My Constitutional Right to Bear Arms

As Ulysses S. Grant noted, the way to tell a bad law from a good one is that the a bad law cannot be enforced. The overly-strict gun-control ordinances in cities like Chicago and Washington, D.C. offer clear examples of bad, unenforceable laws. Considering the high incidence of street crime in such urban centers, the politically-correct policy of coddling youthful offenders, and the shortage of police officers to deal with the problem, it is not unreasonable to assume that more than a few otherwise law-abiding citizens have acquired firearms illegally, and are not reluctant to use them to protected themselves, their families, or their property. For most, that basic survival instinct takes precedence over formal compliance with the law. Given the choice of staying alive and being legally wrong, or being legally right and dead, most sane folks would choose the former.

Proponents of repealing the Second Amendment and banning private ownership of guns altogether, trot out statistics showing that that there are far more cases of gun owners using their guns on family members, neighbors and coworkers, or to commit suicide, than to take out a criminal in self defense. But what that anti-gun argument fails to consider is that acts of self defense involving guns are not officially recorded by the police or reported by the sensation-peddling news media, unless the assailant is killed or wounded. If the gun owner merely scares off a would-be by showing him his weapon or firing into the air, no one hears about it, and no stats are kept.

Street thugs, as a general rule, do not score high on I.Q. tests. Many are marginally retarded. But most compensate by developing keen animal instincts. They can usually sense, better than a person of normal intelligence, when somebody wielding a gun means business, and prudently back off.

I recall from my youth in Cuba that one of the first things that Fidel Castro did when he came to power was to confiscate all private firearms. ¿Armas para qué?, (why guns?) droned the official slogan over the state-controlled radio, and the Cuban masses, still basking in the triumph of La Revolución willingly, trustingly, gullibly, stupidly turned in their firearms. The shrewd Lider Máximo thus prevented the people from ever taking up arms against him.

The Founding Fathers who conceived the Second Amendment were more than mere intellectuals. All were also schooled in the real world, in the image of Plato’s philosopher kings. I, for one, am not about to question their wisdom.

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