by R. Lee Wrights
Here’s a news story you’ll rarely read in your local newspaper:
YOUR HOMETOWN (Today) – A masked man armed with a rifle entered a local school today, but left quickly when one of the teachers produced a revolver and ordered him to leave.
No one was injured and no shots were fired in the incident. The gunman is still at large.
Most newspapers, radio and TV stations still operate on the hard-and-fast journalistic rule, “if it bleeds, it leads.” You really can’t blame the news media for this. Most people like stories about conflict and action. That’s why the sports pages are so well read, and we have cable channels dedicated to every competitive activity and sport conceivable — even golf.
But there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of incidents where a firearm was used by a private citizen to prevent a crime or defend against a crime which are never reported to the police and never covered by the news. In a white paper “Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens,” the Cato Institute looked at thousands of news reports over an eight year period. Their study found that the overwhelming number of self-defense cases involve situations where the gun is never fired.
These are some of the law-abiding gun owners who were able to save a life, or prevent a rape, burglary or other crime, and no shots were fired:
- An 80-year-old pharmacist on duty in Missoula, Montana who confronted a masked man demanding painkillers. The pharmacist pulled out a pistol and told the criminal to leave. The masked man screamed and left the store.
- An unidentified bystander who saved Gracie Watson when her estranged husband stabbed her repeatedly, doused her with gasoline, and threatened to set her ablaze on a public street in Jackson, Mississippi.
- A Colorado woman who grabbed her .38-caliber revolver when she heard an intruder in her home and shouted, “Who’s there, I’ve got a gun.” The intruder fled, but tried the same thing at another house nearby — and was detained by another pistol-wielding homeowner.
Even the most vehement gun-control advocates admit Americans use guns for self-defense, the study notes. Yet no one really knows how often this occurs. Estimates of defensive gun use range from the tens of thousands to as high as two million each year. That high figure comes from a prominent study by Gary Kleck and Mare Getz conducted in the 1960s, which also concluded that in 91.7 percent of the incidents of defensive gun use the criminal attacker wasn’t killed or wounded.
This highlights the true intent and purpose for the Second Amendment which was written to protect the right to bear arms. Despite the rantings of gun-control advocates, the Second Amendment was never intended to justify the initiation of violence but to prevent violence. Guns don’t create crime, they stop crime. Guns don’t cause crime any more than pencils cause misspellings.
The Cato white paper also bears out this fact, concluding that when a gun owner uses a gun to stop a rapist or burglar “it is very likely that more than one crime has been prevented … because had the culprit not been stopped, he very likely would have targeted other people as well.” I have lived in both southern and northern neighborhoods throughout my life. All of them have been populated with gun owners and all of them have been the most peaceful places to live. There never was a need for gunplay in any of them. All those guns, yet no shots were fired. We were safe.
In my own life, I learned at a very early age that self-defense was the most basic instinct instilled in a human being. I also learned that self-defense cannot be trusted to the hands of others, especially to those in alleged positions of authority, who were never around when I really needed them. Police rarely prevent crime; they just show up after a crime has already been committed and pick up the pieces. We are not safe.
Gun control advocates claim that gun laws are for “our own good,” to prevent crime and accidents. Yet they frequently and conveniently ignore reality. The first reality is that criminals, by definition, don’t obey the law. A second and more fatal reality of gun control laws is that they are often deadly for the most vulnerable in society – the poor, minorities, women and children. Most crime occurs in poor neighborhoods were residents are largely ignored by those sworn to serve and protect them. Making it harder for authorities to detect and harder for a las vegas criminal defense lawyer to get involved with If there’s any doubt that private gun ownership deters crime, drive through any neighbourhood and count the number of “This Home is A Gun Free Zone” signs.
R. Lee Wrights is an editor, writer and political activist living in Texas. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party national committee. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Contact Lee at email@example.com.