The Right to Bear Arms

Time to get political!

I am a strong advocate of the Second Amendment. While I intellectually support all the political arguments for it – keeping the government in check, states’ rights, and citizen defense against an invader, I am emotionally in support for one reason: the right to self-defense. As a human being, I have a right to life, to freedom of speech, to possession of property. Only one thing preserves these rights: the threat or use of force. I can trust law enforcement and the government to defend the latter two. After all, I have time to reclaim possessions, and can always repeat what I tried to say the first time. However, if my right to life needs defense, the need is urgent. I don’t have time to wait for the police to come or for lawsuits to be filed. The police can’t be around 24/7, so I need the tools to defend my life effectively. In the case of an attack by a predator, the best tool is a gun.

It doesn’t matter if the predator is human or animal, there is no tool more effective than a gun for self defense. A club or bat requires strength, and that I be close to my attacker. I only weigh 130 pounds, I do NOT want to be within arms reach of a large attacker. Pepper spray and tasers both have weak and temporary effects. Only a gun lets me stop an attacker at distance and conclusively. Currently, I don’t own a gun. I don’t have the training to use one effectively. I plan on rectifying this deficiency shortly. Unfortunately, this training will do me no good for most of the day. Neither my university or my workplace seems to value my life very highly – both ban the carry of concealed weapons.

If a gunman walked into one of my classrooms (believe it or not, criminals rarely follow the bans on concealed weapons!), everyone in that room is likely to die. Security will take several minutes to respond, and if past events are any indicator, another half hour to “evaluate the situation.” The only people with the power to stop the gunman are his intended prey. As things currently stand, I do not like my odds. Most classrooms only have one door, and the gunman has the advantage of range. We may be able to rush him, but not without a lot of fatalities. If concealed carry were permitted on campus, there is at least a possibility of a quicker resolution. If the student carrying the gun can stay calm, react quickly, and shoot accurately, there may only be one fatality – the attacker’s. I think this is the preferable situation. The president of our university, Bob Kustra, seems to disagree.

The usual response I get is that all those guns on campus would just kill more people! This is a very poor argument. By their logic, we need to ban matches before they set someone on fire! Those who oppose concealed carry seem so closely focused on the tools that they forget the people. Those who are likely to use their guns carelessly are the same people who are likely to ignore the law anyway. The law only stops the honest. Utah has actually permitted concealed carry at nine of their state universities. This policy has been in effect for close to two years. In that time, there have been zero deaths, zero shootings, zero negligent discharges. Apparently guns don’t spontaneously go off, and responsible people can carry one without incident.

This post could go on indefinitely. There are so many facts and arguments in favor of concealed carry. If any readers disagree with my view on this, please leave a comment! If I only hear views I already agree with, I’ll never learn anything new.

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2 Responses to The Right to Bear Arms

  1. nicholsong says:

    Unfortunately, I can’t disagree with you, so you’ll have to find your contrary education from someone else. Hehe. Also if you are looking for more info about guns on campus, I think you might find information on how it works in practice by looking to Israeli universities and their policies.

    The one other point I would add to your stance is that courts have ruled time and again that the police have no duty to protect you personally. They are about protecting the public at large. Think malls, parades, on the sidewalk, etc. If they are under no legal duty to protect you, then who is? You are.

    Thanks for your thoughts, here are some of mine:
    http://www.titanomachy.net/substance/?p=209

    • Andrew C says:

      Hey Nicholsong, thanks for the comment.

      I’ll need to look into Israel’s approach. I know that they have very extensive gun ownership, but haven’t looked into it much beyond that.

      Personally, I don’t think police should have any duty to protect me. They need to use their best judgment in the situation, and regulation could force them to make a poor decision under the circumstances. The big deficiency I see there is in training and oversight. Hmm, maybe an idea for a new blog post!

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