We are a society that places a great deal of importance on “safety.” Loosely defined, this societal effort to ensure “safety” promotes products and practices that keep individuals from harm. Sure, we all have capable fire departments, but we also have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. All of these precautions are taken despite the fact that we have trained professionals ready to respond to our 911 call.
Likewise, many people own firearms despite the fact that they have police and sheriffs departments to keep law and order. But, in situations where law enforcement cannot respond in time, it is critical that the citizen has adequate means of self-protection. What is adequate? Adequacy, I believe, is a level of force equal or greater to the force being brought against a person by the assailant(s). Isn’t a firearm a tool — just like the fire extinguisher? We could never hope to extinguish a blazing house fire with just the extinguisher, but it is a proper and crucial response mechanism that has saved countless homes and lives over the years. Should we think differently about firearms? After all, they are the tools that could save your life when undeterred violence seeks your life and police intervention is not possible.
Do you know how many school fires have killed scores of teachers and students in the past 50 years? The answer might surprise you — zero. Yet we still have fire drills, smoke detectors, and extinguishers around every corner. So don’t tell me that firearms have no place in our society. Don’t tell me that I can’t own “standard capacity” magazines or “semi-automatic” rifles. And never fall prey to the fantasy that law-breaking criminals or principled citizens will follow these petty laws. There is nothing reasonable, responsible, or safe about the slew of proposed anti-gun legislation. These laws will make you as safe as the moviegoers in Aurora and as helpless as the school children and teachers at Sandy Hook.