Arms and the citizen 183

We are strongly in favor of second-amendment rights. We believe that a citizenry is safer for being armed.

Tom Hinkson, a member of the National Rifle Association, has this to say about the anti-gun reaction of left-wing pundits to the shooting yesterday of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, by a psychopath named Jared Lee Loughner.

Within hours of the horrific attack in Tuscan, Arizona yesterday, liberal pundits are attacking our civil liberties. As has been the norm for the last 30 years, the leftists are blaming the violence on rhetoric, guns, and of course, racism. It seems that they will take every opportunity to attack our first and second Amendment rights in the name of “stopping the violence”.

No doubt, by the time this article reaches your eyes, there will be several more examples of what I am talking about, but they all follow the same formula. Here are some examples from this most recent tragedy.

The most egregious so far is this statement by the Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik: “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government -. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” What a way to take advantage of a situation! There was no racial component whatsoever to this shooting. Dupnik further states that “free speech… is not without consequences”, as if we should re-think our First Amendment protections or take the chance of getting shot and killed in a random act of violence.

Further attacks on our Constitutional rights stemming from this incident come from people like Gary Hart and Josh Sugarmann, who both wrote articles published by the Huffington Post.

Hart states that, “So long as we all tolerate this kind of irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric or, in the case of some commentators, treat it with delight, reward it, and consider it cute, so long will we place all those in public life, whom the provocateurs dislike, in the crosshairs of danger.” So, because some commentator didn’t like a political position, this shooting was destined to happen?

Sugarmann, a gun-control activist, writes that, “Congress should act immediately to reinstate an effective ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines and move quickly to pass an effective assault weapons ban.” Ah, the “guns create violence” argument never gets old does it? But Sugarmann also goes one step further by taking a quote from the NRA’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre out of context. LaPierre stated, years ago that, “The guys with the guns make the rules… if the only guys with guns are the bad guys, we’re screwed!”. Sugarmann threw the “guys with the guns make the rules” part back at LaPierre without context, by stating that “one more guy with a gun made the rules”. Sugarmann’s solution of course is to take away everyone’s guns.

The shooting at the Safeway in Tuscan, AZ was a horrific act, perpetrated by a mentally deranged lone gunman. In the aftermath of this tragedy, as with any other, the enemies of liberty and freedom claim that we must make a choice between our rights and freedoms and our safety. This is no choice because if we give up our freedoms, we will be at the mercy of people in power, whether they be politicians, terrorists, the lone gunman, the thief in the dark alley, or foreign governments. Benjamin Franklin wisely stated, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I am on the side of Benjamin Franklin. I believe that tragedies like this most recent one in Tuscan illustrate the need for more people to exercise their freedoms as Americans. The claim that one political pundit or another is somehow responsible for this shooting is false and irresponsible. We should put the blame squarely where it belongs: on the head of the perpetrator of the violence. To the gun-banners, I say that there are no gun-free zones, only good-guy-gun-free zones – as in Tucson, where apparently only the bad guy had a gun. If someone has malicious intent, a simple law adding one more crime to murder, armed robbery, or any other violent act is not going to be a deterrent. I say criminalize the acts of violence, not the preparation for self-defense or the defense of others.

So far, 6 people have died, and 13 people are reported injured from this shooting in Arizona. The gunman was subdued as he was reloading his only gun, by two people who tackled him. Ask yourself how different this could have been had there been legally armed citizens in attendance. I do not claim that there would have been no death or violence, but I firmly believe that fewer innocent people would have been killed or injured. I commend the two heroes who subdued the assailant, but had they been armed, wouldn’t this situation have been ended more quickly and much more safely?

Aside from the appalling cost of life on 1/8/11, the cost to the taxpayers for the legal process that is going to begin will be enormous. Incarceration costs alone, which vary from prison to prison, average about $50,000 per year. Justice would have been served much more quickly and a whole lot more cheaply if an armed citizen had simply shot back. Do not be fooled into giving up your freedoms. Instead, exercise your freedoms, and if the opportunity presents itself, make a positive difference.

We invite more readers to let us know their opinions on this subject.