After the most recent London terrorist attack, President Trump unleashed an unedited/enigmatic Tweet: “Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!” TTAG readers are busy parsing that in our Quote of the Day. Meanwhile, the civilian disarmament industrial complex is making the same argument they always make whenever a knife attack occurs. David Frum at atlantic.com:
On a pleasant summer evening, tens of thousands of Londoners walk through or enjoy themselves in the neighborhood the terrorists attacked. Three men armed with high-capacity firearms would not have killed seven and wounded 48: They would have killed hundreds or even more. British police could use their firepower advantage to kill the three terrorists in eight minutes. Had the terrorists been equally armed, who knows what the outcome of the gun battle might have been?
Whenever there’s a knife attack abroad Mr. Frum and his ilk cry “knife beats gun!” Seven dead instead of hundreds! See? Eliminating “easy access to guns” through gun control limits the bad guys’ arsenal. So suck it up, unarmed Brits. Be glad you don’t live in the United States. And get smart America! British gun control here please. Well, most of it . . .
Americans would not tolerate British-style rules [on gun ownership], nor perhaps should they. But it’s utterly far-fetched to argue—as President Trump seems to be arguing—that Britain would be more safe from terrorism if the London Bridge killers could have obtained an American-style arsenal, or if the targets of the attack had carried weapons of their own, filling the crowded space with hundreds of rounds of panicky return fire.
Wait. What? While the President’s tweet was less than entirely clear, who in their right mind thinks Donald Trump believes that “Britain would be more safe from terrorism if the London Bridge killers could have obtained an American-style arsenal”? While Mr. Frum has clearly lost the plot (however intentionally), his second assertion is civilian disarmament SOP. Civilians can’t have guns because they’ll shoot each other!
Yes, well, America is home to tens of thousands of defensive gun uses per year. You can round down the number of innocent bystanders wounded or killed during these incidents to zero. So when does the theoretical safety of the many outweigh the proven efficacy of the natural individual right to armed self-defense? When you’re a Brit. Or David Frum.
You and I see a terror or other criminal attack and think of one individual facing a threat of grievous bodily harm or death. We wish they’d been able to mount a successful counterattack by force of arms. To stop the carnage.
Gun control advocates — propagandists who normally wave the bloody shirt with gay abandon — suddenly fixate on the greater good. They wish the state had more power: more government agents (i.e. police) and less individual liberty (i.e. gun control, surveillance, online censorship).
No attack — gun, knife, bomb, poison gas — will sway the antis towards personal responsibility/self-defense. They see any slaughter as proof of the need to exert control over the general public. Nothing could be further from the truth.