Will Be Safer If You Give Grandma an Uzi
fully automatic weapons to old ladies sounds extreme, and Iím not
claiming that people too weak to care for themselves should brandish
sidearms; neither should drunks or children. But arming decent people,
including your Aunt Bea, and arming them with yes
machine guns if they want, is the way to make America safer for
all of us. Let me explain:
John Lott has shown (see his book,
articles, and testimony)
that violent crime decreases when states and cities relax restrictions
on gun ownership and concealed carry. Further, people holding concealed-carry
permits commit an almost implausibly low number of violent crimes.
I noted some figures earlier,
and provided links,
regarding revocations of concealed-carry permits following arrests
of permit holders. Those impressive numbers become dramatically
more impressive when revocations are counted only for violent offenses;
they go lower still when only convictions are recorded.
this success is due to self-selection (few felons march into the
sheriffís department offering positive ID) or to the self-inhibiting
awareness that you are both physically secure and legally liable
(as I discussed
a few weeks ago) is an interesting question, but the rule holds
in every state regardless: Civilian gun toters are goodguys.
itís not because theyíre shrinking violets see Keep
and Bear Arms and Packing.org
for daily news of the legal acts of law-abiding gun owners, from
basic self defense to heroic intervention in defense of others.
policemen should be happy. Not only are they not threatened by permit
holders, though some department chief in every state will claim
so when laws are relaxed, but there is preliminary evidence from
Mustard that police in carry-permitting areas are safer after
people begin toting than before.
how about automatic weapons? This is almost common knowledge among
2nd-Amendment activists, but it was new to me: There
are over 240,000 legally owned fully automatic firearms in the United
States. There are also illegal ones; join a gang to get yours. But
of all the legally owned machine guns, there has been one (!) occasion
since 1934 where one has been used in commission of a crime, and
that was by a policeman. (This startling datum is documented here
also interesting is that relatively few machine guns are used by
why would anybody need a machine gun?" While violent crime
generally is on the decrease in the USA, there are still pockets
where residents are afraid to leave their homes even in daylight.
And those areas with the fewest legal weapons are the ones in the
worst shape L.A., D.C., New York CityÖ
why a machine gun?" Well, for one small matter, drive-by
shooters are hard to hit with a single-shot anything. Iím not recommending
you spray the neighborhood when a suspicious car appears; rather,
gang members will be less brazen when they believe the residents
match or beat their firepower.
most importantly, thereís home defense. Only an expert can use a
pistol well when an intruder is moving; you and I would mostly miss.
Pistols are for carrying, as when walking to your car. Shotguns
are better in the home, but their recoil is too strong for weaker
people, so Bea had better hit him with the first shot. By contrast,
a small-caliber machine gun can stop a big, drugged-up felon even
when used by a tiny and relatively inexpert citizen (though practice
is requisite for responsible ownership) many of these guns shoot
standard 9mm rounds, and thus recoil gently, and they move a lot
of lead. For older women living alone (among others), a small machine
gun is the best firearm for home defense.
no, civilians will not start shooting their families and the cable
guy. Such accidents are surpassingly rare, and if Bea hasnít been
terrorizing innocents with her derringer, she wonít do it with her
Uzi either. The data show we should not be afraid of law-abiding
people who own machine guns; nor of people with carry permits; nor
of John Doe with a hunting rifle at home; nor of little old ladies,
though I donít have data on them Iíll assume they tend not
to be violent criminals.
you should be a little afraid of criminals, and you should be able
to stop criminals who threaten your life, liberty, or property.
Comprehensive data establish this: There is no sensible reason to
deprive decent folk of the most effective tools of self defense,
particularly since criminals donít play by our rules.
on magazine capacity; vaguely worded, thus infinitely expandable,
bans on "assault weapons"; limits on shotgun barrel length;
and bans on fully automatic weapons are nothing but feel-good, do-bad
laws that function as a violent assault on decent people through
their empowerment of criminals and the government. All such laws
should be repealed.
sites suggested by readers:
Edmonds, MS in Industrial Psychology, Doctor of Musical Arts, is
a banker in Alabama.
© 2001 LewRockwell.com