THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 847, November 15, 2015
I don't recall anyone ever saying "Fewer
guns, more crime.", but maybe it's time
we did. We have just been treated to an
example of that insane principle at work.
Paris: The High Price of Willful Ignorance
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
This is the Atlanta Declaration, which I first enunciated 28 years ago, in September of 1987, at a weapons convention held in Atlanta, Georgia. It is not proposed legislation, a measure I want introduced and passed, it is the identification of an already-existimg natural law, and it doesn't really matter whether anybody approves of it or not.
We have long observed that, assuming one believes the government's account of what happened on September 11, 2001 (a colossal assumption, I admit) it could have been prevented if just one or two civilian passengers aboard those hijacked airliners had carried even a tiny .22 pistol. Our cultural tendency to over-analysis has led us to examine microscopically the hijackers' religious beliefs, their political aspirations, their family relationships, and their toilet habits, which is an error. It doesn't matter why they did what they did, it was a criminal act, in violation of dozens of criminal statutes. Whatever else they may have been, those hijackers were criminals, a social class who don't like to take risks if they believe that their intended victims have an even chance of defeating (and humiliating) them.
Exactly the same is true of what has happened in Paris on Friday, November 13, 2015.
In the late 1960s, violent crime in America had exploded to a point where one individual in three was pretty much guaranteed to be raped, mugged, or otherwise harmed by criminals, who ran no risk, because self-defense was socially out of style, and even illegal in some places. This gave rise to movies—which is how our culture works out its problems—like _Death Wish_ and _Dirty Harry_ in which ordinary people, failed by the authorities, took their own protection into their hands. In real life, they disregarded the "advice" of those authorities and took martial arts lessons, and bought guns.
At that time, Orlando, Florida was experiencing a sort of rape epidemic. Some genuine genius in the city government abandoned all of the conventional non-working counter-measures such things tend to provoke, and suggested that women show up for free, police-conducted shooting lessons in the park. They expected 400. They got 4000. When news of this got to the natyional level, the epidemic ceased. After years of stupid political debate, Florida made it microscopically easier to carry a gun legally, and violent crime declined in double digits.
This trend has continued, and the downtrend in crime has become a national phenomenon. A growing handful of states have even followed Vermont's example, and eliminated all restrictions on carrying guns. Over the 45-year duration of this social revolution, violent crime in America has fallen 40 percent. The authorities and their media whores hate this, because it means there is no real need for them in society. Most violent crime survives in the inner-city-centers controlled by leftists.
I saw some undereducated person arguing the other day that violent crime abounded in the Middle Ages because there were no controls on weapons, and no authorities to enforce them. These assertions are both false. I could point to the role of public education and the present anti-intellectuality of colleges in producing this embarrassing degree of dismal ignorance, but it's probably beside the point I want to make here.
The fact is, weapons were forbidden under death penalties to all who failed to uphold the established order—the quarter-staff was in style only because it's hard to deny a stick to a man who lives in a forest—and even if they hadn't been, a sword represented the same size of investment to impoverished peasants that a car does today. You didn't pluck them off the sword-tree. These laws were enforced by the Church, and also by the King's Men—twice the authority we suffer today.
Decent weapons were once restricted to the elite. Why, does this person suppose that American social and political democracy, with its emphasis on armed citizens, Eli Whitney's wonderful invention of mass production, and Samuel Colt's unique contribution to ballistic egalitarianism are revolutionarily important in the history of our species?
Should you doubt my interpretation of these statistics of self-defense, I refer you to statistician (and economist) John Lott, who had good reason for callng his most recent book _More Guns, Less Crime_.
I don't recall anyone ever saying "Fewer guns, more crime.", but maybe it's time we did. We have just been treated to an example of that insane principle at work. France, which was once the source of many historic and fascinating guns, has had repulsively strict gun laws for decades. Paris has gun laws of its own. On Friday the 13th of November, 2015, we were all shown exactly what that means, when the merest handful of homicidal fanatics—not unlike the box-knife weilding killers on 9/11—were easily able to disrupt an entire nation.
The Second Amendment regards gun ownership as "necessary to the security of a free state." We have now seen that proved. Its author, likely James Madison, knew what he was talking about. Free states today have no security. If the people are unwilling to drop a .22, a .25, a .32, or a .380 in their pockets and take charge of their own safety, the government will. That hasn't worked out very well in the past.
Add hollowpoint bullets in those small calibers, filled with stabilized hog fat, and that will put ISIL out of business in North America. When General John "Blackjack" Pershing was fighting Moslems in the Phillipines (in what I believe was essentially an unjust war) he buried a number of the enemy wrapped in pig carcasses. It seemed to work.
Author Robert Heinlein is famous for having said "An armed society is a polite society." I have lived my entire life suyrrounded by armed individuals, eventually becoming one of them, myself. Heinlein was right.
But then, Heinlein nearly always is.
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