Donald Trump told the NRA that “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.” Here’s why the promise matters.
Donald Trump spoke today at the National Rifle Association’s 2017 Leadership Forum. While it’s clear that he’s not necessarily up on the finer details of the intellectual arguments supporting our Second Amendment rights, there’s no doubting his sincerity when it comes to preserving them:
The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side.
The fact that President Trump will de-fang the federal government’s attacks against Second Amendment rights, however, does not mean that the Left will stop their relentless press to disarm Americans. They constantly tell us how disarmament works in other countries, and insist that we can be just as safe as such sweet, law-abiding little countries as England, Sweden, Germany, and Norway, it works so well.
Except that it doesn’t work well at all, at least not when a genocidal tyrant arises, as happened in Germany. And it doesn’t work well when a formerly culturally homogeneous country welcomes people in who bring with them violent values and an anti-Western animus, along with their guns, knives, trucks, gang rapes, bombs, etc.
While it’s great that Donald Trump backs the Second Amendment, the fight is not over. As long as there are Leftists, the fight will never be over. We therefore have to be prepared to defend our Second Amendment rights whenever they come under attack. Here’s a small toolkit for that defense. It addresses the following facts: (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) the Founders understood that government was dangerous and added the Second Amendment as a bulwark against that threat; (e) the Jewish experience reminds us that disarmed people are easy victims; (4) only racists want to disarm minorities; and (5) a self-defended society is a safe society.
I. Contrary to the Left, it’s not your fellow citizens you need to fear most; it’s your government.
We are living in a time when violence seems imminent, at least if you’re living in a Democrat-controlled city or in a jihad target zone. Second Amendment supporters believe we have the right to defend ourselves in those circumstances. Progressives, however, believe that the only way to deal with violence coming from individuals is to disarm everyone. They are wrong, of course. However useful guns may be in dealing with individual crimes, though, the real utility behind our inherent right to bear arms — as the Founders fully understood — is to protect us against the greatest killer of all: government.
A. Whether one is looking at violently inclined individuals, ideologically motivated groups, or careless corporations, none have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.
Whenever there’s a shooting in America, whether in Sandy Hook, Florida, or San Bernardino, or even after a bad weekend in Chicago, Progressives demand that citizens should be disarmed because the headlines make them believe that individuals are the worst killers around. Unless they’re arguing that evil corporations are the worst killers around. Let’s humor those fears and look at the number of deaths those particular killers have achieved, both with and without guns, from the beginning of the 20th century through to the present day.
Non-Government Killers Without Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer without a gun: Gameel al-Batouti. On October 31, 1999, he cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he piloted a plane full of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.
The worst ideologically driven collective of mass murderers without guns: The 19 al Qaeda members who, on September 11, 2001, used box cutters to hijack four planes, crashed those planes into three buildings and one into a field, and killed 2,996 people in a matter of hours.
The worst corporate mass murderer without guns: In December 1984, the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released toxic gas from its facility, killing 3,787 people.
CONCLUSION: When dedicated mass murderers use something other than guns, they’re able to achieve deaths that range from a few hundred dead to a few thousand dead.
Non-Government Killers With Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer with a gun: Anders Behring Breivik who, on July 22, 2011, shot and killed 69 people in Norway – mostly teenagers. This rampage came after he’d already set off a bomb, killing 8 people. Norway has strict gun control. I believe Omar Mateen comes in second, having killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.
The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers with guns: Given Islamists’ tendency to use all weapons available to shoot as many people as possible in as many countries as they can, this is a tough one to call. The Beslan school attack in 2004 resulted in almost 400 deaths (including the terrorists), but they achieved these numbers by combining explosives with guns. The Mumbai terror attack in 2008 is the largest ideologically driven mass murder that relied solely on guns. Throughout the city of Mumbai, Islamic terrorists engaged in a coordinated attack that killed 154 people. The Bataclan and related attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, took 130 lives. Amazingly, the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.
The worst corporate mass murder with guns: I can’t find one. To the extent that numerous workers died in any given 19th century labor dispute, those deaths occurred because state government, siding with management, sent out the state’s militia to disperse the strikers. For example, in November 1887, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the state militia killed between 35 and 300 black sugar plantation strikers. The 20th and 21st century did not offer such examples.
