Here’s my column in today’s Greenville News.
‘Evil is restrained by the courage of armed citizens.’
Despite the assertion that gun-owners like me are dangerous Neanderthals, we do have a few good points to make in the current debate. So allow me to ‘fire-off’ some reasons the current initiative is, quite frankly, stupid.
Gun control advocates are typically ignorant of the objects of their disdain. Most of them don’t know the difference between automatic and semi-automatic; nor that you need a special FEDERAL permit for automatic weapons. (You know, the kind of weapons used by the body-guards of important politicians, businessmen and celebrities, and used in every violent film vomited from endlessly sanctimonious Hollywood.)
And few of them know the difference between a pistol and a revolver, a 12 gauge and a .38. One of them wrote on my blog, ‘I suppose I could see having a .22 for hunting, but I don’t understand why you need anything else.’ Which .22 is that, ma’am? Because there are a boat-load of them, and some are meaner than others.
I suppose her reasoning is that if you don’t understand, just ban all of them. They’re guns, after all! Of course, I don’t know why anyone needs more than one type of beer or wine. They’re all alcohol, and lead to drunk-driving!
Another ridiculous part of the current media fire-storm over gun control is the deeply held belief that concealed weapons permit holders are especially dangerous and that gun owners should be ‘outed’ to the public. In a kind of homage to the much detested (by Communists) witch-hunts of ‘tail-gunner’ Joe McCarthy, gun-owners have been ‘outed’ by some newspapers. Painting with a broad-brush, they’ve been ‘profiled.’ A thing which we x-ray, grope and strip to avoid in the nation’s airports.
The uncomfortable reality is that states with concealed weapons permits have seen decreased crime rates. And even if they hadn’t, the permit holders aren’t committing crimes. A person willing to have fingerprints and background checks, and even take a class, is not the guy we need to fret about, or identify. (Unless it’s to make friends.)
But there’s more from this conservative curmudgeon. And this is more personal. I’ve seen people who have been killed and cruelly attacked. I’ve seen them killed with guns, of course, but more killed and maimed with knives, blunt objects, boots to the throat and assorted other weapons. Death is death. (Hammers and ball-bats killed more Americans than rifles last year, incidentally. Even black, scary rifles!)
The thing is, the enlightened UK (which indeed has a lower gun-crime rate than ours) is one of the most violent nations in Europe. It turns out, you don’t need a gun to be violent. Who knew?
Sadly for civilization, in such ‘gun-free’ settings the strong and brutal thrive. Small women or men, senior citizens and disabled individuals are all victims ripe for picking. Abused spouses or single parents, citizens with alternate lifestyles, late-night clerks and all kinds of others are sacrificed on the altar of ‘safety.’ Darwinian survival of the fittest at it’s most despicable.
A gun in the hand of a physically weak person makes that person safer…in evolutionary terms, we could say it gives them a ‘survival advantage,’ maybe the chance to live and reproduce, or protect their young. Unfortunately, victim-hood is the new religion of our elites. (Who often have body-guards, incidentally). It’s better for everyone if a mother and child are murdered, rather than a firearm be in the hands of anyone outside the military or police. Ideology trumps biology. And ethics.
I understand the desire to keep firearms from the mentally ill, so long as we’re careful about that determination. But are we really ready to use emotion to trump logic, fact, evidence, tradition, law and culture? Is the President prepared to instantly criminalize millions for owning something that had been legal all along? To confiscate property and prosecute people who never harmed anyone with their weapons? Especially when our own government has been supplying the same weapons to criminals in Mexico? (And can this nation even afford such an initiative?)
I hope we can come to our senses. I hope we can realize that new laws don’t change the hearts of law-breakers. That collective punishment is tyranny. That since about 47% of US adults own a firearm, the numerator of criminals is tiny compared with the denominator of the lawful.
And I hope to heaven we can embrace the fact that evil is not restrained by law, but by force of arms and the courage of free, and armed, citizens.