We’ll always be able to trust the government with a monopoly on force. Cooperate when threatened, and you won’t be hurt. The assumptions behind gun control laws are so blatantly and dangerously wrong that it must take some intellect to trick oneself into believing they’re true.
In December 2000, five friends in their twenties decided to cooperate when Jonathan and Reginald Carr barged into their Wichita home, demanding money. The victims offered no resistance, hoping that the pair would take their valuables and leave. Instead, the attackers ordered the three men into a closet and proceeded to rape the two women for several hours. Then the intruders started killing people. After watching the killers execute her fiancée, one woman survived by crawling, bleeding and naked, through the snow towards Christmas lights. According to a July 16, 2002 column in FrontPage Magazine, she later reported that, although the rapists left their firearms lying about the room, neither she nor Aquinas preschool teacher Heather Muller moved to grab one.
Resisting is only likely to make one’s situation worse if an assailant has both superior firearms expertise and purely financial motives. Even though Heather Muller had never fired a weapon in her life, for example, picking one up could not have made her situation worse. Her attackers were as interested in harming her as they were in taking her money.
Imagine how different the story might have been had one of the five possessed a weapon. Their chances of survival could only have improved.
I’m disgusted when supporters of strict gun laws label their opponents as heartless or uncaring; gun control leaves victims little choice other than futile cooperation with those who, like Jonathan and Reginald Carr, have no intention of sparing them from unimaginable suffering and death. Condemning people to defenseless victimhood to protect them from accidental injury is no more compassionate than depriving them of water or heat to protect them from drowning or suffocation, each five times more common than accidental firearm death, according to the 2000 National Vital Statistics Report by the Centers for Disease Control.
In 1994, criminologists at Florida State University conducted the National Self Defense Survey. It found that guns are used defensively roughly 2.5 million times per year, or once every 13 seconds. In the majority of these attacks, the assailant initiated violence, was a stranger to the intended victim and was deterred without any shots being fired. If the assailant intended to kill someone in 15.7 percent of these cases, a conservative estimate, a life is saved by the defensive use of a firearm every 1.3 minutes.
In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho walked into Virginia Tech’s gun-free “safe zone” and effortlessly murdered 30 people in the span of nine minutes before police arrived. I shudder when I try to understand the mind of someone who would rather let an execution-style massacre run its course uncontested than risk “making things worse” by allowing an action with the potential to stop or slow a killer.
A 1997 study by the FBI, as reported by W. Scott Lewis of the Houston Chronicle, found that most exchanges of gunfire last less than 10 seconds before one side is disabled. It should be obvious bystanders are not likely to be caught in the crossfire if a shootout lasts only 10 seconds. Of the 20 U.S. campuses that allow concealed carry, none has seen an instance of gun violence. In fact, a 2001 study by William E. Sturdevant found that concealed permit holders in Texas are nearly eight times less likely to commit violent crime than those without permits.
Growing up during the Bush administration, I was constantly amazed by people who warned of an increasingly corrupt and oppressive government but felt that only the government could be trusted to have guns. I could not imagine a more absurdly contradictory pair of political positions. If you’re willing to disarm a population, you had better trust not only the politicians that are in power today, but any politicians that may come to power tomorrow.
Suppose we trust the police to protect us from criminals, but our children inherit a police force less effective than ours. Suppose we trust the government to safeguard our liberty, but our grandchildren inherit a government less interested in liberty than ours. The Second Amendment was written by men who had just thrown off an oppressive government and foresaw a day when their descendants might need to do the same.
In 2009, as two intruders kicked in his door, North Carolina man RC Soles shot one of them and chased off the other. The story would be inspiring if Soles, a state senator, wasn’t a longtime advocate of strict gun control laws. Supporters of gun control either aren’t taking a concrete approach to the issue, or, like Soles, would act to save their own lives in situations where they would advise inaction to others.