CONCLUSION: To the extent Progressives fear individual killers or small groups of killers with guns, their fears are misplaced. Guns simply aren’t that effective in these contexts, especially when compared to those who use planes or bombs. Moreover, when it comes to corporations and guns, outside of crazed Hollywood movies, the corporations vanish from the scene entirely. While individuals (singularly and collectively) and corporations can kill, absent mass chemical discharges, the casualties are low.
Progressives could conceivably argue that, once you start adding up small killing events (a murder here, a murder there), you’re going to find a lot of dead bodies piled around you. For example, if one adds up America’s annual murder statistics from 1960 through 2012, the total number of Americans killed in those 52 years is 914,191. (This number encompasses all murders, not just those with guns, but we’ll still use it as the most extreme illustration of Americans’ alleged propensity to violence.)
If we then engaged in the risible pretense that these numbers were stable for all 233 years of America’s existence (that is, if we pretend that Americans killed each other at the rate of 900,000 murdered citizens every 50 years going back to 1783), Americans would have managed to achieve around 4,000,000 murders in 233 years, using all weapons available.
Wow! 4,000,000 murders in 233 years! No wonder the Progressives are so desperate to keep guns out of their fellow citizens’ hands. As they see it, Americans are stone-cold killers, wholly capable of killing almost a million of each other in just 50 years. However, as is shown below, even taking this worst case scenario, Progressives’ fears about guns in individual hands are unfounded.
B. The serious killers in the last century haven’t been individuals or small groups. The serious killers have been governments acting against unarmed (usually disarmed) citizens.
Let’s talk now about the real killers of the 20th and 21st centuries; namely, governments killing their own people or engaging in genocidal attacks against specifically selected religious, cultural, or racial groups – all of them unarmed and defenseless.
Turkey: In 1915, the Turkish government ordered and carried out the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians.
Soviet Union: In the 1920s through mid-1930s, the Soviet government under Stalin declared war on the independent Ukrainian farmers known as Kulaks. Through government engineered starvation, deportation, and execution, the Soviets are estimated to have killed approximately 7 million Kulaks.
The Kulaks were just one group who died off in a specific mass killing. In fact, nobody really knows how many of its citizens the Soviet Union killed, whether using starvation, outright execution, or penal colonies. Estimates range from 7 million to 20 million people dying due to the Soviet government’s policies and purges.
China in the 1960s through 1970s: When it comes to a government killing its own citizens, the Soviets were pikers compared to the Chinese. Current estimates for those who died during the Great Leap Forward due to government engineered famine, executions, and slave labor range from between 23 million to 46 million Chinese. Some estimates (outliers, admittedly) posit even 50 million or more Chinese dying to appease Chairman Mao’s statist vision.
Nazi Germany, from 1933-1945: You knew I’d get to the Nazis, of course. Not satisfied with purging their own country of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and handicapped people, the Nazis conquered Europe from France to Poland to Russia to Denmark and embarked upon a purge in those countries too.
Without exception, the civilians that the Nazis targeted were already unarmed (voluntarily or involuntarily) before the Nazis came to power or ended up disarmed when the Nazis achieved power. With their pick of helpless victims, the Nazis executed 6 million Jews; 250,000 gypsies; 220,000 homosexuals, and, through slave labor, executions, and starvation, as many as 10 million Slavic people. (The number of handicapped people killed is unknown.) As an aside, when the Nazi gun-control gang got the bit in their teeth and went to war, the war itself resulted in the deaths of approximately another 20,000,000 or so Europeans who weren’t targeted because of race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability, but who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Cambodia: Following the Cambodian Civil War, Pol Pot rose to power in Cambodia. Once in power, in the years between 1975 and 1979, his government killed between 1.7 and 2.2 million of its own citizens, out of a population of around 8 million people. Were the U.S. to have a Pol Pot moment today, that would be the equivalent of having the federal government kill 66 million to 85 million people in four years.
North Korea: Nobody knows how many North Koreans have died since the murderous Kim regime came into power. One estimate is that 1,293,000 North Koreans have died at their government’s hands. That number, of course, is entirely separate from the hundreds of thousands of North Koreans residing in concentration camps throughout that hellish little nation.
The above are the government-engineered mass murders that spring most readily to my mind. I’ve obviously left out many that properly belong on the list, everything from Iran, to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to Cuba, to just about every tin-pot dictatorship in Africa and Latin America. If you would like the full body of statistics for government-engineered mass murders in the 20th and 21st centuries, I recommend R. J. Rummel’s Statistics of Democide, which examines 214 regimes. I’ve picked my way through some of this opus and, even though Rummel’s writing is scholarly not scintillating, I was able to catch the depressing gist: Governments kill and, given the chance, they kill often, in staggering numbers.
