When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that Americans have a constitutional right to keep a gun in their homes for self-defense, the progressive left was angry and full of dire predictions. The decision was going to lead to blood in the streets, we were told.
The mayors of two cities with very restrictive gun laws were especially apoplectic. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley called the Heller decision a “frightening ruling,” and he said we were going to have Wild West shootouts, because people “are going to take a gun and they are going to end their lives in a family dispute.”
Daley wasn’t alone is his dire warnings. Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty said, “More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence.”
If those predictions had come true, we would be seeing special reports in magazine and on television, along with demands that “something must be done to stop this.” But since the truth is very, very different, the news media have been strangely silent.
Noted gun statistic researcher John Lott pointed out two weeks ago that murder and violent crime are down more in Chicago than in other cities since the gun ban ended. What would the spin have been if the numbers had been reversed? I think we all know. Since I used to be a journalist, I understand that it’s not the conspiracy that many think it is. It’s merely that bad news sells. Good news? Well, that’s not considered news. Nobody watches it. Nobody reads it.
It’s still commonly accepted wisdom among the elites that people being allowed to own guns causes crime. In the minds of the liberal elite, the only people who own guns are hayseed redneck whites riding around in pickup trucks looking for blacks to lynch or else urban blacks and Hispanics doing drug deals. (And they think that other people are prejudiced?) The truth is that most people who own guns have them for their own protection against criminals. It’s a personal decision as to whether to own a gun — and I’m certainly not saying that everyone has to run out and buy one — but the fact that many people do have them makes all of us safer, because criminals don’t know who might be armed.
Still, the wise ones among the elite stick to their belief that guns should be outlawed. Just a few weeks ago, the New York Times editorialized against private gun ownership. The fact that the predictions of mayhem (after the Heller decision) didn’t come true hasn’t seemed to affect their opinions.
I want people to have guns to protect themselves against criminals, but I also want guns in private hands for other reasons. An armed population is harder for a coercive state to control, and an armed population has more of a chance to defend itself when society falls apart. Unarmed people are going to be in trouble when social and economic collapse comes.
Well, we’re all going to be in trouble, actually. It’s just that armed people just stand a better chance of surviving and defending their loved ones.