With the shooting at Umpqua Community College having reanimated the Progressives’ demands that we withdraw guns from citizens’ hands and leave them solely in the hands of government operatives (a strange demand from the BLM-supporting crowd if you think about it), it’s time for me to rehash my five-point argument explaining why, the risks of guns notwithstanding, we are much safer with guns than without them. I originally published this post in June 2014 and have made only a few changes to enhance clarity:
God forgive me, but I used to be so anti-gun that I donated to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. I know. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Since that time, I’ve done a complete 180 and become a fervent gun supporter and a proud member of the NRA.
This change did not come about because I suddenly became a psychopathic killer, with guns as my weapon of choice. I do kill (spiders, fleas, and ticks) and I do eat dead bodies (cows, pigs, chicken, and fish), but I’m scarcely Hannibal Lecter.
Instead, my reversal on guns came about because I realized that gun’s are a predicate requirement for individual freedom and security. I’ve created five principles that justify this conclusion. These principles are: (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) I am a Jew; (3) I am not a racist; (4) a self-defended society is a safe society; and (5) the only way gun-control activists can support their position is to lie.
I develop each of these principles below.
A. Armed Citizens Are The Best Defense Against The World’s Most Dangerous Killer: Government.
1. Progressives fear individuals, who kill only in small numbers; Second Amendment supporters fear government, which kills in the tens of millions.
a. Mad or predatory individuals, ideologically motivated groups, and mean or careless corporations have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.
Progressives and conservatives alike share the same concerns: they don’t want killers to have guns. It’s just that Progressives haven’t quite figured out who the real killers are. Their obsessive focus is on individuals and corporations. Let’s humor their 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.
Individual Killers Who Did Not Use Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did not use 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 who did not use 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 that did not use 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 hundreds dead to a few thousand dead.
Individual Killers Who Used Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did use 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.
The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers who did use 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. I believe, though, that 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. Even the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.
The worst corporate mass murder that did use guns: I can’t find any. 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.