So think about this: Progressives are terrified to leave guns in individual hands, even though individuals with guns, no matter their efforts, have in the past 50 years topped out at about 150 deaths per armed incident. At the same time, Progressives castigate as crazy those Second Amendment supporters who have noticed that armed governments, when they have an unarmed population at their mercy, kill in the millions, with a few million dead here and another fifty million dead there.
Stalin spoke from personal experience when he said “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” While the Progressives are weeping over the tragedies, the NRA and its supporters are trying to avoid the statistics.
II. Even without the benefit of the 20th century’s staggering statistics, America’s Founders knew that government is the greatest threat to individual life and liberty, and they drafted the Second Amendment accordingly.
Perhaps due to a deep well of historic ignorance, Progressives like to forget that the American Revolution’s victory was by no means assured. The colonists, after all, had been so foolhardy (or insane) that they’d taken up arms against the most powerful military in the world. Anyone placing bets in 1776 or 1778 would have been smart to wager against the revolutionaries.
Moreover, if the revolutionaries had lived in the home country of England, it’s likely that those placing bets against the revolution would have been correct. England, an old, stable culture that had weathered a devastating revolution slightly more than 100 years before, was not much given to having individual citizens bearing arms. (Indeed, one writer has posited that the American rebellion began in part because the British sought to disarm the colonists.)
It was only in the Americas, far from “civilization,” that arms were a necessity. One does not go into the frontier unarmed. Too many people had untamed forests pressing against their fragile communities to manage without at least one musket, rifle, or pistol in their possession.
Because of their circumstances, the American colonists didn’t just possess arms; they knew how to use them. While George Washington despaired of turning his volunteers into a well-drilled, spit-and-polish military, the one thing he didn’t have to worry about was weapons training. His rag-tag army knew how to load, aim, and shoot (especially those Tennessee mountain boys). If the Continental Congress could provide the bullets, many of the colonists willingly provided their own guns and know-how.
The Revolutionary war had already been over for eight years when the Founders enacted the Bill of Rights. It was in that context – the aftermath of a small colony’s successful revolution against the most powerful nation in the world – that the Founders determined that American citizens would never again be subordinate to their government.
For this reason, the first ten amendments to the Constitution do not define government power; they limit it. Significantly, they limit it, not by having the government graciously extend a few privileges to America’s citizens, privileges that the government can as easily revoke, but instead by stating rights that are inherent in individuals without regard to the government’s powers.
The second of these amendments – and the only one that is dedicated exclusively to a single principle, rather than a blend of related principles – refers to every citizen’s inherent right to possess arms:
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.
If the Second Amendment were written in modern English, the Founders might have phrased it this way:
The only way citizens can defend themselves against a tyrannical government is to create their own army (which, obviously, is separate from the government’s army). The people therefore have an overarching and innate right to have guns, and the government may not interfere with that right.
Progressives loves to hang their hat on the “well regulated militia” phrase. “Hah!” they say. “The only way you gun nuts can have those guns is if you get together with your friends on a regular basis and create an army, complete with drilling and officers and such-like.” (Never mind that, when groups do precisely that, they’re denounced as proto-military terrorist organizations and the government uses its armed might to shut those groups down.)
What Progressives refuse to recognize is that the Founders, although looking at a very weak federal government, were nevertheless considering the possibility that American citizens might in the future need to rebel against a government that had grown too powerful. The Founder’s own experience had shown them that citizens don’t need to have a standing militia that is always ready to fight. Instead, the citizens must only have the ability to constitute a well-regulated militia on an as needed basis (the need being the necessity to secure individual freedom against government). This ability to transform from peaceful citizens into an effective militia when needed requires a citizenry that’s both well-armed and competent with those arms.
Here’s another good thing about those Second Amendment arms we possess: Imagine a Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or Pol Pot somehow attaining the White House through the ordinary election process. Because Americans would never elect someone who announced in advance his intention to become a murderous dictator, that candidate would have campaigned dishonestly, so as to sound as if he supported a free, republican democracy. The only tip-off that he in fact intended to govern without the consent of the governed would be his strenuous efforts to destroy the Second Amendment.
The Founders had seen tyranny face-to-face and they recognized that every government has the potential to become tyrannical (although they couldn’t have predicted in their wildest dreams the mad scope of government killing in the 20th and 21st centuries). They therefore embedded in the Bill of Rights the ultimate bulwark against tyranny: an armed population that, if needed, can instantly transform itself into a citizen army.
