Pushers of gun control state the disarming the population is necessary for the safety of that same population. The punitive measures they are willing to employ to make that hypothetical safety happen look a lot like “he beats her because he loves her”. Or, as the old Soviet joke went: “We will fight for peace so vigorously that there’s won’t be anything left standing.” Gun control can only be enforced with other guns, so it’s all about concentrating military power in the hands of a small group that would keep others down forever. While some gun control supporters may be honestly deluded, many are lying from start to finish. I will address the lies one by one for the benefit of the bystanders wondering what this whole mess is about.
For one, “the population” is no more homogeneous than Nazis and Jews were in the 1940s. Certain people behave criminally and others do not. Consider yourself: would you physically victimize another person for either fun or for profit? Most normal people would not, so disarming them makes no sense. Those who would victimize others are pretty different from the rest of us in mindset. Typical gun control measures do very little to disarm them in practice because violent criminals are far more comfortable with taking risks to stay armed than the society at large. For the peaceable people, weapons are defensive tools, used extremely infrequently. For the violent, they are the means to make a living or to assert themselves. In the context of “gun-free” zones, that means regular residents will follow the laws because the chance of getting caught over time is too great, the punishments too dire. But a mass murderer doesn’t care about administrative procedures and will come in armed at will. The victims might charge an armed terrorist empty-handed, but they will not carry a weapon discreetly because they are afraid of the college authorities. Bravery born of desperation is an understandable phenomenon, but what does it say about the degree of intimidation practiced by college administrators and the cops who enforce the rules?
Gun control makes no distinction between offensive and defensive weapons. That is a deliberate obfuscation, designed to separate non-violent people from their defensive and recreational arms. Almost anything can be an offensive weapon because attackers get to choose the time, the place and the circumstances. A firearm can be replaced with a knife, a bottle of gasoline, strong hands, a vehicle, pretty much any object you can think of. A person could be stabbed to death with a few sheets of paper rolled into a sharp point. Defensive weapons are much harder to come by. Since attackers always have the initiative, often have the advantage of strength, numbers, mobility and training, the defenders have to count on superior tools and, hopefully, adequate training in their use. If you want to know what is considered effective by the experts, look at the Secret Service choices — submachine guns, pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles, precision rifles, plus body armor.
Gun control is unacceptable because it actively degrades defensive capabilities of non-violent people. They view a peaceful person with a pistol as a bigger problem than a violent person with bare hands or a shank, while the opposite is true. Degrading or eliminating the ability to protect self and family from human or animal predators is an utterly evil purpose. By design – not as an accidental side effect – gun control makes people helpless, fearful and dependent on the authorities who promise safety but cannot deliver it. The only way a person could be kept mostly safe by authorities is with the level of protection afforded to the president. Strange that the politicians enjoy their armed bodyguards instead of dismissing them to “reduce gun violence”.
The dependency is a feudal relationship revived — in theory, a feudal lord with his knights protected peasants and city dwellers from outside dangers, but in practice most of the military might has always been dedicated to domestic repression and brigandage. A disarmed population depends on the king or its close equivalents not only for defense against criminals — a protection often promised but seldom delivered — but also on their lives at the sufferance of the ruler. Everyone is in pawn to those who control the weapons, and that is why only nobles were permitted to wear swords in most Medieval societies. From the perspective of our “social betters”, the ability to have weapons or to control those who are permitted to bear them professionally is yet another privilege of political power. The most glaring example of feudal societies with guns are North Korea and Cuba: the elite is well armed, the rest of the population is disarmed, destitute and without any rights at all.
Going back to Nazis and Jews, we see that degradation of civilian self-defense capability tends to be total. In 1938, Jews were forbidden any weapons down to sticks. In today’s restrictive jurisdictions, residents are likewise forbidden batons, pepper spray and other non-firearm defensive expedients. Gun control pushers claim they are against “assault weapons”, yet none of them would support carry of obsolete firearms a century and a half old.
Some of the pushers say that they would be ok with muskets contemporary with the signing of the American Constitution, as if human rights are granted by it as opposed to just being acknowledged as self-evident. Even then, they are lying, as the laws they support forbid wearing even the oldest guns, such as 16th century wheel locks. Moreover, in the rush to destroy all defensive capability for the population at large, they legislate against carry of blades and against wearing of body armor.
Swords and chain mail aren’t ideal for self defense, but even they are banned from wear where guns are already banned. Anti self-defense bigots have gone further than even the Japanese army during the occupation of Okinawa: at least the peasants could defend themselves with farm implements, while people in modern restrictive jurisdictions are forbidden even rice flails (nunchucks). The intent isn’t just to ban “especially dangerous guns” but to disarm the population the way prisoners are disarmed, totally and with vicious enforcement. In many countries, possession of even a single shot .22 is punished more viciously than forcible rape, mainly because one subject raping another is no threat to the authorities, while any weapon is perceived as such.
To sum this up, disarming the population at large doesn’t make it safer. The number of weapons overall may decline, but they become concentrated with the mafia and with freelance criminals, and with the agents of the state. The state in position of the sole protector of the law-abiding not only fails to protect but abuses the monopoly on force.
Are guns in civilian hands dangerous? Yes, of course, that is their function! Fortunately, the potential danger is narrowly focused in both intent and in direction, manifesting itself almost exclusively against violent criminals, dangerous animals or rogue government agents, all worthy targets. To strip a free people of defensive capability is no different than destroying everybody’s immune system in response to a few allergic reactions. A sane person would prefer hay fever to AIDS, and would object strenuously to quacks who promote HIV as a cure for sniffles. Likewise, a sane person would rather have at least the option to be armed than be forcibly disarmed and rendered defenseless. Remember, no free man has ever been disarmed for his own good, despite an occasional claim to the contrary!
This article is now available in Italian.