburban lifestyle. You have thoroughly assimilated into American culture, so much so that you have converted from Islam to Christianity and changed your name from Jamir Ali to James Oliver. There has just been another terrorist attack in American and, in its aftermath, a series of assaults on Arab-Americans. You are walking your dog one evening and four redneck punkazoids jump you, beat you to a bloody pulp and leave you to die. Your concealed carry application is sitting on the same desk as the application of the young lady in the first scenario.
  • On the morning of April 20, 1999, you and 1800 other people are going about your daily business in a gun-free zone in Littleton, Colorado. Two psychopathic malcontents walk in and start spraying bullets, killing 13 people before they kill themselves. No one shoots back, because this is a "gun-free zone."
  • On the morning of September 11, 2001, you are a crew member aboard a gun-free zone that has just been commandeered by terrorists. One of them pulls out a box cutter and slits your throat. You are defenseless, as this is a gun-free zone. After these terrorists off you, they proceed to off the pilot and co-pilot, who are similarly defenseless. And then all hell really breaks loose. (1)

[cartoon by Scott Bieser]

Each of the above stories involves crazy people and normal people. Each involves people who obeyed gun laws suffering at the hands of people who were undeterred by gun laws.

In only one of the above cases did the assailants use guns. In perpetrating their orgy or blood, Harris and Klebold broke something like 20 laws. If someone plots for over a year to undertake something as horrific as Columbine or 9/11, they are by definition not deterred by your silly-posterior gun laws.

Gun laws do not deter crime. If you are determined enough, you will use a gun anyway (Harris and Klebold) or you will find a plan B such as a knife (whoever killed Ron and Nicole), fertilizer (Tim McVeigh), a bathtub (Andrea Yates) or box cutters (according to the official 9/11 story). The only people affected by gun laws are law abiders.

In the words of an old billboard, 10 out of 10 criminals prefer their victims disarmed. Disarming crazy people does not make them less crazy or less criminal. It just leaves law-abiding people defenseless. Evil abhors a vacuum. When you disarm innocent people bad things happen.

The Second Amendment to our Constitution states:

"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."

This Amendment does not "grant" any rights. It guarantees a "right of the people" that existed already—see Luke 22:36. It does not merely apply to defense against murderers, rapists and robbers, but to tyrants as well. The "well-regulated Militia" of which it speaks does not mean the federally armed and sponsored National Guard, but rather citizens skilled in both the use of firearms as well as teamwork in the field.

Such a militia was necessary not for the security of any old willy-nilly state, but of a "free state." Militias played a vital part in securing this nation's independence. The Founders understood that an armed populace was an essential counterforce against tyranny.

The history of the last century bears witness to this. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership posts a wonderful illustration of the relationship between gun control and genocide. Various degrees of gun control—licensing, confiscation, bans on private ownership, bans on concealed carry, requiring demonstration of a "need" to own a firearm—led to genocide in Armenia, Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Red China, Guatemala, Uganda, Cambodia and Rwanda.

Experts Agree

The world's worst crazies can be found in government. The sicker they are, the more power they accumulate. Show me a tyrant—Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, Castro—who is not certifiably insane. The ultimate aim of gun control is to totally disarm the citizenry and leave them defenseless against psychopaths who pull the strings of power.

And if you believe "we should take away all the guns", ask yourself what you mean by "we" as well as how such a "take away" shall be implemented.

They Obeyed Gun Laws

If you believe "we should take away all the guns", you had better think twice. And three or four or five times if necessary.

"But," you ask, "what would you say if you or a loved one were a victim of gun violence?"

I don't know what I would say. And it really irks me when people claim to speak for other people. Some victims of gun violence support more gun control and some don't. Some black people blindly support Obama and some don't. Some military veterans support all of America's wars and some don't. One's demographic does not necessarily determine one's political views.

I leave you with this interview with John Green, whose nine-year-old daughter was so tragically killed on Saturday morning. At the 1:40 mark, he states that "we don't need any more restrictions on our society."

Indeed we don't. Let us not succumb to the emotions of the moment. Liberty is a lot easier to surrender than it is to get back. My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misundertandings. If you would like to post this on your site, please include this URL as well as my email.


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