Yes, some of those armed citizens will do bad things with their guns, but even at their worst, they are insignificant killers compared to rogue governments. As a matter of principle, supported by data, an armed citizenry is safer than an unarmed one when it comes to the biggest, most blood-thirsty, most deadly predator known to man: Government.
III. The example of the Jews demands that citizens defend their right to arms.
I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw it, but just the other day, someone pointed out that, whether in the Soviet Union or in Nazi Germany, matters might have proceeded differently if the police, soldiers, and fascist citizens knocking on the doors of Jews and other “enemies of the state” had been met with a barrage of gun fire rather than meek resistance. Which leads me to the Jews.
American Jews are almost reflexively anti-gun, due in large part to a false syllogism: “The Nazis (or the Cossacks or any other group that’s persecuted Jews in the last 150 years) used guns to round us up and kill us; therefore guns are bad.” It’s almost impossible to convince them that (a) if Jews were armed, they could have fought back; and (b) if Jews were known for fighting back, it’s unlikely that the anti-Semites would have so readily attacked.
Since the Jews came under Roman control in 63 B.C., their collective history is an apt parable for the principle that individual citizens or disfavored minorities should have arms. It was in 63 B.C. that the Jews last exercised arms before the modern era.
The Jewish God is a jealous God, and the Jewish people a stiff-necked one. Religious Jews saw Roman control (and taxes) as offensive to their God and themselves. The Jews accordingly engaged in three major rebellions: The First Jewish–Roman War, or Great Revolt, was from 66-73; the Kitos War was from 115-117, and Bar Kokhba’s revolt was from 132-135.
Although these rebellions took place in a geographically small corner of the great Roman Empire, these were not little regional spats. Armed Jews were a force to be reckoned with. By the time of the final Bar Kokhba revolt, it took six full Roman legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions to crush the revolt.
The lesson from these three revolts was plain to both Jews and non-Jews: Jews can’t be trusted with weapons although the Jews and their adversaries approached this reality in entirely different ways. The Jews took away the idea that, if they fought, they might lose and lose big. The non-Jews took away the idea that Jews with weapons are really scary and fight with a ferocity far out of proportion to their numbers, so they are best disarmed. Jews did not have weapons again for another 1,813 years. During those 1,813 years, the Jews learned that there are many things worse than dying while fighting for freedom.
In those 1,813 years, Jews were perpetual victims. They were slaughtered by Muslims intent upon purging them after the Jews rejected Mohamed’s claim that he was the Prophet. They were slaughtered by Christians intent upon purging the world of a religion that was associated in people’s minds with the death of Christ, a Jew. They were slaughtered by medieval monarchs who borrowed vast sums of money from those Jews who made a living as money-lenders only to realize that it was easier to kill the creditor than to repay him.
And most commonly, for almost two thousand years, Jews have been slaughtered by peasants the world over for just about any reason. If these peasants were asked, they would have said they killed because Jews were different, Jews were clannish, Jews purportedly slaughtered children for blood; Jews (who lived in dirt) made peasants (who lived in slightly nicer dirt) poor; and any other half-assed reason a debased human mind can imagine. The real reason peasants killed was the same reason that Muslim governments today revile Jews: tyrannical governments (dictatorships, monarchs, oligarchies, etc.) need a scapegoat to explain away the fact that its their fault that their enslaved citizens are starved, abused, enslaved, and degraded. The Jews are every tyrant’s perfect distraction.
The Jewish slaughter culminated in the modern era with the Nazis, who brought efficiency to anti-Semitism, successfully killing 6 million Jews in 6 years. By comparison, using myriad weapons from guns, to knives, to hammers, to booted feet, to fists, to garrotes, individual Americans managed to murder only 24,700 of their countrymen in 1991, the deadliest murder year in American history.
It took the Nazi’s maddened slaughter, along with emotionally devastating pictures of unarmed Jews being rounded up at gunpoint, for Israelis to get the message: being unarmed won’t pacify your enemy, it will embolden him. Israeli Jews therefore got armed, heavily, heavily armed. Indeed, they got so armed that, despite living in the most dangerous part of the world, Israeli Jews managed to defend themselves against genocidal anti-Semitic attacks by myriad countries in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 2006. Like the porcupine, Israelis bristle with weapons, warning all comers that trying to get too close will be a painful exercise.
