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Disarming Citizens: On Land And At Sea

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

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Recently, demanding a harsh new federal ban on semi-automatic firearms, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell evoked the defining argument of the gun-ban movement--their twisted confusion between good and evil.

“It’s nuts for ordinary citizens to go out and buy assault weapons. Assault weapons are difficult to operate, they jam easily. If you want a gun to protect your home, it’s the last thing you should have. ... If you have an assault weapon to protect your house, you’re crazy ... they’re not very effective.”

So much for possession of a firearm on the side of good. What about evil?

In the hands of criminals, Rendell said, “Assault weapons only have one purpose ... They fire at short range; they put out a ton of fire at one time; and they are very powerful ... There’s no purpose for these guns but to kill or maim.”

All this double talk was said in virtually the same breath.

But Rendell’s convoluted notion of good and evil is the very core of why the gun ban movement defies common sense. It rejects the most important instinct of humanity--self-preservation against evil.

Human beings have a hard-wired program for self-protection; for fighting back; for safeguarding their homes, families and communities. As Americans, that’s why we preserve armed self-defense as part of our Second Amendment protections.

There is a single reason the “business model” works. It is the same reason “gun control” provides an overwhelming advantage to armed criminals. Their unarmed victims can’t fight back.

Rendell’s rant was amplified by ABC’s 20/20 special, “If Only I Had a Gun”--a shameless hit-job, totally embracing the gun-ban belief system that armed self defense in the face of evil--a mass murderer in a public setting--is futile. (Click here to read NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox’s insightful analysis, “20/20 Turns A Blind Eye on Self Defense.” )

That same embrace of evil over good was pressed home by an aggressively pacifist media on an international scale with coverage of Somali piracy and terrorism on the high seas.

In the past year alone, Somali pirates, heavily armed with full-automatic firearms and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), have attacked over 100 commercial vessels and extracted tribute to the tune of over $100 million. In an April 10 puff-piece, The New York Times called the pirates “professional,” quoting an “expert” saying the pirates have “a business model that has proven very effective for them.”

There is a single reason the “business model” works. It is the same reason “gun control” provides an overwhelming advantage to armed criminals. Their unarmed victims can’t fight back.

As most Americans proudly know, the pirate “business model” was wrecked when high-seas thugs attempted to capture an American-flagged ship, the Maersk Alabama--the first U.S. vessel seized in an act of piracy since 1801.

The American crew valiantly fought back and maintained control of their ship. U.S. Navy SEAL snipers aboard the destroyer USS Bainbridge killed three Somali pirates as one was about to murder the ship’s captain who had bravely traded his freedom for the safety of his crew.

Even that intervention using deadly force to save Captain Richard Phillips was attacked as a provocation.

The Christian Science Monitor quoted a maritime expert:

“We fear that this escalation spiral, which we’ve seen in the past few months, will push the pirates into a readiness to shoot ... .”

Most importantly, the Maersk Alabama incident sparked a controversy over something that should be a no-brainer--arming crews.

“Do we really want private industry taking law and order into their own hands on the high seas? ... private shipping companies could find themselves in an escalating arms race with pirates.”

That’s from a managing director of a London shipping concern who was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article that also quoted marine engineers--the Americans who maintain their ships--as wanting small arms as the means for self-defense.

On the side of reason at a recent Senate hearing was Capt. Phillips, who advocated handing out arms to specially trained officers in times of pirate assault.

Also coming out four-square on the side of using armed guards on merchant ships was Gen. David Petraeus, who now heads the U.S. Central Command, that includes military operations in Africa.

What about real time experience? About the time of the Maersk Alabama ordeal, the MCS Melody with 1,500 passengers aboard was attacked. The ship’s master, Carlos Pinto, described the scene, “They were firing like crazy ... they tried to put up a ladder with hooks ... pistols were handed out ... we started firing, they gave up and went off.”

Yet Reuters reported a maritime official saying, “Although the ship’s action may have saved the Melody from capture, it only endangered the lives of passengers.”

Sound familiar? Like guns in the home? It’s the same old big lie we’ve heard repeatedly about the Second Amendment.

The gun-ban crowd would impose a tyrannical doctrine that goes against every human instinct for survival. That policy guarantees not free individuals choosing self-defense against evil, but the triumph of evil over disarmed victims.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.