Gun Control Didn’t Prevent the Paris Massacre
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Gun-control advocates here in the United States have often pointed to Europe as their model for gun control. A good example: France, whose strict gun restrictions and prohibitions would be a dream-come-true for American proponents of gun control.
Yet, consider the recent terrorist massacre in Paris. How come it happened? Don’t American gun-control advocates say that gun control would prevent such massacres?
It goes back to a basic point that libertarians have long made and that gun-control proponents, for some reason, just can’t get: People who are going to murder others are not going to say to themselves, “Golly, it’s illegal to possess a gun and, therefore, I’m just going to have to figure out some other way to carry out my massacre.”
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, people who don’t give a hoot about violating laws against murder are not going to give a hoot about violating laws against the possession of guns.
Gun-control advocates have an alternative argument: They say that strict gun control measures will succeed in eliminating guns entirely from society, so that only the government will have guns.
Really? Then how is it that those ISIS terrorists in Paris used guns to massacre all those people?
As we libertarians have also long pointed out, making guns illegal doesn’t result in their elimination but instead drives them into the black market, where people with money and determination are able to acquire them. So, even if the Paris terrorists were unable to acquire their guns in France, they would have been able to acquire them elsewhere and bring them into France.
One point is made glaringly clear by the Paris massacre: France’s gun-control laws have disarmed the French people — the innocent victims of the massacre. Unlike murderers, they complied with France’s gun-control laws. They didn’t want to be felons and be sent to jail for illegally possessing guns. And many of them undoubtedly figured that gun control works and that the state would protect them from murderers. I’m sure many of them felt that they had nothing to worry about.
But when the shooting started, Parisians had lots to worry about, especially the fact that the people who were trying to kill them were armed and they weren’t. Unlike here in the United States, where people are free to carry concealed weapons in most places, the Parisians lacked the ability to fire back at the terrorists.
And that’s precisely what gun control laws do — they disarm the peaceful, law-abiding citizen and make him a sitting duck for the law-breaking murderer.
Notice something else about concealed-carry: Not everyone has to do it. When people are free to carry concealed weapons, the murderer doesn’t know who is carrying and who isn’t. That might well dissuade him from even trying to murder large numbers of people. But if the shooting does start, the people who are disarmed benefit from the protection provided by the people who are armed.
Of course, gun-control advocates say that people with concealed weapons might accidentally hurt another innocent person in the crossfire. Ask yourself: If you’re in a group of people that is being attacked by armed terrorists, would you be glad that someone on your sad is armed, even though it might be risky, or would you prefer that no one on your side be armed?
There is another factor to consider, one that has long characterized European countries. When the citizenry are disarmed, they have but two choices when faced with a tyrannical regime within their own government: Obey the commands of the tyrant or die at the hands of his well-armed troops and police.
Americans, who, by and large, are well-armed, have another choice in that situation: Fight back and violently resist the tyranny.
That’s in fact why our American ancestors insisted on passage of the Second Amendment after the Constitution called the federal government into existence. It didn’t have anything to do with hunting. Unlike their counterparts in Europe and the rest of the world, our ancestors wanted to make certain that the American people had the means to resist the tyranny of their very own government.
In fact, when would-be tyrants know that the citizenry are well-armed, they are more reticent about implementing tyrannical policies. Thus, widespread gun ownership is a form of insurance policy, insuring against the onslaught of tyranny at the hands of one’s own government.
Gun-control advocates say that France would never be taken over by a tyrannical regime. Really? Consider what the French president is doing in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris. He is following the same steps that Adolf Hitler took in response to the terrorist attacks on the Reichstag. Like Hitler, he is seeking “temporary” emergency powers that are dictatorial in nature. Don’t forget that it was through the exercise of those powers that Hitler was able to consolidate power and eliminate opposition.
There are those Americans who would love to travel the gun-control road of the French and have the Second Amendment repealed. That would be the biggest mistake America could ever make, a mistake that, for obvious reasons, could never be rectified.