Over at Bobvis, an excellent post on The Second Amendment, what it means in the context of the other 9 sections of the Bill of Rights, and why it meant what it meant to the Founding Fathers (who has just finished fighting a war against an unjust government).
Mark Steyn, meanwhile, looks at the difference in reality between when someone declares a “gun-free zone”, gives a case example of some killers who chose a place for their killing specifically because the victims were unlikely to be armed, and spends a bit of time comparing the VT massacre to something that could have been worse, but was stopped.
While the two of these - the “reality” for the Founding Fathers, and the “reality” today, are different, they aren’t that different. The Founding Fathers still had crime in their time. Maybe more knives than guns, but there were still muggings, robberies on the highways, theft and burglary. They still needed a police force, and protections.
Back then, nobody would have thought about declaring that nobody could bring a gun to a University.
It is a strange irony that while the lethality of guns has increased - multiple rounds before reload is required, easier-loading rounds to begin with, better range and aiming capability - the basic premise of the need for protection has not. Someone who “goes along” with a mugger is relying on the fact that the mugger, while being bad enough to steal, somehow may still be “good” enough not to actually kill. In other words, they are relying on the mugger being true to their word (if “just give me the wallet and you don’t get hurt” is the kind of dialogue they get) or else relying on the mugger being bluffing about violence.
Playing what-if with bizarre situations is always difficult. The numbers of shootings, especially shootings where someone deranged is indiscriminately killing people, are too small to do a statistical analysis. Some people can bring up anecdotal evidence in which mugging victims had their own guns used against them; some bring up anecdotal evidence where people who had guns successfully stopped (or at least reduced the death count of) crimes; some bring up people who had guns, but weren’t carrying them because of well-meaning “gun free zone” policies, that theoretically resulted in more deaths than had they had guns with them.
One can’t say for certain. One brutal irony of the situation, though, is brought up by Steyn’s final point, in which he derides the VT theater department ( this theater department being the bastion of left-wing thought that most liberal arts departments are) for enacting a “no real-looking weapons on stage” policy:
I don’t know for sure, but I’ve been wondering this for a long time. Statistics on abductions show that those who resist, live more often than those who are passive; once you’re in an abductor’s car or under their control, chances are you’re dead. Once you surrender your right to self-defense, by giving up a gun, or by mentally presuming that the police or a “gun free zone” (Steyn points out: there were in fact TWO guns in VT that day, in addition to those held by the somewhat-inept police department) will protect you, you’ve already placed yourself in the control of whatever madman may show up.
To promote vulnerability as a moral virtue is not merely foolish. Like the new Yale props department policy, it signals to everyone that you’re not in the real world.
The “gun-free zone” fraud isn’t just about banning firearms or even a symptom of academia’s distaste for an entire sensibility of which the Second Amendment is part and parcel but part of a deeper reluctance of critical segments of our culture to engage with reality.