Evidence from 59 countries that gun control is a threat to human liberty.
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More important, gun possession can promote liberty. Obviously, widespread firearm ownership promotes wars of independence and revolution. Gun possession also better enables a free people to resist foreign invasion and occupation.
The authors point to how firearms can help minorities within nations: decades ago “American civil rights workers were able to protect themselves from the Ku Klux Klan because so many civil rights workers had guns.” Kopel, Moody, and Nemerov also theorize that “the exercise of one right may, for some persons, foster more positive attitudes about rights in general.”
There are contrary arguments, of course — in some countries, particularly failed states, guns may exacerbate violent chaos. Even in Great Britain, Kopel, Moody, and Nemerov write, “gun culture is an epithet” for conditions that may damage a nation’s freedom. However, in the U.S. “gun culture” means something very different: “images such as father taking his son on a hunting trip, or of young people practicing target shooting with .22 smallbore rifles, under the supervision of expert marksmen at a gun club.” For most Americans, gun possession and use is a symbol of individual and social responsibility.
Kopel, Moody, and Nemerov are serious researchers who do not offer a slam-dunk for the right to own firearms. The three admitted: “there are many casual mechanisms by which guns and freedom can advance or inhibit each other.” However, there is strong evidence that gun ownership is related to freedom. That suggests taking “more sophisticated, carefully tailored approaches to gun policy, that attempt to address the negative effects, and that are careful not to reduce the apparently significant positive effect.” The latter point — the “significant positive effect” — deserves repeating.
Tragedies like the Newtown murders reflect human evil, not gun ownership. There are legitimate issues — how to better keep guns out of the hands of those who are dangerously mentally ill, for instance. But that effort must not become an excuse to disarm the responsible and law-abiding. No less than our basic liberties are at stake.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?