History is a useful guide of the powerful tension between armed citizens and government. First consider the frequency of armed citizens who commit crimes. Police Chief Mark Kessler, Gilberton PA, a very small borough in the coal region of PA told about 320 gun owners that he has been in law enfrocement for 30 years and has never arrested a citizen with a legal gun. The Chief has a problem with the Federal government trying to restrict guns so he wrote a brief resolution that was passed by Gilberton’s supervisors. Chief Kessler’s resolution requires Gilberton’s government to nullify “all federal, state or local acts in violation of the 2nd Amendment” and to declare them to be invalid within Gilberton Borough limits. The right to nullify unconstitutional laws is granted under the 10th Amendment to Constitution, which further reserves powers not explicitly granted to the (limited) federal government to the states and the people.”
Next how many cultures allow their citizens to freely buy guns? Very few. China, Cuba and other totalitarian regimes ban private possession. They cannot trust their subjects because the government is in a constant battle to keep their people under total control. Most countries ban or severly restrict guns. Switzerland is the only country where individuals are not only trusted with assault weapons, they are mandated to keep one in the home with a few exceptions. Even in America where most people do not want to own a gun the FBI extimates there are about 200 million guns in private hands.
And sometimes American lawmakers are sneaky. They didn’t ban machine guns outright but required a very special license which drove up the selling price of a $1,000 sub-machine gun to $20,000. Nevertheless there are about 175,000 machine guns in private hands. None was ever used in a crime. Not one. Not once. Never
All guns are assault weapons because they can be used by people to assault others, just as hammers, kitchen knives and cars can be used in assaults.
Most people are afraid of guns. That fear sometimes can have survival value but fear drives government to resrict or ban guns. One would think a gun would be desired by smaller people to even out their chances in an assaout but the fear of guns seems to be greater among women and generally women are smaller than men.
Guns are neither dangerous nor safe. Accidents happen but the essential question is do you trust people? Before you answer think about your recent automobile trip. Were the other drivers dangerous? Of course not but driving can be dangerous, just like sking, sky diving and riding horses. But people use many dangerous things in complete safety.
There are deadly chemicals in every home yet people do not consider banning dangerous chemicals like bleach, lye and muriatic acid, all of which are dangerous if misused.
So the botton line is there is a lot of danger in the world but more people die of old age than from dangerous things. If you are afraid of a gun, of course you do not have to buy one but neither should you be afraid of a neighbor who has a gun or several of them, even if they have a machine gun. Not afraid unless your neighbor is a criminal intent to use a gun for crime. Most people would never do that.
And who would want to disarm the people who carry pistols every day, our police? They need a gun to be safe. Calling a gun safe seems strange to the people who are afraid of guns but that’s exactly what guns are in the hands of our police. And remember police are people. Safe people who carry guns everyday.
Perhaps some reflection will help people overcome their fear of guns. the first step is to observe how safe people are. The founders believed in the goodness of the individual. Shouldn’t you believe it too? If you believe people are inherently dangerous or basically bad, consider that you are not afraid to travel in crowded places among high numbers of people. Maybe the idea of a neighbor with a machine gun frightens you but remember those people are among the safest people to be around.