Category Archives: Guns

Guns and Peace in America

Glenn Reynolds calls attention to the transcript of an amazing broadcast on BBC radio recently. The speaker, Justin Webb, gave a remarkably balanced commentary on the correlation between gun ownership among Americans and the sense of civility and serenity that pervades our land — in sharp contrast to the lawlessness (and lack of guns) that dominates Britain.

Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had had the scales lifted from their eyes.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.

“It seems so nice here,” they quaver.

Well, it is!

Ten or 20 years ago, it was a different story, but things have changed.

And this is Manhattan.

Wait till you get to London Texas, or Glasgow Montana, or Oxford Mississippi or Virgin Utah, for that matter, where every household is required by local ordinance to possess a gun.

Folks will have guns in all of these places and if you break into their homes they will probably kill you.

They will occasionally kill each other in anger or by mistake, but you never feel as unsafe as you can feel in south London.

It is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquillity and civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.

Glenn didn’t mention it, but the speaker also pinpointed another factor contributing to the relative peacefulness of American society:

One reason – perhaps the overriding reason – is that there is no public drunkenness in polite America, simply none.

I have never seen a group of drunk young people in the entire six years I have lived here. I travel a lot and not always to the better parts of town.

It is an odd fact that a nation we associate – quite properly – with violence is also so serene, so unscarred by petty crime, so innocent of brawling.

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How to Stop Armed Crazies

It’s simple: With armed force.

[Jeanne] Assam, a church security guard with law enforcement experience, fired her own weapon at the invader and stopped his attack, police say. . . .

Assam was one of about a dozen volunteer security guards at the church, half of whom are armed, [Pastor] Boyd said. The guards are licensed, trained and screened, and are church members, not “mercenaries,” he said.

What would have happened at Virginia Tech last spring, if the school had allowed some of its faculty, staff, and even students to be licensed, trained, screened, and armed when Cho went on his rampage?

UPDATE: Here is a detailed eye-witness account of how the whole thing went down.

Gun-Free Zones: Enter at Your Own Risk

Glenn Reynolds comments on the Omaha mall shooting:

It’s worth noting — since apparently most of the media reports haven’t — that this was another mass shooting in a “gun-free” zone. It seems to me that we’ve reached the point at which a facility that bans firearms, making its patrons unable to defend themselves, should be subject to lawsuit for its failure to protect them. The pattern of mass shootings in “gun free” zones is well-established at this point, and I don’t see why places that take the affirmative step of forcing their law-abiding patrons to go unarmed should get off scot-free.

Reynolds links to an article that calls attention to the preference for gun-free zones among the crazies who commit these horrible crimes. Like a fox drawn to a henhouse, the perps know that gun-free zones are their best chance for maximum body count.

Despite the lack of news coverage, people are beginning to notice what research has shown for years: Multiple-victim public shootings keep occurring in places where guns already are banned. Forty states have broad right-to-carry laws, but even within these states it is the “gun-free zones,” not other public places, where the attacks happen.

I think he’s right. No one is calling for a return to the days of the Old West, where every insult was resolved in a hail of bullets (if, indeed, that stereotype ever really existed). But allowing responsible, well-trained citizens to carry firearms for their own protection is surely better than forcing them to face the world as defenseless sheep.

Why We Have the Second Amendment

Finally, the news media highlights a story about an armed homeowner defending his property. This sort of thing happens all the time, but we rarely hear about it. (Be sure to watch the video.)

Just imagine what this country would be like if the government completely outlawed all firearms, as some advocate. Oh, wait — that’s already been done in Washington, D.C. Worked great there, didn’t it?

What Happens When Victims Shoot Back

For all the horror of the killings at Virginia Tech, there have been several incidents in the past where the death toll from a deranged gunman could have been just as high or higher — except for citizens who were also armed and fought back. Read a great summary of these incidents here.

As the author notes, in most of these stories, the media was conspicuously silent about the role of firearms in preventing further killing.  Now, why, do you suppose,  they would leave out a little detail like that? Hmmm?

Self-Defense in a University Culture

I was already thinking along these lines, but Michelle Malkin, as usual expresses it so much better than I could have:

American colleges and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregated dorms, politically correct academic departments and designated “safe spaces” to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions — while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University’s anti-Minuteman Project protesters).

Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

There were a few students at VT who somehow overcame this culture of passivity, and fought back with what they had at hand, thus saving lives.

Yet more evidence that our universities do not adquately prepare young people for the real world.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn comes to the same conclusion:

It’s deeply damaging to portray fit fully formed adults as children who need to be protected. We should be raising them to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a “horrible” world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act.