Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government.”     Henry Ward Beecher

April 23, 2007

Who Suggested We Arm Everyone?

by Brad Warbiany

Well, nobody, really, but that’s the refrain we hear from the left in response to gun advocates who suggest CCW might have helped contain the massacre at Virginia Tech before 32 people were killed. We say “give responsible gun owners the freedom to carry concealed”. They hear “force a gun into every able-bodies citizen’s hand”.

In other words, they have a convenient strawman to argue against. And it’s not just left-wing bloggers, of course, it’s also left-wing Pulitzer Prize-winning pundits:

But it’s more than a little disconcerting to hear that so many adults also believe in superheroes. They must. Why else would they insist that the best way to prevent carnage of the sort that occurred last week at Virginia Tech is to put guns into every available hand? They’re indulging their childhood fantasies, remembering the movies in which the Caped Crusader or John Wayne instantly dispatched the bad guy.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of pro-gun people weigh in on this debate. In fact, I weighed in myself. So far I’ve seen absolutely nobody suggest that “arming everyone” would be a good idea. Nor have most pro-gun people said that it would definitively have improved the situation. In fact, I pointed out that allowing people on campus to carry doesn’t mean that they necessarily would have that day. In fact, I didn’t even claim that it would have stopped Cho, only that it could have.

But all this doesn’t matter. Cynthia Tucker doesn’t want to address the thought that responsible gun owners who went through the trouble of educating themselves about firearms, getting a CCW permit, and take care to leave their house armed might actually have a chance. So she completely dismisses that idea, and jumps into the “well, if everyone was carrying we’d have a firefight and carnage all around!” bandwagon. She’d rather leave everyone defenseless.

Of course, in her own personal life, she knows how to remain safe. As her father taught her:

When I moved to Atlanta just out of college, I told him I was going to buy a handgun. He strongly disapproved, believing I’d be more likely to get injured with my own gun than fend off an attacker with it. “You don’t need a gun,” he said. “You need to stay out of dangerous places.” I took his advice.

I assume by “dangerous places”, she’s talking about college campuses, fast food restaurants, post offices, etc, right? Because every student who woke up to go to class in Norris Hall that day thought they were headed to a safe place. The reason we need CCW is because there are no “safe” places, only those with relatively higher and lower risk. As we can see, even having a place declared a “gun-free zone” doesn’t mean it’s gun-free.

Who’s arguing for CCW? Well, crackpots like the NRA, who have apparently gone beyond the mandate that Tucker believes they should. It’s funny, I thought the NRA was trying to protect Americans’ right to keep and bear arms as described by the second amendment, not just to hunt or sport shoot. Tucker further shows her bias here:

That utterly irrational argument comes straight from the National Rifle Association, which long ago abandoned any pretense of representing the reasonable aims of hunters and sports shooters. The gun lobby now peddles an insane policy of making firearms as ubiquitous as cellphones.

Really? I’ve never seen that NRA poster. Although, a quick Google search showed me that there are about 196 million cellphone users in the USA, and about 200 million guns. Perhaps people carrying the latter would help stop the loud-talkers using the former from interrupting my dinner in a nice restaurant?

The gun control advocates won’t stand up against the argument for freedom. Thus, they argue a different sort of coercion, that we shove a gun into every hand in America. I’m not arguing that we should arm everyone. All I’m arguing is that people should be allowed the freedom to carry, in order to protect themselves. It’s their own choice whether they wish to exercise that freedom. Most of those that I’ve met who exercise their freedom know the level of responsibility they’re taking on, and they don’t need a flippant journalist to treat them like children. Even if that journalist did win a Pulitzer.

Hat Tip: McQ from QandO

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1 Comment

  1. Like so many other rights and freedoms, they don’t have to be exercised. You don’t have to plead the 5th when in court. You don’t have to exercise freedom of speech or religion, but they are there just in case you decide to. The same applies to the right to bear arms. Don’t like guns or think that guns are dangerous, don’t’ get one, but don’t try and take away my rights because you choose not to exercise yours.

    I can’t remember if it was here or not but I read that the guy that funded the DC gun ban doesn’t even own a firearm, but he was sick and tired of the gov’t taking away rights so he did something about it. He got some regular folks w/o connections to organizations like the NRA and they challenged the gun band and won.

    Comment by LLR — April 23, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

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