Donald Trump told the NRA that “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.” Here’s why the promise matters.
Donald Trump spoke today at the National Rifle Association’s 2017 Leadership Forum. While it’s clear that he’s not necessarily up on the finer details of the intellectual arguments supporting our Second Amendment rights, there’s no doubting his sincerity when it comes to preserving them:
The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side.
The fact that President Trump will de-fang the federal government’s attacks against Second Amendment rights, however, does not mean that the Left will stop their relentless press to disarm Americans. They constantly tell us how disarmament works in other countries, and insist that we can be just as safe as such sweet, law-abiding little countries as England, Sweden, Germany, and Norway, it works so well.
Except that it doesn’t work well at all, at least not when a genocidal tyrant arises, as happened in Germany. And it doesn’t work well when a formerly culturally homogeneous country welcomes people in who bring with them violent values and an anti-Western animus, along with their guns, knives, trucks, gang rapes, bombs, etc.
While it’s great that Donald Trump backs the Second Amendment, the fight is not over. As long as there are Leftists, the fight will never be over. We therefore have to be prepared to defend our Second Amendment rights whenever they come under attack. Here’s a small toolkit for that defense. It addresses the following facts: (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) the Founders understood that government was dangerous and added the Second Amendment as a bulwark against that threat; (e) the Jewish experience reminds us that disarmed people are easy victims; (4) only racists want to disarm minorities; and (5) a self-defended society is a safe society.
I. Contrary to the Left, it’s not your fellow citizens you need to fear most; it’s your government.
We are living in a time when violence seems imminent, at least if you’re living in a Democrat-controlled city or in a jihad target zone. Second Amendment supporters believe we have the right to defend ourselves in those circumstances. Progressives, however, believe that the only way to deal with violence coming from individuals is to disarm everyone. They are wrong, of course. However useful guns may be in dealing with individual crimes, though, the real utility behind our inherent right to bear arms — as the Founders fully understood — is to protect us against the greatest killer of all: government.
A. Whether one is looking at violently inclined individuals, ideologically motivated groups, or careless corporations, none have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.
Whenever there’s a shooting in America, whether in Sandy Hook, Florida, or San Bernardino, or even after a bad weekend in Chicago, Progressives demand that citizens should be disarmed because the headlines make them believe that individuals are the worst killers around. Unless they’re arguing that evil corporations are the worst killers around. Let’s humor those fears and look at the number of deaths those particular killers have achieved, both with and without guns, from the beginning of the 20th century through to the present day.
Non-Government Killers Without Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer without a gun: Gameel al-Batouti. On October 31, 1999, he cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he piloted a plane full of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.
The worst ideologically driven collective of mass murderers without guns: The 19 al Qaeda members who, on September 11, 2001, used box cutters to hijack four planes, crashed those planes into three buildings and one into a field, and killed 2,996 people in a matter of hours.
The worst corporate mass murderer without guns: In December 1984, the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released toxic gas from its facility, killing 3,787 people.
CONCLUSION: When dedicated mass murderers use something other than guns, they’re able to achieve deaths that range from a few hundred dead to a few thousand dead.
Non-Government Killers With Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer with a gun: Anders Behring Breivik who, on July 22, 2011, shot and killed 69 people in Norway – mostly teenagers. This rampage came after he’d already set off a bomb, killing 8 people. Norway has strict gun control. I believe Omar Mateen comes in second, having killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.
The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers with guns: Given Islamists’ tendency to use all weapons available to shoot as many people as possible in as many countries as they can, this is a tough one to call. The Beslan school attack in 2004 resulted in almost 400 deaths (including the terrorists), but they achieved these numbers by combining explosives with guns. The Mumbai terror attack in 2008 is the largest ideologically driven mass murder that relied solely on guns. Throughout the city of Mumbai, Islamic terrorists engaged in a coordinated attack that killed 154 people. The Bataclan and related attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, took 130 lives. Amazingly, the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.
The worst corporate mass murder with guns: I can’t find one. To the extent that numerous workers died in any given 19th century labor dispute, those deaths occurred because state government, siding with management, sent out the state’s militia to disperse the strikers. For example, in November 1887, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the state militia killed between 35 and 300 black sugar plantation strikers. The 20th and 21st century did not offer such examples.
CONCLUSION: To the extent Progressives fear individual killers or small groups of killers with guns, their fears are misplaced. Guns simply aren’t that effective in these contexts, especially when compared to those who use planes or bombs. Moreover, when it comes to corporations and guns, outside of crazed Hollywood movies, the corporations vanish from the scene entirely. While individuals (singularly and collectively) and corporations can kill, absent mass chemical discharges, the casualties are low.
Progressives could conceivably argue that, once you start adding up small killing events (a murder here, a murder there), you’re going to find a lot of dead bodies piled around you. For example, if one adds up America’s annual murder statistics from 1960 through 2012, the total number of Americans killed in those 52 years is 914,191. (This number encompasses all murders, not just those with guns, but we’ll still use it as the most extreme illustration of Americans’ alleged propensity to violence.)
If we then engaged in the risible pretense that these numbers were stable for all 233 years of America’s existence (that is, if we pretend that Americans killed each other at the rate of 900,000 murdered citizens every 50 years going back to 1783), Americans would have managed to achieve around 4,000,000 murders in 233 years, using all weapons available.
Wow! 4,000,000 murders in 233 years! No wonder the Progressives are so desperate to keep guns out of their fellow citizens’ hands. As they see it, Americans are stone-cold killers, wholly capable of killing almost a million of each other in just 50 years. However, as is shown below, even taking this worst case scenario, Progressives’ fears about guns in individual hands are unfounded.
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