Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why own a gun?

To christen this new blog, I'm going to repost something from my first blog, because I started The Platypus Manifesto as a place to write posts like this:

"Why own a gun? Just call the police."

I've heard the likes of this a few times, and felt that it was time I addressed it on my blog. You know, because I'm gonna change the world since so many people read it. Right.....

Anyway, there is a popular notion owning guns for self defense is unnecessary anymore because of modern society's police force. I mean, it is the police's job to protect us, right?

Well, not really. There are several court cases that show that it is "a fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." (Warren v District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981))

In Warren v DC, three rape victims sued the government for failing to provide police protection. Their story is truly one of the most horrifying stories I've heard and I will not repeat all of it here. You can read the wiki for the full story, but suffice to say that the police never answered the their call, and as a result they were raped, beaten and robbed for fourteen hours.

During the lawsuit, the court ruled that the police were under no obligation to protect any one citizen. In a similar suit, Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) , the court again ruled that police were under no obligation to protect any one citizen. There are many more court decisions along these lines.

So where are we at here? We've shown that the police are under no obligation to defend you, but in practice do they save the day most of the time? Once again, not really. One only has to read the newspaper or watch the evening news to see many examples of people who were hurt and who the police weren't able to save. The police haven't been able to prevent school shootings either, they always arrive after the body count has begun.

Now I'm not bashing on the police, the police are a good thing, and they do their jobs well. But their job isn't to protect you, rather it is to provide a general deterrent to crime by arresting the perpetrator after he's stolen your wallet, your car, your dignity or your life.

My question for you then is, what are you going to do about it?

The way I see it, you have three choices. You can do nothing, and live life as if the world is perfectly safe and you have nothing to fear. That is one option, but the problem with ignoring the very real dangers of the world is that you are unprepared for when those dangers rear their ugly head.

You could choose to acknowledge the dangers of the world and seek to be prepared, albeit unarmed. You can carry your cell phone and your little bottle of mace. You can try to avoid going places after dark and stay in the "good part of town". The problem with this option is that there is no perfectly safe part of town, and while safe habits are good, they aren't sufficient to avoid being a victim of crime. Also, your cell phone is no deterrent to a criminal, and while your mace may help, what if there is more than one bad guy? Mace is better than nothing, but its not a real deterrent.

The third option, and the best in my opinion, is to acknowledge the dangers of the world and arm yourself with a firearm. The reason for choosing a firearm over mace or a knife or some other weapon is pretty simple. The firearm is the great equalizer. It allows the one to take on the many, it allows the weak to take on the strong. I've never seen a ninety pound woman who couldn't defend herself from a three hundred pound man provided she had a gun. Guns are also simple to use, they take no great amount of skill to operate. They can prevent a crime simply be being shown, which is something a knife or mace cannot do. Many Americans use their firearms to defend themselves every day without ever having to fire the gun.

I encourage all of you who are mentally stable adults to go out and take a NRA certified shooting class. Or if you have a friend who owns a gun, talk to him or her and see if they'll teach you to shoot. Then, if you think you can handle a gun responsibly and safely, go out and buy one and get your concealed carry license, if your state is a right to carry state. Most importantly if you have your license, then carry! Criminals have the luxury of choosing when and where to strike, we must always be ready to defend ourselves and those around us.

Certainly if you have any questions about carrying a gun for self defense, or just about guns in general feel free to ask me. Also, if you are a gun owner and aren't a member of the NRA, then become one today. People in the UK and in Australia lost their right to own guns because they didn't defend that right. In the span of two weeks laws were passed that forced law abiding Australians to turn in their guns to police departments. Don't be mistaken, it can and will happen here, unless we defend our freedom. That's why its important to get involved in the NRA, also, write your lawmakers!

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