Guns and Self-Defence

Dave Killion — August 26, 2010

As a former US Marine I have some experience with firearms, and although I have never developed a passion for guns, I appreciate the value in knowing basic marksmanship.  It seems to me a skill worth learning and maintaining.  To that end I have recently earned my Possession and Acquisition License and accepted a shotgun as a gift from a relative who didn’t use it very much.  I also have begun asking people if they hunt or shoot, and what I have found is that there are a lot more gun owners than I suspected.  Even more surprising are the number of owners who are indifferent to their ownership: people who bought or inherited a firearm years ago and never bothered to get rid of it when it lost its appeal.  I know one fellow who had a handgun for two decades and his adult sons never even knew it.  We are surrounded by law-abiding, armed citizens.  These very same people get drunk and they have big fights with their kids and their spouses, and they get very angry with their bosses and their co-workers, but they are no threat at all.  So why can’t they carry a handgun for self-defence?

It gets more curious.  Consider the case of Lela Mae La France.  Nearly two years ago La France was threatened with a sawed-off rifle by her abusive common-law husband.  After escaping his attempt to pin her down and force sex on her she picked up the rifle he had set aside and killed him.  In May of this year she was found to be acting in self-defence and therefore Not Guilty.  Now La France is no candidate for Citizen of the Year, but she didn’t deserve beating or raping neither of which she could have prevented without that firearm.

So law-abiding citizens may own certain firearms, and anyone, law-abiding or not, may use a firearm in self-defence.  Why then are law-abiding citizens deprived of their natural right to carry handguns for self-defence?  It makes no sense that I can see.

Comments

David says

Dave, you make a great point. I have never thought about making the case for “carry laws” in Canada this way but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. In the future I will be taking this angle when trying to convince other Canadians of the necessity of gun rights.

Regards,
David

— August 29, 2010

Sean says

Dave,

People have a “natural right” to carry firearms? I would disagree. I think it’s a uniquely American point of view that you need to walk around strapped with a deadly weapon “for protection”.

One glance at the gun culture and related statistics of our American neighbours shows that incorporating non-hunting firearms into a society comes with great peril.

This isn’t Communist China, Nazi Germany or America and citizens do not need firearms purpose built for killing other citizens. I find it Ironic that perhaps the strongest arguement in this case is for people to defend themselves from those carrying the illegal ones smuggled here from our neighbours to the south.

— August 31, 2010

CodeSlinger says

Sean:

True, this isn’t Communist China, Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany. Yet.

But the more people shirk the duty of self-reliance – including self-defence – the closer we get to reliving those nightmares. It can happen here. And it will, if the plutocratic oligopoly has its way.

“Let’s not gloss over this truth: The gun debate isn’t about firearms – it’s about freedom and what it takes to protect it.”

— Charlton Heston, speech at Harvard Law School, 1999

As for your cavalier dismissal of natural rights… I have to ask, do you even know what a right is?

Right: a freedom, entitlement, or immunity, which is so fundamental to human nature that it cannot justly be taken away or given up.

A human being has certain intrinsic needs and capacities, simply by virtue of being human. Suffering and death result when these needs are not met, and they cannot be met except by exercising these capacities. Therefore, it is every person’s natural right to act for his own benefit and to benefit from his own actions.

All other rights follow from this one essential principle. Not as a matter of opinion, but by simple reasoning from the known facts of human nature.

The point is that our natural capacities translate directly into the ability to care for ourselves. And to think of better ways of doing so. Like making, owning, and using tools – including weapons – whenever, wherever and however we see fit.

Indeed, there is only one legitimate limitation on a person’s right to do exactly as he pleases, and that is the right of another person to do likewise. This leads to an inevitable conflict which balances the unavoidable detriments against the potential benefits of living in community with others.

The whole purpose of a civil society is to mitigate this conflict so as to maximize the benefits and minimize the detriments. The most important constitutive principle of a civil society must therefore be that the rights of the individual are inalienable and shall not be infringed, except in just consequence of the individual’s own actions to infringe the rights of others.

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819

“What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that the people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to William S. Smith, 1787

— August 31, 2010

Sean says

Dave:

Your case for rights is as being intrinsic in existence is compelling and persuasive, but it’s logic can be extended to other products or concepts that are both deemable to be essential or beneficial to human existence, and of the invention or creation of man.

