Reader Denny Y. writes:
Prior to the recent attacks in Paris, most of the public discussion surrounding guns has had to do with lone, deranged shooters. The post-event analyses have focused on how the killers obtained their guns and what motivated their actions. Then there have been the knee-jerk attempts to propose legislative solutions that purport to prevent future occurrences by restricting access to guns. The Paris attacks, however, exposed the flaw in this narrow way of thinking. They were carried out by trained, determined foreign fighters with complete disregard for France’s strict anti-gun laws. It was an act of war, not “gun violence” . . .
The framers of the Constitution wrote the Second Amendment after winning a war against a foreign army. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, there was no American army. There were just farmers, doctors, blacksmiths, teachers, carpenters, and other professionals and tradespeople – most of whom owned guns. In writing the Second Amendment, the framers codified the importance of an armed and well-trained (that’s what “well-regulated” meant in the 18th century) populace as a means of defense against enemies on American soil.
In contrast, the Paris attacks illustrate the vulnerability of a people who have been disarmed by their government and stripped of their right to self-defense. None of the victims in Paris had firearms or the ability to use them effectively. And none of the attackers was the least bit hindered by France’s anti-gun laws.
As we think about how to prevent a Paris-style attack here in the U.S., it would behoove us to remember and appreciate the wisdom of the Founders. Armed and capable citizens present a much less attractive target to terrorists intent on inflicting maximum casualties. We can be quite certain that any terrorist attacks currently being planned do not have as their targets places such as gun shows, shooting competitions, or parts of the country where citizens take responsibility for their own armed defense. There will be more attacks, and it’s a safe bet that they will occur in places where the intended victims are legally prohibited from fighting back with the most effective means of self-defense.
The Second Amendment states that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. It’s time we took that admonition seriously. For those of us who already own guns and who accept our responsibility as defenders of our families and our communities, that means investing in the tools and training to be “well-regulated.” For those who think that the right to keep and bear arms is vulgar or obsolete, it’s time to wake up to the reality that the Second Amendment has never been as precious and as necessary as it is now.