Sunday, April 16, 2006

Reality Bites

So I was working the other morning, when one of my co-workers -- one I often shoot with -- came in and handed me a copy of Guy Smith's Gun Facts 4.0, which can be downloaded here. It's an 80-plus page booklet of sorts that is, in the words of its introduction, "...a quick reference guide for composing arguments for debates, letters to editors, email to your representatives, and statements to the media" -- a wealth of information, and thoroughly sourced at that. I would highly recommend that anyone who has even a passing doubt about the benefits of gun ownership -- or the futility of any and all kinds of gun bans -- download and read through it.
On page 3 of the booklet, there's a quite revealing quote from Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of the radically, frothing-at-the-mouth anti-gun Violence Policy Center:

"You can't get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the (gun control) movement."

I know that had to be quite painful for him to admit. His organization has been perhaps the leading advocate of stripping Americans of their God-given rights pretty much since its inception, and in trying to reach that goal, it has propagated every kind of lie, deception, manipulation and otherwise half-truth that exists in the world of gun politics.
Yet here was an almost complete breakdown of the social order in Southern California in the aftermath of the acquittal of the police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King, a breakdown that the police -- one of the groups that the professional deception specialists at the VPC argue should be allowed to keep its guns -- were almost completely unable to contain and quell for several days.
So what was to be done in the interim? The Los Angeles shopkeepers showed us, as they fended off rioters with whatever kinds of firearms they were able to get their hands on. And, of course, there were the myriad stories from the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (how about YOU LOOT, I SHOOT?), and here are just a couple of stories (h/t Zendo Deb @ TFS Magnum) of armed citizens defending themselves as the police were unable to help them, due to that inherent flaw of not being able to be everywhere at once, a flaw that gun banners of all stripes have failed to address. We may win some, we may lose some, but as long as we breathe, I like to think that incidents such as these will serve to remind people of the catastrophes that would result if we let our government attempt to disarm us. Perhaps that is optimistic, but as long as we are eternally vigilant, there remains at least a flicker of hope...