I suppose weapon technology as aides to independence and self reliance is important, but only as a means being able to provide for physiological needs such as providing food. I would say that using a weapon as a “tool” to overcome the fear of violence from other individuals, or theoretical armed forces is not reasonably fundamental to the proposed intrinsic rights of human nature when viewed in the context of our current, or even more idyllic existence as a nation or culture. I believe that the fear and mistrust of government, which is ultimately peoples own self-governance, is a meme that has it’s roots in a form of non democratic organization that wants to capture the fruits of our economy. If it is advantageous to use marketing and persuasion to capture the fruits of our labour, then they will be used to the fullest extent possible to “lobby” for our economy.

I believe that If nobody else has guns meant for killing me, then I have no use for one . I believe that Canadians only have to fear illegal weapons and the culture that comes with them from the United States and overseas.

Indeed it seems this a matter of belief. You belive that it is a right to firearms in order to ensure the well being of you and your kin. I believe that a strong healthcare system would do the same. We probably don’t share the same beliefs, but it is illuminating the fact that we can merely not agree on what is best for all.

And if, as you say, it is natural that we all want the best for ourselves, then it is also natural that in some or even most cases it is natural that working with others is the most beneficial. If the goal is working together to ensure our mutual safety from violence within our society, then wouldn’t it be better for our individual and shared economy to work for nobody being armed vs. everybody being armed?

— August 31, 2010

CodeSlinger says

Sean:

Never use a weapon out of fear. If you do, you are defeated before you begin. A weapon is a tool to magnify your ability to kill. When necessary. It is to be used with cold precision, implacable will, and deep respect. Or not at all.

Used properly, it can provide food and defend the integrity of the your person, your family, and your freedom. Misused, it will cause nothing but heartache and pain.

There is no such thing as “a tool to overcome the fear of violence.” You have to rely on strength of character to overcome fear.

And there is nothing idyllic about our present existence. The so-called free world is turning into a global gulag.

We live in a state that now purports to dictate when and how and to what degree a nominally free man may take risks, express his opinion, defend himself, pursue his goals, dispose of his property… A state that takes more and more of our money – by threat of violence – and uses it to invade our privacy and restrict our freedoms more rudely and more insolently with every passing day.

Need I go on? This is the reality of your “idyllic existence.”

We are being treated as slaves by the plutocratic oligopoly. You speak of “a form of non-democratic organization that wants to capture the fruits of our economy.” Well, they already have. They are called globalists.

And the meme that keeps their boots planted firmly on your face as they bleed you to death – slowly, to maximize their profit – is the seductively false idea the this relentless oppression “is ultimately peoples’ own self-governance.”

You think that “the goal is working together to ensure our mutual safety from violence.” But this is a fool’s errand. There is nothing that can ensure our safety, mutual or otherwise. The best we can do is preserve our freedom and be prepared to respond effectively when our safety is threatened. As it surely will be. Time and time again.

To exist is to risk extinction. Every day. Until something eventually gets you. If this thought fills you with fear, then your existence will be a miserable one. And you will likely fall for someone’s soothing lies about how they can keep you safe – like the claim that “a strong healthcare system would do the same.”

Tell me… how’s that working out for the people of Britain, France and Sweden? They’re disarmed and defenceless and being helplessly overrun by militant Muslim fanatics who think that killing infidels and raping white chicks is a fast track to heaven. But they have elaborate public health care systems, so that makes it okay, right?

When Allan Rock was Justice Minister, he said he wants to see a Canada in which only the police and the armed forces carry weapons. I’ll just bet he does. That would be a totalitarian’s wet dream. And everyone else’s nightmare.

And that brings us back to Communist China, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Because, in Canada, we now have hate speech laws and gun control laws. Just like they did.

Soviet Russia established gun control in 1929. From 1929 to 1953, 23 million peasants and dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Nazi Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and others, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Communist China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 50 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

So, you see, weapons in the hands of criminals do far less harm than those in the hands of the state. For every person killed by criminals, thousands are killed by their own governments.

And those guns we foolishly let them take away a decade or so ago? Chances are, we’re going to be sorely needing them before another decade is done.

— September 1, 2010

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