Sunday, January 23, 2011
Citizens With Guns
August,1966 a sniper killed 17 people and was stopped by citizens and police in Austin, Texas.
Armed citizens have a long history in the United States of responding immediately to crimes in progress and assisting the police. I don't know of a single instance where the armed citizen was subsequently shot by the police who mistook him for the criminal.
As for the United States having a monopoly on violent gun crime I would forward these two recent examples from Europe were guns are highly regulated and difficult to obtain:
Nordine Amrani in Belgium used not only a rifle but military grenades. Grenades are not legal in the US and I don't know of a single grenade attack here, ever.
Anders Behring Breivk killed more than 70 people with bombs and guns, there were no armed police or armed citizens to stop his rampage.
A moral and law abiding citizenry can responsibly carry firearms as they do in Texas and most of the USA, and Switzerland as well with no ill effects on society. An immoral and lawless society cannot be trusted with guns as they will have a terrible effect on society as in Somalia.
Every society will have a few crazy or evil people who will attack others for no reason other than that they are crazy or evil. The good people need the power of firearms to stop those attacks. The police are not able to be everywhere all the time and in a free society most of us would not want them to be everywhere, all the time.
In the 1890s in the United States nearly every adult male was armed with a knife or gun much of the time. We had guns concealed in canes, in wallets, strapped to wrists and ankles, guns disguised as belt buckles and hidden in shoes. Most of these were very close range pistols that would be very dangerous less than ten feet away. Many women also carried small pocket or purse pistols. Crime was much less than today.
Rifles were are common too, even today in the United States there are over 11 million licensed hunters and there are millions more who hunt without a license (some game does not require a license) and millions of others who are survivalists, militia members, gun collectors, target shooters and veterans who own one or more long guns. Guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are a shield against evil; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.