Saturday, October 10, 2015

Quickies: RKBA And Armed Guards

     “There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other eleven?” – gun-runner “Yuri Orlov,” played by Nicolas Cage in the movie Lord of War

     It’s likely to be a very busy day, in which I’m all but completely away from this infernal device – have to squander the vast wealth amassed via the new button, y’know – so I hope this will serve for now.

     This article notes one of the ironies of the weapons-rights contretemps:

     Senate Democrats gathered Thursday on the steps of the Capitol surrounded by about a dozen armed guards to announce a new push for tougher gun-control laws.

     The officers from the U.S. Capitol Police, who carried sidearms, were in addition to the regular detail paroling the Capitol ground due the large number of elected officials attending the event, according to a officer on the scene.

     Frequently enough, weapons-rights activists will ask, sarcastically, “After the gun control measures you’ve proposed are in place, will you disarm your bodyguards, Senator?” No, the question is never answered, at least not with any degree of candor. But another question of greater importance is never even asked: “Why, Senator, do you have armed guards?”

     An armed guard is a man with a gun, not a man with a shield. He’s highly unlikely to take the bullet for his protectee. Indeed, he doesn’t protect his protectee in any sense of the word. His function is deterrence: to frighten potential attackers away with the presumed probable consequences of their intended actions.

     But deterrence, as I’ve written before, is an economic concept. It assumes ab initio that there is some maximum price the putative attacker is willing to pay, and that if you can make the price greater than that, he will refrain from attacking. The use of an armed guard implicitly assumes that the attacker’s death is a higher price than he would be willing to pay.

     But this is not always so. Consider a few well publicized mass shootings: Columbine; Sandy Hook; Anders Breivik; Jared Lee Loughner; Aaron Alexis; Charlie Hebdo. In all these cases, the perpetrator was obviously willing to die if before doing so he could kill a few others.

     If you were sufficiently prominent to keep an armed guard, would you feel that the death of a potential assassin is a sufficient recompense for your life? If not, then why keep an armed guard? Why not simply don the best bulletproof vest you can afford and leave it at that?

     More to the point: In a world awash in guns – see the quote at the head of this piece – and in which psychotics and sociopaths are known to walk abroad unrestrained, what possible argument is there that “gun control,” however defined, could or would save anyone’s life?

     Food for thought.

1 comment:

Ownerus said...

Those who fantasize about a world with no guns, total "gun control" need only look at about 6000 years of bloody, cruel, tyrannical, oppressive history to know what that would look like. We've already done it. We HAD to invent guns to progress. It's no accident that the era of individual freedom was ushered in at the muzzle of a gun.

Like vaccinations. A few die or are maimed every year by them. Should they be banned? If, like with guns, we chose to blindly ignore the benefits, we would ban them.

Even if it WAS possible to eliminate guns (and it's not!), it would not be desirable.