Remember these the next time a gun-banner says, “If it only saves one life…”
Speaking that phrase–“if it only saves one life, won’t it be worth it?”–is quite possibly the best way to give me a pulsing forehead vein, because the fact of the matter is that bad gun laws kill good people. They don’t affect criminals, of course, given that ignoring laws is sort of the definition of “criminal.” But law-abiding citizens who take care to obey laws, even ones they don’t agree with, are disproportionately affected every time the gun banners manage to squeeze out a new hot, steamy pile of gun control. The proof is everywhere, but this week I’d like to focus on two very recent stories featuring two armed citizens who defended their lives against criminal attack…and on the “sensible gun control” laws that would have prevented them from doing so.
1. The “safe storage” law
The thing about so-called “safe storage” laws is that, on their surface and to the uninformed, they sound pretty good. After all, many if not most of us keep our guns in a safe when not in use, if only to deter potential burglars. It gets tricky, however, when the government starts trying to mandate precisely how you, the individual gun owner, do that. Although “safe storage” laws differ from state to state in those states that have them, there tend to be some universal themes. First, the gun owner is generally asked to keep the guns stored unloaded. Second, the gun owner is usually asked to keep the guns stored in a locking safe. Up until fairly recently, those few residents of Washington, D.C. who legally owned long guns were required to keep the gun and its ammunition in separate rooms. These requirements may or may not prevent unauthorized access to the guns in question…but they definitely prevent a homeowner from getting their gun in firing condition quickly.
Consider this tale out of San Diego, California. By California standards, it’s a fairly conservative city…but that didn’t stop the city from passing a “safe storage” law of its own. That law hadn’t yet gone into effect when a home invader broke into a San Diego residence on July 16 and began stabbing the homeowner. His adult son retrieved a gun and shot the intruder, mortally wounding him. The homeowner was gravely injured himself, with multiple stab wounds to the upper body, but he’s expected to survive.
But what if the man’s son had been forced to go unlock a safe, load the gun, and then go to defend his parent? How many more stab wounds would his father have incurred, and how much more blood would he have lost? And if the law I mentioned earlier had gone into effect and the son had simply decided to ignore it, he’d have had the chance to save his dad…only to face charges himself. The good news? In that article I linked, it’s clear that this case is causing San Diego citizens to question the wisdom of their new law.
2. The “21 to purchase” law
This brand of gun law has been around for quite a while, but previously, most states that had it only applied it to handguns. Law-abiding adults under the age of 21 could, at least, still purchase a long gun. However, the aftermath of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting revived the popularity of this law…and, in much the same way that the “21 to purchase” law changed how young people buy alcohol back in the 1980s, this one seems to have built up a lot of momentum.
Gun banners have always seen the legal age to purchase as low-hanging fruit, for obvious reasons: The three-year swath affected is relatively small, and populated largely by people who don’t exercise their right to vote as much as they should. The argument that an 18-year-old can be compelled to go and fight a war (the draft hasn’t been used in decades, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be brought back); that an 18-year-old can legally get married; that an 18-year-old can sign contracts and own real estate…doesn’t seem to cut much ice with anti-gunners.
That’s why you should know about this July 17 article. This one doesn’t feature a homeowner–this is about an attempted carjacking. The car’s owner, a 19-year-old, was gassing up his vehicle when he was approached by a knife-wielding mugger who demanded his car. The young adult grabbed his handgun and fatally shot the mugger. What if he hadn’t been allowed to keep and bear that pistol? Chances are quite good that he would have been stabbed and robbed.
Guns save lives. Gun control kills. Keep your eyes on the news, and you’ll see the evidence every day.
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