© 2015 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. "There are two fundamental problems in American politics. The first is that most Americans do not believe that elected officials represent their interests. The second is that they are correct." John Gastil
This last week with the murder of people unable to defend themselves in the classroom of a college in Oregon we Americans have come to the very ends of sanity. Our elected officials do not represent our interests and our media is absent in this discussion.
Over the last several decades an insane policy has been foisted upon the American public and it is time to repeal it. The notion of Gun Free Zones is defective and is leading to needless deaths. As a country we protect everyone but the most important Americans, our students.
Our elected officials who are protected with guns have a political notion that endangers us. As George Orwell noted in the 1930s, "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us."
But we Americans have fallen for the defective notion of Gun Free Zones as being safe. They are not in the least, in fact, they expose people to violence because they are attractive to criminals who have no intention of following the law in the first place.
Everyone who wants Gun Free Zones should be compelled to live in a Gun Free Zone. Those members of Congress who huff and puff about gun violence but are protected by guards toting guns should have to face their fate without hope of defense, the way they condemn our young people to attack without defense.
Banning guns makes as much sense as saying that now that drugs are illegal there is no way for an American to get illegal drugs. Let us count the ways that making guns illegal does not work: first, criminals do not follow the law or especially that law, and second, it neuters the American tradition of protecting ourselves.
Do we Americans have the right of self defense? Or must we be defenseless in the face of crazed killers who pay no attention to the placard: This is a Gun Free Zone? More so, how long will we continue a strategy of defense that actually draws killers to defenseless victims?
There always has been and there always will be people who are evil or sick or both. How have we handled it in days past? Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association wrote, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
In his book, Principles of Personal Defense, Jeff Cooper wrote, "If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim. If a felon attacks you and lives, he will reasonably conclude that he can do it again. By submitting to him, you not only imperil your own life, but you jeopardize the lives of others."
For those of us who have the means of defense, we owe it to the next victim to not roll over. We must stand and fight for ourselves and the next victims. Know this: every time we stop a criminal we make safe untold other victims who may not be able to fight.
At the core of this discussion is the realization that guns cannot be removed from the world, there are too many factories making weapons. Some of the most prolific gun manufacturers are in other countries. Like drugs, if someone wants a gun enough, they will have it. What we are discussing is if their intended victim will have a gun for defense or not.
Blogger Mike Rowse noted: a man pulled a knife on me and asked, "Would you die for your friends and family?" I laughed as I pulled my gun, "No, but I would kill for them."
If he was in a Gun Free Zone would you rather that he gets killed by the evil man with the knife?