Armed citizens are best way to stop mass killings
I have been pondering the Maryland Independent editorials involving guns, fear, and violence. Back on June 15, after the Orlando shootings, the first editorial decried rushing to judgment and opinion, and then presented two example arguments, the first of which was to “throw more guns into the hands of citizens so they can better protect themselves from those who intend to do them harm.”
The phrase, “throw more guns” is oddly pejorative, and seems chosen to make what followed it seem irrational. A few sentences later, the editorial says of mass killings that “No one can present a rational option for how to prevent them.” The editorial seems to be claiming that armed citizens are not a rational option for preventing mass killings. This claim deserves scrutiny.
The Second Amendment describes an individual right to keep and bear arms. This clearly means we have the right to own guns and carry them around with us. Is our own constitution no longer “rational”? 99.999 percent of us are not bearing arms. Only the police are. Since we are not following the Constitution, we can’t say it isn’t working or that it wouldn’t be a rational option.
Another popular phrase is “common sense” gun laws. Isn’t obeying the Constitution “common sense?” The burden of proof lies with those who oppose armed citizens, and that burden has never been met. In fact, events repeatedly prove that mass killings are continuing to happen in a society where hardly any civilians are carrying guns in public.
Since June, attacks have occurred in other nations with no right to keep and bear arms. One mass killing in France used guns, another used a truck, and a Japanese attacker killed 19 people with a knife. The takeaway? In supposedly disarmed societies, attackers got guns anyway and used other means too. All mass killings have one thing in common — no armed citizens were present
Gun control proponents like to point to lower rates of gun crime in some other countries. But, a person hacked to death or run over by a truck is just as dead as one who is shot. We don’t know how many crimes are prevented by guns, because the police are rarely told in such cases. We do know that 7 of 11 states with the lowest murder rates are graded “D” or lower by the Brady campaign.
Emotional language, like “The violence must end” (July 15 editorial), won’t help. Violence will never end. Thank God our constitution was not written by emotional men wringing their hands and jockeying for partisan advantage over every news story. They knew that violence will always exist, but the best way to security was to ensure that all citizens had the right to arms.
Some founders had slaves — a fact used to discredit them when politically convenient. But we rarely hear calls for weakening freedom of speech, assembly, and due process. The Independent said on July 29 that we shouldn’t “give in to fear” and weaken the Fourth Amendment, as has been done in our “failed war on drugs.” True, but that also applies to gutting the Second Amendment in our failed “war on guns.”
We also hear that the Second Amendment is “outdated.” Nonsense. There is nothing irrational or outdated about it, and there’s no “common sense” in weakening it. We need the Second Amendment now — all of it. There is no other way to prevent mass killings. The police simply cannot be everywhere, and they must relearn how to co-exist with armed civilians as they did in the past.
Tom deSabla, La Plata