The Atlantic: Armed Law-Abiding Citizens Undercut The Rule Of Law

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
AP/Elaine Thompson

On April 1 The Atlantic published a column claiming armed law-abiding citizens undercut the rule and put police officers in greater danger.

The Atlantic tried to substantiate these claims by suggesting guns outside the home, via concealed and/or open carry, actually lead to “social consequences” where “citizens must…fear their armed neighbors.” This, in turn, lowers the threshold for acceptable insults–filling citizens with worry that if they say the wrong thing in the worst way their armed neighbors will simply open fire.

Moreover, The Atlantic says this tension is heightened when Stand Your Ground laws are passed in addition concealed or open carry laws. Once this happens, you have to ask what you’re going to do “if you become a target for would-be George Zimmermans?”

The Atlantic then turns to the NRA’s argument that Americans’ safety is ultimately the responsibility of each individual American. The publication mocks the NRA’s contention that we live in a dangerous world where “the government can’t–or won’t–protect you,” by suggesting the police really do arrive pretty fast–relatively speaking–once you dial 911.

They try to back this up claiming “police arrived on the Aurora movie theater 90 seconds after being called.”

Question for The Atlantic: How many unarmed people can a gunman kill in 90 seconds? We ask this because there is no question about the movie-goers being unarmed. Their specific theater was chosen as a target by James Holmes because the owners of that theater barred concealed carry permit holders from carrying guns on the premises.

The Atlantic also tries to show the alleged foolishness of the NRA’s push for personal responsibility by claiming police arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012, “within three minutes of the first police radio broadcast of the attack.”

Question for The Atlantic: How many unarmed people can a gunman kill in three minutes?

Whether we are dealing with 90 seconds or three minutes, the answer is the same–the gunman who faces unarmed people can kill as many people as he wants to kill. He ultimately stops only when confronted by law enforcement or when he stops himself with his last bullet.

Either way, if armed citizens firing back can cut the 90 seconds into 20 seconds, how many lives does that save?

Even if they only cut the 90 seconds into 45 seconds, how many lives does that save?

Aren’t those lives worth it?

As we recently saw in a Philadelphia barbershop, an armed law-abiding citizen can catch a gunman in the midst of an attempted mass shooting and stop him in his tracks with a bullet to his chest before anyone is injured. This doesn’t violate the rule of law, it upholds it.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at