As I pointed out in my IQ test for criminals and liberals, even stupid criminals don’t want to get shot, so they are less likely to go after victims who may be armed (if you don’t believe me, check out this feel-good story from Ferguson, Missouri).
But what if the bad guys don’t care if they get shot? What if they’re these crazies who want to shoot up schools or movie theaters, fully expecting to kill themselves or get shot when police eventually arrive?
Even in that case, gun ownership by innocent people presumably has a positive impact. Research on mass shootings reveals that these nut jobs gravitate to “gun-free zones.” That way, they figure there won’t be any immediate resistance and they’ll be able to maximize casualties.
Let’s take our analysis to the next level. What if the bad guys are lunatic Islamofascists who think they get a bunch of virgins in paradise if they butcher so-called infidels?
These evil scum presumably aren’t deterred by the possibility of death, but it’s also logical to assume that they want to maximize the carnage they inflict before that happens.
So if potential victims are armed, that presumably will have a positive impact. After all, terrorists generally don’t try to take on Israeli soldiers. Instead, they go after people with far more limited ability to fight back.
In a humane and just world, lawmakers would agree that these folks should have some ability to defend themselves. But that’s not how the real-world works, at least in European nations that impose severe gun control.
Maybe it’s time to change that misguided policy, which is exactly what some European Jews are proposing.
Here are some excerpts from a story in the U.K.-based Daily Mail.
One of Europe’s largest Jewish associations has written a letter to EU ministers asking for gun laws to be relaxed to allow Jews to arm themselves to protect against terror attacks. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the European Jewish Association, made the request in the wake of the Paris attacks in which four Jews were killed inside a deli in the French capital. …The letter speaks about the need for protection after Islamist Amedy Coulibaly gunned down four Jewish shoppers in cold blood in a Paris deli last Friday before he was shot by armed police. …Police later found he had maps showing the locations of Jewish schools in Paris. …Nobody from the European Council of Ministers was immediately available for comment on the letter when contacted by Mail Online this afternoon.
Needless to say, I’m not expecting European politicians to give the right answer to this request.
Instead, they’ll offer platitudes and assure people that the government will protect synagogues and Jewish schools.
That better than nothing, of course, but why not let individuals have the right to self defense?
John Hinderaker of Powerline adds his two cents to the issue.
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris shed some light on this question. In the case of the Charlie Hebdo murders, two armed guards were present, but were quickly overwhelmed by the well-trained (and no doubt better armed) terrorists. It is unlikely that civilians armed with pistols would have fared better. The kosher grocery attack was quite different. It was carried out by a single terrorist and, rather than being executed rapidly and with military precision, the terrorist held something like 30 people hostage for a matter of hours. This is a good example of a situation where civilians armed with concealed weapons could likely make a difference. If one of the hostages had a gun (or better yet, two or three hostages had guns) he could well have had an opportunity to get off a clean shot and kill or disable the terrorist.
Very well stated, though I’ll disagree in one respect. It’s quite possible that well-armed terrorists would have prevailed in their attack on Charlie Hebdo even if some of the employees were armed.
But if I worked at that magazine, I would still want the option of self defense. Far better to go down fighting than to cower under a desk.
I suspect John would agree, so we probably don’t have any real disagreement.
In any event, John’s has more good information and analysis in his blog post.
…a critical mass of armed civilians can change criminals’ behavior dramatically. In the United Kingdom, burglars generally look for homes that are occupied so that they can force the occupants to direct them to the family’s valuables–and, in the process, commit a rape or other heinous crime. In the United States, burglars almost always seek out unoccupied homes, because if the homeowner is present there is a possibility the burglar could be shot. The American experience suggests that as the citizenry becomes armed, street crime declines. The causes are hotly debated, but violent crime rates have steadily gone down in tandem with liberalized gun carry laws and broader ownership of handguns. …In parts of Europe, it is common for Jews to be attacked by gangs of young Muslims when they are out in public. Such attacks would decline rapidly if it were known that Jews are arming themselves, and if, in only a few instances, thugs attempting to perpetrate such attacks were shot in self-defense. In my view, deterring street attacks would be the largest potential benefit of wider firearms ownership. …if I were a European Jew would I arm myself to the maximum extent permitted by law, and seek legal changes to make self-defense more effective? Absolutely.
Actually, I’ll disagree with another minor aspect of John’s post.
If I were a European Jew, I would arm myself regardless of the law. My family’s protection would matter more than the foolish/evil laws of politicians.
P.P.P.S. Sticking with the humor theme, here’s an interview featuring a well-deserved lesson for a left-wing journalist (presumably an urban legend, but still funny). And here a post on the difference between conservatives, liberals, and Texans. Last but not least, I hope these are the virgins waiting in paradise to greet the terrorists.
P.P.P.P.S. To end on a serious note, I will continue my tradition of sharing the very powerful testimony of a true gun expert, as well as the admissions of two leftists (here and here) who admit that gun control is grossly misguided. All three of these links should be widely shared.