Thursday, February 16, 2006

Victim disarmament

Dr. Mary Ruwart, PhD, writes very clearly with a libertarian view of the issues. She wrote yesterday in the latest issue of 'Liberator Online' about how libertarians view gun control. She explained it in her typically lucid way like this:
Firearms, like fists, can be used for offense or defense. Libertarians would not advocate cutting off a person's access to firearms any more than they would advocate cutting off a person's hands to prevent a brawl.

Most people who advocate gun control do so because they believe it lowers the crime rate. In fact, just the opposite is true. Violent crime (rape, robbery, and homicide) decrease dramatically when states pass laws that permit peaceful citizens to carry concealed weapons. In Orlando, when the police publicized a program to train women in the use of firearms, crime dropped almost 90% without a single woman ever firing a shot! Criminals are looking for an easy mark and avoid "victims" who might be armed. Anyone who doubts this might wish to put a sign on their front lawn saying "This house is a gun-free zone" to experience the consequences firsthand.

Gun control is actually "victim disarmament." It exposes the weakest among us -- women, children, and the elderly -- to greater risk of attack. It denies us the ability to defend ourselves against those who would harm us. Since the courts have ruled that the police have no obligation to protect an individual citizen from attack, we have no legal recourse if they fail to do so. Acting in self-defense, armed citizens kill more criminals each year than police do, yet shoot only one-tenth as many innocent people by mistake. Clearly, armed citizens act as responsibly (if not more so) than trained law enforcers.

Libertarians believe that everyone has the right to self-defense. Our founders did too, which is why they passed the Second Amendment. Consequently, libertarians do not support the victim-disarmament laws collectively known as "gun control."

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