Despite Israel’s military and the fact that all of her citizens know how to use arms, Israel, which is a leftist country, for a long time had typically Progressive laws barring people from carrying arms in their day to day lives. That changed during the recent knife intifada. It took only a few knife attacks for people to realize that the best defense against a knife attack is a gun.
Israel knows that fighting back inevitably means her citizens will die in combat but as 1,813 of experience, including the recent knife intifada have shown, even when Jews don’t fight back, they die anyway, and in greater numbers than Israel has lost in any of her five major wars or two-and-a-half intifadas. Either way, Jews die. But as those who staged the Warsaw Uprising understood, it’s better to die by the hundreds or thousands on your feet and to take the enemy with you as a warning to the next wave of Jew killers than to die on your knees by the millions.
Every Jew should know how to shoot and, even better, should own a weapon. If there’s anything Jewish history teaches us it’s that, too often, disarmed equals dead. Every free citizen needs to learn and understand this lesson.
IV. The Progressive demand to disarm everyone, especially blacks in high crime neighborhoods, is racist.
There is one specific American subgroup that uses guns most and, tragically, dies from guns the most: blacks and, more specifically, young black males. (Incidentally, if you remove this group from American gun-death statistics, America could be some peaceful, European country, at least before the refugee invasion, when it comes to gun deaths.)
The Progressive answer to this painful reality is to claim that Progressives love blacks so much that they’ve come up with the only possible solution to this black-on-black slaughter: demand ever greater gun control and claim that anyone who opposes gun control is a racist. Then, when the Progressives achieve this gun-control goal over citizens trapped in Democrat-run cities, they are perplexed that black youths die in ever greater numbers.
Progressives simply cannot wrap their minds around the simply stated NRA principle that, “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Nor can they accept real-time data showing that, when law-abiding citizens in black communities are also armed, the bad guys quickly start slinking away.
I mentioned before that, in 1991, Americans killed each other in the greatest numbers ever: 24,700 Americans died that year at the hands of other Americans. Since then, the numbers have declined steadily. In 2011, only 14,661 Americans were murdered, a 40% crime drop that reverted America to murder numbers last seen in around 1969, when 14,760 Americans were murdered. As John Lott has pointed out with almost mind-numbing repetitiveness, what happened in between that peak death year and today is that law-abiding Americans armed themselves in ever greater numbers.
So how do America’s declining gun crime statistics relate to my principled stand for guns on the ground that only racists try to disarm citizens? It’s simple: Those of us who believe in the Second Amendment for all Americans want blacks to survive and to live in safe, crime-free neighborhoods. We understand that this goal for blacks is most likely to be met when the predators among them are kept at bay by armed, law-abiding citizens. By contrast, the Progressives are pursuing policies that, as the numbers prove, result in more deaths, including more black deaths. Logically, then, no matter what they say, Progressives are the real racists, glorying in black self-attrition.
It was ever thus. Those Progressives who seek to keep guns from blacks are part of a proud Democrat tradition that kept blacks unarmed from the slave era through to Jim Crow. Subject to a few anomalous chapters, the NRA fought against black disarmament, reasoning correctly that giving blacks guns would protect them against slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow generally. (For more on the subject, read Ann Coulter’s article about gun rights and blacks, in which she summarizes with her usual élan the way in which the anti-black Southern hegemony worked hard to keep guns out of black hands in order to control and terrorize them more effectively.)
I want American blacks to live and to thrive. They can do this only in safe communities and the safest black communities have always been those in which moral, law-abiding black citizens have been armed.
V. A Self-Defended Society Is A Safe Society.
The principle that a self-defended society is a safe society encompasses the previously stated principles. An armed society is protected against its government; and moral, law-abiding citizens with guns are protected from the predators amongst them.
Once upon a time, when I made this point, I said, “just look at England: Once it banned guns, it became a country with violent crime and murder rates consistent with South Africa’s – and that’s not something any civilized country wants to boast about.” Now, I can extend the point beyond England. Look at Sweden, look at Germany, look at France, look at all those other European countries that have gone from peaceful, old-world societies, homogeneous in values and, thanks to WWII, terrified of direct confrontation. These societies were smugly happy to boast about the fact that they had no guns and virtually no crime.
In the last two years, though, thanks to a huge influx of refugees, mostly male, who have entirely different values, who see women as sexual objects that are theirs for the taking, and who are comfortable with violence, the European citizens are easy prey. They have no mental defenses and they have no weapons. Easy-peasy for the opportunistic predator.
