Unarmed and helpless

Today dozens of people lie dead in a shopping mall in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Many hours after the attack began the terrorists, estimated to number at least six, remain held up inside; the police are yet to have full control of the shopping centre. It is a common saying amongst us who support the right of an independent citizenry to be armed, that when you need the police in the next few seconds, they are only minutes away. Yet today, in the wealthiest district of the capital city, the police and army have yet to regain control from a few terrorists. And the entire world is watching.

Civilians remain trapped within the shopping centre, hoping the police will be the ones to find them first and not the terrorists. I consider it an immoral act to reduce citizens of a free country to the status of quivering wrecks hiding terrified from those with weapons, by taking from their hands the means necessary to protect themselves. I will say it; all deaths are not equal and making a man hide scared for his life for six hours before being killed helpless like an animal is worse, yes it is worse, than a man killed defending himself and others because he had the means to, even if the statistics might chalk them down as both statistically equivalent.

The attackers were armed with AK-47s and grenades. Perhaps nobody told them that such weapons are outlawed in Kenya? Only 0.02 per 100 Kenyans are licensed firearm holders. Something tells me those involved in the attack today, are not among them. Admittedly, however, this is more than can be said for Aaron Alexis, who killed twelve people at the Washington Naval Yard in a mass shooting on Monday, who did, it turns out, legally purchase his shotgun in Virginia. Note, he did not use an AR-15, which much of the mainstream media erroneously reported.

Nevertheless, both cases clearly show the follies of gun control. I believe many people lose their lives because of strict gun control laws. But so do many others from lax gun control laws. I just believe that more happen to lose their lives than would otherwise be the case because of stricter laws than laxer ones, under most circumstances. Those favouring stricter laws will naturally focus on the legal purchase by Alexis of his shotgun in Virginia (you know the guns, those ones Biden recommended everybody go out and buy despite killing way more people than all rifles, including the AR-15, combined, which if any conservative had said would, after this tragedy in Washington, be instantly hounded by the press for saying). And so I will point out how in both instances gun free zones cost lives. I will leave it up to another post some other time to talk about the effects of these laws overall. But I do highly recommend you read ‘More Guns Less Crime’ by John Lott, and especially the Harvard study ‘Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide‘ (link attached below).

In both these terrible tragedies, many innocents lost their lives at the hands of gunmen. Yet, this needn’t have been the case if the civilians, the intended targets, were allowed to protect themselves. If a naval yard cannot defend its employees from a single gunman, how can we expect law enforcement to protect anyone anywhere? Many times, only we can protect ourselves from danger. But more than that, we should be able to protect ourselves, in a free society.

John Lott convincingly shows that it is after concealed-carry laws are implemented that the number of mass shootings plummets in those states where they are implemented. Even if one or two percent of the population exercise this right then think about it; a mass shooting somewhere with more than a hundred individuals (like, perhaps, a navy yard or shopping centre) will probably end rather quickly when one of the citizens pulls out a gun and ends the attack with minimal casualties. Police, if they are even present, are always the first targets of any gunman. But how is any gunman to know which out of countless civilians is the one or two of the people, statistically speaking, who have a gun under their jackets? Which is why gunmen always target places where guns are taken out of the hands of citizens; army barracks and naval yards in America, schools, theatres with big ‘NO GUNS PERMITTED’ signs outside them, and anywhere in countries that guns are so restricted.

In both these situations, an armed citizenry would have brought the bloodshed to an end much sooner. And whilst not completely bloodless, those citizens who would have lost their lives would have done so facing the enemy, not turned away, their legs turned to jelly from fear and standing upright for hours hiding in a closet beforehand.

Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide – http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf