For years I’ve been advocating for a Belgian right to keep and bear arms similar to the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. And whenever people learn I am also an avid gun owner, I often receive a plethora of silly questions and statements. It’s time to provide a gun owner’s response in the form of a fictitious conversation.
“What, you have guns? Why? What are you so afraid of?”
I’m not afraid. I am prepared. There’s a difference.
“Prepared for what? What do you really need guns for?”
Not that I have to justify myself to you, but here goes:
- It’s an efficient tool to defend my family and myself against:
- A tyrannical government.
- Thugs, burglars, robbers, terrorists, and other violent criminals.
- Because target shooting at the range is fun. It’s a nice hobby my girlfriend and I enjoy together. And in a couple of years, I will also take my daughter to the range.
Is that clear enough for you?
“But guns kill people. Doesn’t that bother you?”
No, a gun is an inanimate object. It doesn’t do anything on its own, but requires a person to function. Ergo, people kill people.
Banning guns will not prevent malicious sociopaths to hurt others. They will just find other methods – some which are even more lethal. Additionally, criminals don’t care about gun laws.
Besides, a good guy with a gun can counter a bad guy with a gun. And subsequently save many lives in the process.
“Oh, the ‘good guy with a gun versus bad guy with a gun’ is just a myth…”
Countless police officers will disagree, after having used their firearms to defend themselves against criminal scum.
And what about the security guard that got attacked by two thugs outside a McDonalds? Or this brave woman facing three armed scumbags?
These are just two examples. There are many others. The defensive use of a firearm happens far more often than you realize. Guns save many lives.
“Bullshit! Guns cause over 30,000 deaths each year in the USA!”
Yes, and the majority (approximately 65%) of these deaths are suicides. Those 30,000 also include the legitimate use of firearms (e.g. self-defense and use by police officers) and accidental discharge (about 3-5%). The rest are actual homicides with a firearm.
Yet firearms still save more lives. Armed law-abiding citizens are using their guns to stop criminals practically every day in self-defense situations. In fact, multiple studies and surveys on Defensive Gun Use (DGU) in the USA already proved this.
For instance, Florida State University criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz already conducted an extensive study on the subject in 1993 (updated in 1998).
Even the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did multiple surveys (which confirmed the Kleck/Gertz conclusions) between 1996 and 1998, but decided not to publish the reports – possibly due to political pressure.
In 2013, the CDC finally dared to approach the subject again and ordered a new study from The National Academies. The conclusion was still very clear:
Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.— Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence (2013).
In 2018, Gary Kleck also provided further insight on the earlier CDC studies in a follow-up report. Quite the interesting read which proves once again that DGU is quite common in the USA.
So even when taking the most cautious DGU incident estimate (i.e. 500,000) into consideration, it is still way higher than the 30,000 deaths caused by guns reported annually.
Let me emphasize this again: at least 500,000 incidents occur annually where the use of a firearm SAVED at least one life contrary to 30,000 LIVES LOST due to firearms – with the latter also including the majority suicides.
As far as I’m concerned, this fact alone is enough to end the entire “gun control” debate.
The irony is that the accuracy of these numbers is not even that relevant. After all, the right to self-defense (including the use of firearms) should not even be decided by statistics. As journalist Brian Doherty wrote in his 2018 article:
… when it comes to public policy, no individual’s right to armed self-defense should be up for grabs merely because a social scientist isn’t convinced a satisfyingly large enough number of other Americans have defended themselves with a gun.— Brian Doherty, Senior Editor at Reason.com.
“So you’re not a trigger happy cowboy that wants to shoot people?”
No. Why would I be?
It’s actually quite the opposite.
I just want to be left alone in peace and not be bothered by criminal thugs, terrorists, or the ever-meddling government. In fact, I hope I never have to use my firearms against anyone at all.
But make no mistake: I will not hesitate a single second to use my gun to protect my family and myself when needed. I’m not a pacifist…
It is pretty simple, really. If you don’t like guns, than don’t buy any. You live your life, while I will live mine.
But if you are so determined to also meddle in my life and take away the tools that help defend my family, you and I will have a problem.
“But banning guns will prevent all those mass shootings!”
Tell me, what is a “mass shooting” anyway? Is it where 2 or more persons are harmed? Or 3 or more? And do you only include the individuals that were killed, or also the injured ones?
For starters, it is a problem that multiple organizations do not agree on a single definition – often because the official definition as contained in US Federal Law does not support their narrative. For your information, the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012 uses mass killing, resulting in at least 3 victims, excluding the perpetrator.
But no matter which definition is used, you’ll be surprised if you really research all the mass (lethal) shootings in the USA. Many of them – if not the majority – are attributed to criminal gang activity.
Yes, those despicable school and mall shootings are tragic and regrettable. And every single one is one too many. But despite the mass media coverage and hype, such incidents luckily remain extremely rare.
So do you really want abuse these incidents to violate the rights of millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens and take away their means to defend themselves? All in an attempt to “prevent” statistically negligible incidents? Good luck with that.
You will fail, because you aren’t fooling anyone. We know you’re not “concerned about the children” or “care for the safety and well-being of the people.” We understand that it’s all just a facade. It’s all about control and imposing your will on others. And we won’t let you, you totalitarian weasel.
The United States of America doesn’t have a gun problem – it has a mental health and crime problem. To date, no clear correlation can be demonstrated between the gun ownership rate in the USA and these mass shootings.
“Why don’t you just call the cops when facing a threat?”
Because the average reaction times of police forces are rarely under 10-15 minutes! A lot can happen in that time… And despite their best efforts and commitment, police officers typically arrive too late to stop a criminal act.
Don’t get me wrong. I do want the police to come after a home invasion, but to arrest the thugs (if they survived) or clean up their bodies. And not to investigate the murder of my family and myself.
Sadly, the (concealed) carry of firearms outside of our homes is prohibited in Belgium. So my family and myself are sitting ducks when walking through town. And that’s precisely why I advocate for a Belgian Second Amendment – just like the USA and the Czech Republic.
“Are you really so paranoid to believe your government will turn on its people?”
Are you really so naive to think that they wont?
All totalitarian governments in recent history first disarmed their citizens before committing their atrocities. Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hitler, Pol Pot… All of them!
An armed populace is one of the best methods to keep a government in check. After all, politicians should fear the wrath of the citizens – and not the other way around.
I firmly believe that any government, political party, politician or other individual that wants citizens disarmed is up to no good. Period.
“Okay, but you don’t need those military-grade ‘assault rifles’ for self-defense, hunting, etc.”
First of all, who the hell are you to decide what I need?
Secondly, it’s clear you know absolutely nothing about firearms. You also attribute an action of an individual (i.e. an assault) to a tool, which is just silly. What’s next, an “assault spoon?”
There are hunting rifles out there that are far more powerful (e.g. with a more powerful caliber) than the AR-15 “assault rifle” you so unwittingly dread. Furthermore, they are all semi-automatic (i.e. one pull of the trigger fires one round) hunting and sporting rifles. Really, go educate yourself.
Thirdly, carrying firearms for self-defense and hunting are derived consequences of the Second Amendment in the USA. But it is not the primary objective.
The aim of the American Second Amendment is to guarantee the citizen’s right of insurrection and defense against oppressive threats (both foreign and domestic) and to allow these citizens the ownership of the tools to effectively do so.
It is therefore crucial for citizens to have parity in equipment with the soldiers of a governmental armed force. It is the entire point of the Second Amendment!
“Your guns won’t protect you from the military’s tanks and fighter jets, though.”
True, they won’t. But there are some other things to consider here.
First of all, the key resources of any government are its people and infrastructure. Bombing them would be foolish. No one wants to rule over a scorched wasteland. Well… except for the Democrats in Detroit.
Secondly, to properly secure and control (urban) terrain, infantry is the key. Tanks and fighter jets are not efficient tools for crowd control, especially not in urban areas.
Look at the American and other NATO forces in Afghanistan, for example. Despite their technological military advantage, they still weren’t able to properly secure the country. Why? Because there were simply not enough boots on the ground.
Thirdly, you also wrongfully assume that every soldier will obey the orders of a tyrannical government that turns against its citizens. Rest assured, many won’t. They will fight alongside us.
“Still, the Second Amendment is interpreted incorrectly. It was never…”
Let me stop you right there.
First, there is nothing to interpret. It is written right there in plain English.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.— The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Really, what part of this do you not understand?
Secondly, the intent of the Second Amendment has been further clarified in the Federalist Papers of the Founding Fathers of the USA, as well as other publications and letters. I highly suggest you have a look at them so you can finally educate yourself properly on the subject.
Why? Because these men were truly way ahead of their time. In my opinion, their Bill of Rights is without question the most superior political document ever created. It guarantees rights and freedoms to its citizens that are unmatched in any other modern country in the world.
I want my people to enjoy those same rights and freedom. It starts with the right to properly defend ourselves against the increasingly authoritarian governments and the (imported) violent thugs. And you need to own and carry the tools to effectively do so.
It is therefore very important – now more than ever – that we (re)claim this right. So go out there, contact your political representatives, and demand the right to keep and bear firearms.
Arm up and take care of your family. Until next time!