By Scott Weiser
Of all the insipid arguments against law-abiding people carrying guns for self defense, the one the LA Times editorial page made on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 is one of the most ignorant and frankly stupid ones ever expounded.
The editorial says “As the nation has learned so painfully, there is little that can be done once someone has armed himself — and it is almost always a him — and starts shooting up a school or a workplace or a neighborhood, intending to kill as many people as possible.”
This assertion is in and of itself a complete falsehood. There’s plenty that can be done to stop a mass shooting, the question is only whether there are people who are trained, equipped and prepared to do what is necessary.
The LA Times goes on to say “The NRA and its statehouse allies adhere to the disproved theory that a good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun, and thus the more firearms carried around, the safer society becomes.” This theory is anything but disproven, and most bad guys with guns are stopped by good guys with guns, but that’s another article entirely, so we will let it lie for the nonce.
The fundamental flaw in the LA Times article is the noxious notion that the individual right to self-defense can allocated by degrees based on someone else’s analysis of risk.
In the article cited by the LA Times, author Jared Keller, a “writer for hire” and contributing editor at Pacific Standard, says “statistically, it’s more likely that someone with a concealed carry permit will set out to commit mass murder than prevent it. Analysis by the Violence Policy Center has found that at least 29 mass shootings since 2007 were carried out by perpetrators with concealed carry permits. That’s more than three times the number of concealed permit holders who prevented mass shootings through their swift action.”
Whenever some liberal pundit mentions statistics in conjunction with one’s fundamental constitutional rights, watch out, they are about to statistic them away! What Keller and the VPC claim has been demonstrated to be false, but that too is not really relevant to this argument.
The essence of the LA Times and Keller’s entirely fallacious argument is as follows: Few armed citizens actually use guns to stop mass shootings perpetrated by criminals, therefore no citizens should be allowed to carry guns to protect themselves against mass shootings perpetrated by criminals. The flaw in this logic should be obvious to all rational people.
Every individual enjoys the constitutionally-protected right to self defense using a firearm, thus sayeth the Supreme Court…and the Constitution. This right accrues to each and every individual citizen as complete and is fully enforceable by every individual. It cannot be apportioned among individuals or parceled-out by dribs and drabs to an individual by anyone, including government, based on some outside analysis of risk, which is the essence of the gun-banner’s reasoning.
To say that an individual (in this case an adult, law-abiding college student) has only a partial, limited right to self defense because someone, be it government or gun-banners, has decided that his chances of either needing it or being able to use it effectively are nil is complete nonsense and flatly unconstitutional.
It is the same as saying that the right to the free exercise of religion can be limited to praying at home only on Sunday because one does not “need” to pray more often than that or that people don’t “need” to speak in public so they can be prohibited from doing so, or that the press only “needs” two pages of news, maximum.
The sort of mindless liberal calculus of death that both the LA Times and Keller engage in is both typical of liberals and entirely unconstitutional and it is offensive to the fundamental principles upon which our nation was founded.
No one’s right to carry a gun for self defense can be infringed because she might not have occasion to use it or might be unable to use it effectively at need. Those are decisions that she gets to make and consequences she must accept as a function of her right to choose to be armed, or to not be armed.
What the LA Times and Keller are trying to do is to convert the Bill of Rights into a Bill of Needs that they get to administer based on their arrogant idea of who should get to protect themselves, when, where and how.
And that cannot be tolerated.