By Michael Bowen, M.D.
Mr. and Mrs. America,
Get Back in Line
"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it."
-Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, discussing the 1994 "crime bill", one of the largest gun control bills of the last 30 years.
Don't think you'd ever need a gun? Ever? Ever?
Tell that to the Korean merchants who rode out the Los Angeles riots without protection from the police or the military. Your average Korean merchant isn't a "gun nut", and he doesn't belong to the NRA. But when the riots erupted into indiscriminate looting and arson, the Koreans knew that they were a target. With the civil authorities overwhelmed (and in some cases deliberately not suppressing the riots), it was up to them to defend their persons and their property. Out came the weapons from their closets, and they saved themselves.
Try telling it to the Floridians after hurricane Andrew, when once again civil order was shattered, and looting began. And try telling it to the "Central Park Jogger", assaulted and raped by multiple men while out for a run.
None of these people belonged to a militia group. They weren't White Supremacists. Most of them weren't even hunters or shooting enthusiasts. But they all knew, or learned the hard way, the truth of the old adage: "You never need a gun until the moment you need it more than anything in the world."
The 1994 ban on so-called "Assault Weapons", which accomplished exactly zero with respect to reducing firearm crime, will sunset this September. The predictable cast of characters have mobilized not only to renew it, but to expand it. As Sen. Feinstein's words above make clear, for the gun control movement the ultimate goal is complete disarmament of all private citizens. Charles Krauthammer wisely pointed out in 1996 that while the Assault Weapon ban clearly would do nothing about crime, "Its only real justification is not to reduce crime, but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation."
Now consider this fact: not long ago, Sarah Brady -- yes, that Sarah Brady -- purchased a high-powered rifle as a gift for a relative. What does this tell us, if not that our politicians consider themselves and their families trustworthy and responsible, while the rest of us common citizens would unquestionably embark on killing sprees if we were allowed to own guns?
The underlying principle of all gun control is a vicious elitism. Gun control is the classic political cause for a group of people who really believe that they know better than you. People like Sen. Feinstein, deep inside their hearts, don't really see themselves as elected to serve. They think they are selected to rule. A public servant can -- must -- trust the populace with power, including arms. A ruler can never do so. And these people would never be benevolent despots, because a benevolent despot who disarmed his people would consider himself responsible for their safety. But the courts have already made clear that the police have no legal responsibility to protect citizens from criminals.
So there you have it. We can't be trusted with guns, and we don't deserve protection from criminals. And every day somewhere in America, some innocent person needs a gun more than anything in the world. Sen. Feinstein thinks that's just too bad.