by Charley Reese
The positions of most urban liberals on firearms are dumb, dumber and dumbest.
It is dumb to suppose that the way to decrease crime is to make sure all potential victims of violent crime are disarmed. It is dumber yet to believe that a criminal will obey a gun-control law. No bank robber or rapist has ever set out and then stopped and said, "Gosh, I don't have a permit for this weapon, so I guess I'd better not rob that bank or rape that girl." No serial killer has ever said: "Gosh, I can't kill this person with an unregistered weapon. That would be against the law."
The dumbest idea is to suppose that an inanimate object can turn a noncriminal into a criminal. To believe that guns cause crime is as stupid as believing that hammers and saws cause houses. It is the grossest kind of mindless superstition to suppose that some magical qualities of an inanimate object can overpower the human will.
A gun is neither a romantic nor a sinister object. It is just a plain tool, like a hammer, a saw or a router. It can be used for recreation, and it can be used for self-defense. Like a chain saw, it can hurt its owner if the owner is careless or stupid. But the modern firearm is inherently safe. The gun cannot load itself or fire itself. Properly stored and used, it is safer than a stepladder or a swimming pool or an automobile. It is even safer than eating.
Here are the statistics from the National Safety Council: In the year 2000, firearms killed 600 Americans accidentally. That's 600 out of nearly 280 million. Here are the other numbers of accidental fatalities for that year: autos, 43,000; falls, 16,200; poisons, 11,700; drowning, 3,900; ingestion of food or other object, 3,400. The only number of fatalities lower than accidental firearms deaths is that from poison gases — 400.
The next time some urban liberal tells you he just wants to make firearms safer, tell him to consult the National Safety Council, stick the statistics where the sun doesn't shine and then go straight to hell for being a big, fat liar. Sorry to put it so harshly, but I can't abide lying politicians.
I was born into a home with guns, I have lived my whole life in homes with guns, I have raised my children in homes with guns, and I have worried enormously more about their scuba diving and sky diving than I have about their contact with firearms.
Furthermore, when I married, I assumed the responsibility for the safety of my wife and children. I was never willing to bet their safety on the possibility of my skills in unarmed combat overcoming an intruder. I suppose it comes from my Celtic blood, but when it comes to defending those I love, I'll kill any number of people to keep them safe, and I have always made it my business to have the means of doing so at hand. I gave up fair fights in the second grade. I have seen too often with my own eyes what psychopathic scum can do to innocent human beings. To use Mr. Donald Rumsfeld's style of speaking, do I trust human beings? No.
The Founding Fathers of our country, as politically incorrect as it might be to say so, were revolutionaries who had to use violence to overthrow tyrannical rule. They wrote the Second Amendment not to make sure people could go duck hunting, but to make sure that they would have the means, if necessary, to overthrow tyranny again. The meaning of the Second Amendment is clear to all but those who hate the idea of a free people. It states that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It does not say members of the militia or policemen or soldiers. It says the people, and it means every individual American citizen in this God-blessed land, whatever shyster lawyers have to say notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, the world is still ruled by force, and a disarmed people are not free, but at the mercy of those with arms. I hate the very concept of being "at the mercy" of anyone.
If you believe in the right to life, then you must believe in the right to have the means to defend that life. Unless you wish to spend years learning the bow and arrow and the broadsword, I'd suggest you join 4 million others and me in the National Rifle Association, lest a bunch of dumb urban politicians put you and your family at the mercy of any wandering criminal.
November 11, 2003
Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for over 50 years, reporting on everything from sports to politics. From 1969—71, he worked as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races in several states. He was an editor, assistant to the publisher, and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001. Now retired, he wrote a syndicated column carried on LewRockwell.com. Reese served two years active duty in the U.S. Army as a tank gunner.
© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.