Thursday, March 04, 2010

Some self-defense realities

I wish the Supreme Court would do more than rule the Second Amendment applies to the states. It’s long past time the last, ridiculous cobwebs of ambiguity were cleared away from the right to keep and bear arms. Gun control has been simmering on low heat for a while, after boiling over in the Nineties. We should clear it off the Constitutional stove altogether. We have better things to do than slip into another bitter, tedious argument about whether the government can interfere with our right, and duty, to defend ourselves.

The notion that citizens have no good reason to be armed, because the State can protect them from violent crime, is one of the most dangerous lies Big Government has fed its subjects. The government reduces crime through the police and court systems, but no matter how tirelessly the police work, there is very little chance they can actively defend you from assault. There aren’t enough of them, and there never could be. The very areas of privacy that allow us to relax with our friends and families will always be soft targets for criminals… unless we fortify them ourselves.

Citizen access to firearms has reduced crime rates time and again, but this is more than a matter of practicality. It’s a question of principle. The people of an orderly nation surrender the business of vengeance to the government, replacing it with the rule of law. They cannot be expected to surrender the right of defense. The right to protect yourself, and your family, from injury and death is an essential part of your dignity as a free man or woman. Without the First Amendment, you are a slave. Without the Second, you are a child.

The Western nations which have abandoned this essential understanding of an individual’s right to self-defense have become rotting orphanages filled with dependent children. They’re not dealing very well with the invasion of a determined ideology that has complete confidence in its own righteousness, and few reservations about using violence to assert itself. Losing the dignity of self-defense is part of the degeneration from master of the State to its client. As this dignity fades, the people and their government speak less of responsibilities, and more of entitlements.

The Second Amendment is a concrete expression of the American birthright of independence. With the right of self-defense bargained away, our rights to speak and vote give us modest influence in a collective. The Founders wanted more, and better, for us.

Sometimes liberals sneer at the idea we might keep arms against government tyranny, because a bunch of pistol-packing Tea Party types have no chance of repeating the success of the Revolution against a modern military force. This completely misses the point. A disarmed populace has little choice but to obey orders. If the population is armed, a tyrant’s forces have to do more than just brandish their weapons… they’d have to start pulling triggers. Victory for a righteous populace would come in the military’s refusal to pull those triggers. Tyranny should never be easy. Of course, it should never come to that again, in the United States. As long as the population is armed, this is an understanding, and a duty… not an assumption.

The right to keep and bear arms is a crucial intersection of liberty and obligation. A gun owner is entrusted with the solemn duty to tend his weapons carefully and securely. In accepting this duty, we remove the destiny of our loved ones from the hands of madmen, and it is no longer measured by the distance of a friendly police car from our homes. It would be a mark of our maturity as a nation if we stopped telling ourselves that freedom can exist in the absence of responsibility… or danger. The shards of those illusions carry sharp edges, when they shatter.

The New York Times article about the case before the Supreme Court ends this way: "The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has made clear that it is very concerned about the right to bear arms. There is another right, however, that should not get lost: the right of people, through their elected representatives, to adopt carefully drawn laws that protect them against other people’s guns."

Carefully drawn laws will not protect you from other people’s guns. Believe me. None of the people carefully drawing those laws will rely upon them for their protection.

More here

CO: Family member shoots intruder: "A Pueblo West intruder was shot in the leg early Wednesday and has been transported to a Denver hospital for treatment, according to sheriff’s investigators. … ‘A male party was in the home, (he was) not known by the residents there. He was on the couch. We don’t know what happened in the house, but they confronted the man and a family member of the homeowner shot the man in the left leg with a 40-caliber handgun,’ Deputy Laurie Kilpatrick of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.”

Oklahoma City police describe relative’s shooting as self defense: "A man who police said tried to attack an older relative with a computer monitor was shot by the older man Tuesday in northeast Oklahoma City. Oscar Jerome Blakely [above], 30, of 828 NE 69, was taken to OU Medical Center in critical condition after the 5 a.m. shooting, police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said. The name of the man who fired the shot was not released by police. James E. Blakely is the co-owner of the house where the shooting happened, according to the Oklahoma County Assessor’s Web site. A man standing outside the house Tuesday afternoon said Oscar Blakely is a grandson of the man who fired the gun. The shooting appears to have been in self-defense, Knight said. When Blakely is released from the hospital he is expected to be jailed on complaints of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic abuse, Knight said. Blakely was in critical condition late Tuesday, an OU Medical Center spokeswoman said."

Starbucks sticks to gun policy despite outcry: "Coffee chain Starbucks Corp. is sticking to its policy of letting customers carry guns where it’s legal and said it does not want to be put in the middle of a larger gun-control debate. The company’s statement, issued Wednesday, stems from recent campaign by some gun owners, who have walked into Starbucks and other businesses to test state laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly in public places. Gun control advocates have protested.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

@ Oklahoma shooting. It was his son.