The Supreme Court handed those who believe in the right to self-defense another victory yesterday with their McDonald v Chicago decision. Sadly, as with their Heller decision two years ago, it was only 5-4, but residents of the People’s Republic of Illinois (as my dad likes to call it) can now sleep a little easier knowing that they can once again exercise their individual right to defend themselves. There is still a long way to go in educating the American people that their own security is a personal responsibility, but declaring bans on guns as unConstitutional is certainly a step in the right direction.
I’ve already heard the victim disarmament crowd whining on the news about how this decision will cause more crime in low income neighborhoods and more violence in the streets. This is simply nonsense. Those who would commit crimes have always had guns, and always will, regardless of the machinations of the legal system. By definition, they operate outside the legal system, so how can one expect the outcome of a court case to have any effect whatsoever on their behavior? On the other hand, the victims of these criminals now have one more option available to them, and the criminals now have one more variable to consider before committing that crime.
I think it is important to keep gun-related crime in perspective. There are over 300 million people in America, and the Department of Justice estimates that there are 275 million firearms. That’s almost one gun per person! And yet, the gun homicide rate is on the order of 10,000 per year. Somehow, hundreds of millions of people manage to own and safely operate their guns without killing anyone else. And that doesn’t even take into account the number of crimes that are prevented by guns, which could be as high as hundreds of thousands (depending on which study you read). So what is all the screaming about?
Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate. Millions of people around the world are denied their right to self defense. Today, we as Americans declared that we will not be among them.