Excerpt from “Your First Gun”
by Alan Korwin
“Contemporary images of a gun-free America may envision an entirely disarmed public, but do not go so far as to imagine an entirely disarmed state — the police, the military and officials remain armed in such scenarios. Even in the hoplophobic fantasies of the most ardent anti-gun-rights advocates, police are armed to protect us from criminals who do not disappear with an imaginary gun evaporation.
“Somewhere deep inside, the idea of solving problems of peace and freedom by simply eliminating weapons nags. How would that work? The fascists, radicals, the hardened criminals, religious zealots, sociopaths and psychopaths, would-be dictators and tyrants — they do not become peaceful or go away merely because we disarm and make ourselves defenseless.
“Instinctively we recognize this. Strategically, people charged with protecting us and freedom understand this. In fact, the problems supposedly solved by blanket disarmament get worse, since we can pretty much rely on bad actors picking up clubs, or knives, or enough machine tools to start making guns again.
“So the gun-free-society model generally presupposes a heavily armed government presence — drug enforcement agents, secret service, air marshals, border patrol, customs officers, coast guard, postal inspectors, and of course, local sheriffs and police. Not to mention a National Guard, FBI, TSA, CIA, and armed forces of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Plus private detectives and some bodyguards, maybe private security forces for gated communities.
“Would American society remain the bastion of freedom, the linchpin of liberty on the entire face of the Earth, if the government was armed to the teeth and the public was completely disarmed? It is such a massive change from the way this country has always been, it is difficult to imagine the scope and effect of the change. The hopeful do dream of a world where hostility ends when government is fully in control at last. The skeptics aren’t so sure…
“Of all the definitions of peace, the practical ones recognize a need to preserve peace. This preservation only comes through the use, or ability to threaten the use, of force. This is generally called peace through strength.
“Utopian notions of peace recognize a possibility of peace without force, and without even the potential to threaten force, in a world of true enlightenment and enduring tranquility, abundance and prosperity. This of course requires a fundamental shift in human nature across the planet, and does not appear likely any time soon.
“A magical world where weapons cease to exist — where by a wave of a wand America is suddenly gun-free — does not get us any closer to peace or freedom. In fact, it makes matters worse. The good guys, it turns out, need to be able to protect their freedoms…
“It’s easy to picture a gun-free world. Just go back in time to before guns, and look at history. You find a more violent, less stable and less safe world than we enjoy today. In a gun-free world, instead of stick-up men, gang bangers, Al Capone, Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-Dung, you have highwaymen, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar. They wiped out entire civilizations, and raped, pillaged and plundered, with impunity, without guns. It was times like those when you really needed a gun. Or two. And a whole lot more ammunition than whatever you had.
“Eliminating guns merely shifts the balance of power to the strong and the brutish. It does not eliminate the Four Horseman of Sociopathology — Angry, Hungry, Stupid and Wicked. And it does not provide peace or enhance personal or national freedom. Until those horsemen are somehow defeated (and no one has even a remote idea on how to do that) the good guys need their guns. For safety. For protection. For deterrence. For the children.
“If guns suddenly disappeared by magic, the good guys would have to reinvent them, and quickly. It wouldn’t be hard — Communist China, Brazil, Italy, Russia and other high-quality gun-producing nations we have little control over would simply flood the market with product (with prices shifting as supply and demand move with market changes). Well-intentioned desires to disarm America typically overlook and would do nothing to stop weapon production abroad. (In fact, our own Army currently relies on the Italian Berretta for all its sidearms).
“Import restrictions would have roughly the same effect on guns as they do on illegal drugs and immigrant workers, namely nothing. If you like the war on drugs, you’re going to love the war on guns…”