confronted by a criminal, you're back on U.S.
Published in The Orlando
Sentinel, July 19, 1998
The easiest way to resolve, in your own mind,
the gun-control debate is to take this little
1. Do you believe that you have a right to
2. Do you believe that your spouse and
children have a right to live?
3. If someone is threatening to kill you and
your family, do you think that you have a right
to defend yourself?
That's the objective, yes-or-no part of the
quiz. Now here is one final essay question:
How will you defend yourself and your family
if you are confronted by an armed intruder or
You could call 911 unless, as often happens
these days, the intruders have taken the trouble
to cut your telephone wires before they kick your
door down. But if you did get the call off, you
still have a problem:
The intruders are there in your house, and the
The sad fact is that, because of logistics,
police can't protect you. In more than 99 percent
of the cases, by the time the police even get
called -- and certainly by the time they arrive
-- the crime has already been committed.
The hard truth is that, when you are
confronted by a criminal, you're in the same
situation today you would have been in if you had
lived alone on an isolated ranch on the American
frontier. There's nobody at the dance but you and
the criminal. You have to fight. You win, you
live; you lose, you die. Simple as that. No
alternative unless you want to depend on your
begging and some thug's mercy. But in serious
encounters, by the time the cavalry gets there,
there will be dead and wounded lying around. The
question you have to answer is: Do you want to be
among the dead or among the living?
Now you may suppose that you are a glib talker
and when some crack-crazed thug sticks a gun in
your face, you can reason with him. That's a very
far-fetched supposition. I would bet on the thug.
Any honest street cop will tell you that the
predators roaming today are far more dangerous
than even mob hit men of the past. The hit men
would never kill without a reason. Today's thugs
kill on a whim for no rational reason at all. And
many of them will kill everyone there, including
babies and children.
The neo-totalitarians -- sometimes known as
the gun-control crowd -- will repeat the big lie
that a gun kept for self-protection is more
likely to injure you or your family than a
criminal. The flawed study that is based on was
discredited years ago.
If you take a gun to a gunfight, you may not
win; if you don't, you will surely lose. Credible
studies by respected scholars with no bias show
what common sense tells you -- that thousands of
Americans every day save themselves from criminal
harm by using a firearm, most of the time without
having to shoot.
To me, there is no more outrageous insult or
bigger example of stupidity than a government
that is such a gross failure at preventing
criminal, armed attacks on the population that it
would take the position that the answer is to
disarm the future victims. I take it as a given
that any politician who proposes to deny honest
people the means to defend their lives and the
lives of their children is too evil or too stupid
to tolerate in public office.
Some guy once wrote that a characteristic of
Southerners is that they take things personally.
I know that's true in my case. When I hear some
politician talk gun control, I think, ``You
(expletive deleted), you're endangering my
You have a right to own a firearm. Don't let
anyone take that right away from you. Use it.
[Posted 07/18/98 3:00 AM EST]