I listened to the last 30 or so minutes of the Heller arguments this evening. I was honestly quite perturbed by the general acceptance of "reasonable regulation" by all sides of this case. I just don't get how people cannot recognize that "reasonable regulations" only apply to persons who already are law-abiding. And that no number of laws passed will keep firearms (or any inanimate object for that matter) out of the hands of people who are willing to break the law. And obviously they've already decided to break the law, otherwise we wouldn't be worried about them having firearms.
These restrictions simply tie the law-abiding's hands behind their backs in the face of unrestrained evil people.
You can't prevent evil people from doing evil things. The best you can hope for is stopping them once they start. And the more good folks on scene, with the best tools and training to do so, the better.
The other thing that struck me is the number of comments that basically state "The more guns there are, the more violence there will be."
Once again, I'm confused. We trust people to operate 1.5 tons of machinery travelling at 80.67 feet per second every day with minimal training. For the year 2000, there were 43,354 deaths due to motor vehicles. That same year, there were a total of 28,163 firearms related deaths (this includes suicides, murders, and accidents).
Where are the calls for "reasonable restrictions" on automobiles? Where are the cries of "Ban cars! It's for the children"? The calls for only professionally-trained government-approved drivers to be allowed to own cars? After all, there is no Constitutionally recognized right to operate an automobile. It should be relatively easy.
Oh, but cars offer more to make life better than to make life worse? Well, take a look at this. It is estimated that guns are used in self-defense 2.5 million times each year. That's around 6850 times per day. So for 2000, the ratio of good to ill for guns is essentially 88.8 to 1. That seems to be resoundingly more good than ill to me. (See here for the source of these figures.)
I know the answer of course. It's the simple fact that, unlike vehicles, people have stopped utilizing firearms as a matter of course in their everyday lives, mostly out of a false sense of safety and security provided by the extremely thin veneer of civilization that we humans have taken to hiding behind. And because people don't use firearms, they don't understand them. And what they do not understand, they fear.
As a for instance, take the now-defunct Assault Weapons Ban (a misnomer in and of itself). The FBI's statistics found that, not only did the ban have no discernible effect on the number of crimes committed with the targeted weapons, these weapons were statistically insignificant in comparison to other weapons used in crimes. So much for the claimed "weapons of choice for criminals."
But I digress. I was speaking of the "More guns, more crime," chant that is so often heard by those who wish to ban or restrict firearms. The fact of the matter is, there have been numerous studies that show that the implementation of right to carry laws almost universally result in lowered crime rates per capita. Professor John Lott, Jr. has written a book on this very subject. It's called More Guns, Less Crime.
And finally, in closing and on a personal note, these reasons have absolutely nothing to do with my decision to carry a firearm. My decision is hinged on this: If someone attempts to harm me or mine, I will stop him. Whatever it takes, I will stop him or I will die trying. And since I'd much rather it be him doing the bleeding and/or dying, I'm going to use the most effective tool available to accomplish that end. No matter what other people may think or believe, I know that self-defense is a human right. A right that is inherent to all people simply by virtue of being born. And it is also a responsibility. A responsibility laid upon the shoulders of all people by their creator.
It is a right that I claim as my own. It is a responsibility that I willingly accept.