I don’t often write about the same subject twice in a week, but I
received a pro-gun/pro-safety response from an interesting fellow last
Thursday after I wrote a column
about the absurdity of disarming all Americans. I thought readers would
find it useful in making their case that the gun issue really does
revolve around safety, not just rights.
This is his message:
“Just read your article on Maryland’s attorney general wanting to ban
handguns for most. Your conclusions are correct. We have lived for a number of years in Kenya. There ALL guns are
banned, including toy guns that look like guns. The only exception is
for small bore shotguns for bird hunting, which are owned by a select
few. These guns must be stored in the local police station armory. They
can be checked out only during hunting season. It takes an act of
parliament to get shells.
“Yet in Kenya any criminal that wants one can get a gun.
“My wife and a friend were robbed at gunpoint near Mombasa. Their
vehicle was taken also and they were left standing on the side of the
road. As they were walking along they heard shots. The same crooks who
had just robbed them, robbed and killed a tourist down the road. And
this is in a nation where the police go around with automatic weapons.
“They (the police), by the way, shoot to kill all the time. I worked
as a pilot and the airport had armed police everywhere and lots of
‘security.’ One day, in front of our hangar, a Kenyan made the mistake
of touching the policeman’s rifle. He died for that mistake, right there
in the parking lot. One night in Nairobi, next to my house, a person was
lurking in a nearby empty lot. The police came and blew him away with
automatic rifle fire. Shoot first and no questions, now or later.
“Make no mistake, when only the police have guns, no one is safe. But
even wanton killing by police does not deter crime. The only safety is
when you’re at home and behind locked bars. Bars everywhere, doors,
windows, gates, everywhere. We had to have a security guard, armed with
a machete, and a locked gate and wall around our house. Day and night.
Terrible way to live.
“And there is still no safety. There are home invasions there too,
where 20 or 30 thugs come with wrecking bars and break into houses.
Happens all the time. The police for the most part had no cars for
transportation. Call 999 (911) and if the phone happened to be working,
the response would be on foot or by public bus.
“Another friend was robbed once, during the day. The police came and
when they were standing in line for the bus to go back to the
stationhouse they noticed someone standing there in line also, with the
loot they recognized from the same robbery they came to investigate. The
person started to run, so they blew him away too. Our friend felt real
bad someone had to die over mere ‘stuff.’
“I am a gun owner and don’t like the NRA, but when they say, ‘when
guns are outlawed then only outlaws will have guns,’ they are correct.
Then, no one is safe.”
This gentleman wrote me again last Friday, telling me that he’d still
jump at the chance to make a pilgrimage to Kenya, even to this day, and
he was emphatic that all parts of Africa are not similar. But he
added that even in a country with a well-armed police force,
criminals who still manage to acquire “tightly regulated and
prohibited” firearms commit ghastly crimes, including murder, rape and
Alas — and in keeping with the notion of tying gun rights to the
issue of overall safety — that is the point this man is trying to make.
Point taken, as they say.
Still I wonder, how many vehement anti-gunners will simply
never get the message until it is they who are confronted with
this threat and there is nobody around to help and no way
to help themselves? Will it be only then they will ask themselves —
right before a criminal puts a gun to their head — why they didn’t
realize sooner that indeed the issue of gun rights was really an issue
of personal safety all along?
Writing about the wisdom of opposing abortion, Alan Keyes
last week made some brilliant points about avoiding the pitfalls of
painting all who oppose your point of view as “immoral” slobs with no
consciences. He’s right; some very well-meaning people who are
otherwise very well informed and compassionate about a variety of issues
still cannot see the wisdom in supporting gun rights, either as a
matter of constitutional law and freedom or as a matter of
enhancing personal and community safety. We shouldn’t, as Mr. Keyes
suggested, simply write these people off as our enemies and fail to
engage them in reasonable dialogue, debate and discussion. Instead, we
need to demonstrate that it is because we care about them — as well as
ourselves — that we support the Constitution’s reaffirmation of our
God-given right to self defense and our nation’s common goal of
providing safety and security in our homes, our workplaces and our
communities as a whole.
If anything, the gentleman who shared his Kenyan experiences with
state-sponsored gun control and the utter lack of safety such a concept
provides will go a long way toward making these points.
As a qualifier, I would like to add that in no way would I (or he)
suggest that American police officers are or could be capable of such
behavior. But let’s face reality: We all know from experience that
oftentimes their superiors certainly are capable of it (Waco comes to
mind). For our own personal safety — and the safety of our way of life
and form of government — we should work strenuously to avoid repeating
the mistakes of others, mistakes dictated simply by human nature, in the
arena of total gun control.
Perhaps if the other media and government leaders did not behave the
way WND Editor Joe Farah described Friday — ignoring
acts or events they have deemed “politically incorrect” — more
Americans would have the freedom to decide for themselves just how safe
they want to be.