Originally posted January 14, 2011.
As the debate on gun control heats up in the wake of the Tucson massacre, the predictable flow of misinformation is coming out of the Brady Campaign, America’s number one gun control lobby. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign, is on the news telling Americans that the gun used in the massacre is simply not suitable for self-defense. Wrong. The Glock 9mm, and other 9mm semi-automatics like it, are probably the most common handguns in America. There is a reason an overwhelming majority of America’s police departments use a Glock 9mm, or similar weapon, to protect their officers. As expert John R. Lott Jr. said in an interview with National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, “Handguns are particularly useful for self-defense in enclosed spaces such as inside a house. Indeed, there is a safety reason for using handguns. The bullets fired by handguns travel more slowly than those fired by rifles and are thus less likely to harm people outside of the home.”
In my travels around the country I often ask police officers what sidearm they are carrying, and in the overwhelming majority of cases that say a Glock 9mm, or a semi-automatic 9mm from another gun maker. Of America’s population, over 99% are never going to commit some act of violence like that committed in Tucson. But if that 99% had been trained in an NRA handgun safety course and concealed-carry weapons training program, we all would be dramatically safer.
Making the personal choice of owning a 9mm would be smart for all law abiding Americans. Debbie and I own Smith & Wesson 38s, and neither of us find them preferable to the 9mm. For those questioning the usefulness of a handgun in self-defense, imagine trying to carry a shotgun concealed under your jacket. If you’re walking through a seedy part of town and want protection, it’s unlikely you would wield your 12-gauge over your shoulder. It’s more likely you’d carry a 9mm in a shoulder holster under your coat.
The fact is that banning anything ends up with only those willing to break the law owning it. Look at marijuana or the era of alcohol prohibition. Do you think that if criminals can turn cough syrup into methamphetamine that they can’t build their own black market guns? Guns have been around for hundreds of years, building them is not rocket science.
President Obama, for his part has taken a strong stance that the tragedy in Arizona was just that, a tragedy, not a call to change Americans’ constitutional rights. In his speech in Tucson the president said, “Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath. For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know … what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind. … But what we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other.”
The Tucson massacre was a horrific act of aggression by one crazed human on many innocent people. Don’t blame the weapon, blame the depravity of the murderer. Killers will always find a means to act out their terrible aggression. Look to the Chinese knife attacks for evidence. 8 dead here. 31 wounded here. 3 children killed here. The world is filled with good people. Don’t take away their ability to defend themselves, because as Jon Stewart said in a very touching monologue on the Daily Show, “Crazy always seems to find a way.”
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Where Jon Stewart and the President get it right, Bill Maher pitches in for the lunatic fringe leftists. This diatribe is exactly what the president warned against.
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