In an increasingly dangerous world where terrorists are now aiming at so-called soft targets such as shopping malls, schools and hospitals, an imperative of government should be a call for citizens to be trained in the use of firearms and to arm themselves.
That’s why states and the federal government should rethink policies which attempt to make it more difficult to obtain firearms or which even disarm citizens.
Debate on this issue is over. It is a point of logic and common sense that where the populace is well armed, where concealed carry permits are made easiest to obtain, violent crime is reduced. Clearly, criminal activity will increase where potential victims are less able to defend themselves.
Case in point: the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, which resulted in 72 deaths. The terrorists held hostages and engaged in gun battles with Kenyan security forces, with more than 200 wounded. What most don’t know is that many hundreds of others were saved because of armed civilians.
They included a retired veteran of the British Royal Marines who not only returned fire, but made trip after trip in and out of the mall to help a hundred terrified shoppers to survival and safety. A retired Irish Army Ranger also came under siege with other shoppers, and he rescued 200 of them. They were part of a handful of armed civilians who joined Kenyan police and soldiers in the 48-hour battle.
Making it more difficult for folks to arm themselves serves only the criminal. As a constitutional right, Americans should be free to go armed with few restrictions, to protect themselves and their families. By the time police arrive, it’s often too late.
Case in point: Three years ago, Chicago enacted the strictest handgun ordinance in the U.S. It bans gun shops, thereby prohibiting a legal business from operating. It prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes — even onto their porches — with a handgun. It limits the number of handguns residents can register or own, while requiring anyone owning a handgun to undergo training, which the law prohibits from being conducted within the city limits.
Today, Chicago is the murder capital of the U.S.
Still not convinced? Here are the top five states in the percentage of gun ownership, followed by that state’s murder rate per 100,000 residents: Wyoming leads the nation in gun ownership at 59.7 percent. Its murder rate is 1.4 percent. It’s followed by Montana, 57.7 percent gun ownership and a 2.1 percent murder rate; South Dakota, 56.6 and 1.7; West Virginia, 55.4 and 3.0; and Idaha, 55.3 and 1.3.
Now, here are the five states (and the District of Columbia) with the lowest percentage of gun ownership followed by their murder rates: D.C., 3.6 percent of gun ownership and a murder rate of 21.8 residents per 100,000 population; Rhode Island, 12.8 and a 2.8 murder rate; New Jersey, 12.3 and a 4.1 murder rate; Massachusetts, 12.6 and a 3.2 murder rate, and New York, 18 and 4.4. What more need be said?