Progressives who demand total disarmament because “one death is one too many” are, pardon my language, idiots. Mankind’s civilized veneer is thin at best. Man is infinitely creative when it comes to killing. If I felt so inclined, I could kill someone by coming upon them when they’re asleep and stabbing them repeatedly in the eyeball with a Bic pen. (Don’t worry; I’m not planning this but, rather, positing the possibility.) The gun’s invention added to man’s repertoire, but it didn’t change his inclination to kill.
What the gun did change is that it increased the ability of those not naturally inclined to violence to defend themselves when violence nevertheless found them. If a huge man gives every indication that he intends to use his ham-like hands and jackbooted feet to beat me to death, or that wicked knife to stab me to death, my best defense as a small women is several gunshots fired off before he can close in on me. Likewise, an armed homeowner can stop the intruder at the door before a murder, rape, or robbery even has time to get started. (This video effectively makes that point.)
The Progressives also get it wrong when they claim that we should simply arm the police even more. For one thing, even nice, neighborhood cops can get a “King of the world” complex if they’re running around in tanks, armed to the teeth, while unarmed citizens meekly obey them. (See my point, above, about the difference it would have made in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia if law-abiding citizens had not meekly allowed themselves to be arrested by governments that made no pretense of recognizing civil rights.)
In addition, unless the gun violence that results in a 911 call is part of a rolling dispute that takes place over a long period of time, cops usually get to the scene long after the mayhem is finished. The NRA summed up this practical reality by saying “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Indeed, if you have a Hurricane Katrina situation, the police may be days, weeks, or even months away.
Bad things happen. That’s life. But it’s certain that, on the whole, the best way for good people to defend themselves against bad people is for the good people to be armed.
This principle isn’t undermined by the stories that routinely appear about kids dying tragically from a gun accident at home. Just as the problem in World War II wasn’t the guns but was the Nazis, too often the problem in those homes isn’t the guns it’s the parents. These are the homes in which parents use drugs or too much alcohol around the children, the homes that don’t have smoke detectors, the homes with small children that nevertheless have unprotected access to swimming pools, and of course the homes in which parents don’t follow basic gun safety rules. Their kids are unsafe under any circumstances.
Additionally, sometimes freak accidents just happen, with or without guns. When I lived in Texas, a woman died instantly when she tripped and crashed into her old sliding glass door, which then shattered into razor-like shards, one of which severed her aorta. There is no such thing as perfect safety. Even in the best run, most responsible homes, accidents happen and, sadly, sometimes children die.
The reality is that, given a world in which there are governments and individuals that are predatory, law-abiding, peaceful people are most safe when they have a gun with which to fight off those predators. It is the best means by which they can defend themselves against all predators: humans, animals, ideologues, and governments.
Any sane gun supporter will freely concede that guns can be used for evil purposes. What all gun grabbers refuse to concede, though, is that history and crime statistics establish with almost boring repetition a few facts:
Individuals with guns are (thankfully) inefficient killers. Even working in concert or with automatic weapons, they cannot kill more than a few hundred people at a time. (And yes, that’s a few hundred too many, but it’s still a small number, all things considered.)
Armed governments facing off against their unarmed populations are massively efficient killers, often leaving tens of millions of dead bodies in their wake.
In the modern era, no government has attempted to go full-bore totalitarian when its citizens are armed.
Communities that have more law-abiding citizens with guns than criminals with guns are safe communities, a reality that would most benefit black Americans.
Jews die when they’re armed. They die in infinitely greater numbers when they’re unarmed.
Guns kill . . . and that’s a good thing. By doing so, they serve as a bulwark protecting individual citizens from predatory people and governments. That’s why individual citizens must be stalwart in their defense of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, resisting all government efforts to grab their guns, something that would leave them vulnerable, not only to bad guys and jihadists, but to the government itself.
All of which is to say that it’s just tremendous that we have a president who is open about his respect for the Second Amendment, who appreciates that it is tied to individual liberty, and who will keep the government from attempting to nullify it. Speaking of nullifying things, the mere fact that President Trump respects the Second Amendment proves definitively that he’s not an incipient tyrant. Remember, tyrants take your weapons; they don’t let you keep them.
(If you’ve stuck with this post all the way through and liked what you read, you may be interested in a short ebook I published. Our Second Amendment Rights In Ten Essays takes the ideas in this post, as well as several other thoughts I’ve had about the Second Amendment and consolidates them into a short, accessible series of essays.)