The latest thrilling tale of the Second Amendment in action brings us the story of a machete-wielding thug who came across the counter of a Little Rock pharmacy in search of painkillers, only to find himself staring down the barrel of a .45. The robber skedaddled, leaving the armed store owner, Andy Blansett, and a female employee unharmed. Blansett took the opportunity of a media interview to inform the criminal community that armed pharmacists are not uncommon in Arkansas.
This incident is one of many that leads me to reflect upon one of the gun-control movement’s fundamental logical errors: the belief that criminals need guns. Supposedly guns increase crime because they make it easier for thugs to injure, kill, and intimidate law-abiding citizens. But in reality, it’s not difficult for a determined crook to do all those things without using a gun. It does become much more difficult for citizens to defend themselves, however – especially the sort of vulnerable citizen criminals prefer to prey upon, including women and the elderly.
Even if gun-control laws could actually succeed in keeping firearms from the hands of criminals – a goal they are notoriously ineffective at accomplishing – the reduction to the offensive ability of predators is far less than the loss of defensive capability among the law-abiding. People who devote themselves to a life of crime don’t have much trouble becoming far more physically dangerous than the folks they like to victimize. A reasonable able-bodied thug can get his hands on any number of readily available, easily concealed weapons and become an order of magnitude more dangerous than the average decent, law-abiding person. Ordinary people don’t usually receive training in hand-to-hand combat, carry weapons of any kind, or develop the instincts to strike quickly and aggressively. They don’t have the experience or aptitude for violence that criminals usually bring to the table. Also, the victim is often outnumbered during criminal encounters.
The old saying goes that an armed society is a polite society. In a disarmed society, the extremely impolite have a pronounced advantage.