When evil is committed in this world, the Left creates victims, rather than empowering good people to stop it.
On Wednesday, a mass shooter killed more people, 18, in Lewiston, Maine, than the entire number of people slain in the state in 2021. It was a horrific act of wanton murder. Thirteen others were injured.
The suspect—still at large at the time of publication—is U.S. Army reservist Robert Card, 40, who reportedly had been demonstrating signs of psychological derangement.
The Left, as it always does, immediately jumped on this opportunity to demand more gun control.
“Today, in the wake of yet another tragedy, I urge Republican lawmakers in Congress to fulfill their duty to protect the American people,” President Joe Biden said on Thursday. “Work with us to pass a bill banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to enact universal background checks, to require safe storage of guns and end immunity from liability for gun manufacturers.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a fellow Democrat, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and mocked Maine for rejecting gun control.
I’ll point out that Newsom posted that on Wednesday, while hobnobbing with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whose authoritarian communist regime keeps ethnic minorities and political prisoners in concentration camps.
But should the response to acts of wanton killing and random violence be societal disarmament as Democrats truly want?
Maine has some of the loosest gun control laws in the country, but it also has an extremely low level of crime. Of the 50 states, Maine has the lowest levels of violent crime per 100,000 residents, according to U.S. News and World Report.
It’s important to note again that the Maine shooting suspect reportedly had a recent history of mental illness. He’d been hearing voices, according to his sister-in-law. Not only that, but Card spent two weeks in a mental health facility this summer after threatening to shoot up his National Guard base in Saco, Maine.
Now, sometimes acts of evil happen no matter what we do, but it is worth considering that we have more of an unaddressed mental illness problem in this country than a gun problem.
It’s also striking to see the immediate calls for gun control as Maine residents are being told to shelter in place. If I were in Maine, sheltering in place, I’d absolutely want a gun.
The reality is that in a deadly situation, you can’t always rely on the authorities or the police to help you. Sometimes, you have to be your own first responder.
As Heritage Foundation legal studies fellow Amy Swearer has pointed out time and again, Americans frequently use firearms to protect themselves and their communities. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Most Americans understand that reality. We have a long tradition of constitutional self-government and an indelible cultural imprint from our frontier experience.
It’s worth noting how the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel demonstrates the potential harm of having a disarmed society. Israel’s gun laws were relatively strict—even though most citizens have experience serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
When savage Hamas terrorists attacked, many Israeli citizens were unarmed or lightly armed at best. More than 1,400 innocent people were killed. How many could have been saved if more good people were armed? Israel is now wisely loosening firearms laws. In the wake of the atrocities, a wave of Israeli citizens immediately began requesting gun licenses and buying firearms.
“In the 18 days since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on the western Negev, more than 100,000 Israelis have filed requests for gun licenses, according to the National Security Ministry,” the Times of India reported on Wednesday.
That attack shows clearly why the framers of our Constitution not only valued the right to bear arms, but wisely included it in the Bill of Rights. It’s there for the citizens of this country to protect themselves and their communities from threats, whether that be a lone gunman, a band of killers, a foreign nation, or even their own tyrannical government.
Recent experience, if anything, has likely made Americans even more stubborn in their unwillingness to sacrifice their right to bear arms.
The relative safety created by civilization is often a fragile mirage. Just look at the riots of 2020. Not only was the government unable or unwilling to stop rampaging attacks on property and people, but the aftermath also left many communities open to violence.
Cities that defunded the police tend to have the strictest gun control—and the highest rates of violent crime. In some sense, it’s an entirely predictable combination. It’s even more predictable that violent crime exploded when those cities defunded their police.
When the far Left gets its way, we end up in a world filled with more savagery and suffering. Ironically, the Left’s own utopian ideas about society make people more likely to want and need arms to protect themselves.
As cities like New York start to resemble 1930s Berlin, does this really seem to be a good time for law-abiding citizens to disarm themselves? The answer, clearly, is “no.”
In a dangerous world, it’s good to be armed, and even better knowing that the good, upstanding members of society who live around you are, too.
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