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The Sanity of Self-Defense

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Apr 26, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    The Sanity of Self-Defense
    By R. Lee Wrights

    R. Lee Wrights
    I have been called numerous things in the many years I have spent embroiled in various causes; but, until a couple of weeks ago I had never been called a gun wacko. Oddly enough I was labeled as such because of something I wrote that advocated individuals taking responsibility for their own defense. Because I encourage people to educate themselves in the area of self-defense, to avoid finding themselves at the mercy of criminals and over-zealous bureaucrats, I was labeled a gun nut. So, that is how it is these days? If you encourage people to defend themselves, you are some sort of mentally-challenged individual best suited for a private, padded room? My how times have changed.

    When I was a youngster, growing up in the turbulent ‘60’s, I learned quickly that self-defense was the most basic instinct instilled in mankind. I discovered, mostly out of necessity, that there is nothing stronger in human nature than the drive for self-preservation. I also learned that defense of self cannot be trusted to the hands of others that share the same natural disposition of self first. I learned that rarely was anyone in a position of authority around when I really needed them. In other words, those who were charged with my safety proved incapable of rendering the service. I was often forced to take matters into my own hands.

    As I grew older and embarked upon my personal voyage on the boisterous Sea of Life, I further realized that the lessons I had learned in my youth applied equally in adult life. Once again I discovered that those charged with my personal safety, i.e., the police and politicians, were not likely to be in the vicinity when I actually needed protection. The older I got the more apparent it became that the real insanity in the area of self-defense was relinquishing the responsibility of self-preservation to groups or governments that could not possibly protect me. The only sane alternative remaining to individuals that desire to live unmolested is arming themselves in order to insure Life and Liberty and further perpetuate their ability to pursue happiness. Remember the old saying, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.â€

    Now, while I was busy learning life’s lessons the hard way about everything from facing down bullies intent on relieving me of my milk money to dealing with thugs that were determined to do me harm, my father was teaching me something else. Dad was tutoring me in the means by which I could protect myself. He taught me the importance of the ability to meet force with force while avoiding force whenever humanly possible. He taught me to use my wits instead of weapons when it was appropriate, but made sure I knew how to use a weapon when left with no other alternative. Dad also taught me that an unmolested firearm, even fully loaded, is harmless. Ah, there’s the rub.

    It is this simple fact that trumpets the safety of firearms. Guns do not kill people! They are not animate with the ability to remove themselves from their hiding places and discharging without external manipulation. The truth is people kill people. Sometimes they use guns; sometimes they use blades; sometimes they use baseball bats; and sometimes they use their hands. The fact remains that more gun legislation, leading to stricter gun registration, does not and will not stop the killing. People were killing each other long before the first black-powder device was invented (remember, Cain killed Abel with a rock); and, they will continue to kill each other even if you were able to remove every firearm from the face of the planet. It is insane to disarm ourselves only to be left at the mercy of criminals who are no more troubled by the State’s new laws than they were with the old ones.

    So, given the generally accepted facts that police and government cannot protect us, coupled with the reality that more laws just give criminals more to ignore, why is it considered, by some, an unstable stance to champion the right of every individual to defend themselves, by any means at their disposal, should the need arise? Why would anyone try to turn the sanity of self-defense into apparent fanatical advocacy for the return of “old West shoot-outs?†Fear is a very effective tool, that’s why.

    The gun-grabbers have already succeeded, at least to some degree, in making a significant number of voters afraid of the guns themselves. The decades of campaigns declaring, “Guns kill,†have been effective in fostering mistrust of anyone possessing a firearm other than State-sanctioned officials. Instead of teaching children a proper respect for weapons so they may become adequate stewards of their own safety, they are taught to fear the weapon and cautioned to simply surrender to aggression. Talk about insanity! If the founding fathers of this country had taken this approach, there would be no America to speak of today. The right of self-defense is the very foundation of Freedom, so much so, that one cannot exist without the other.

    All this being said, it is no wonder that I found being called a gun wacko more than a little amusing. Even the implications of the term are hilarious when applied to me personally, and anyone that knows me would hardly characterize me as a gun nut. However, I do believe in experience. And what forty-three years of experience has taught me is that surrendering the responsibility for our own personal security, in exchange for a mere promise of safety, is anything but sane. In every instance of my life when I needed protection I have taken the initiative of self-defense because without it there would have been no defense at all. It has been from necessity, not desire, that I have had to defend my person and property.

    Where were the police when my weekend sports shop was robbed? Where was my resident elected official when my neighbor’s apartment was being ransacked? And wasn’t that a government official holding a gun in my face just because I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? There would be no sanity without self-defense, and there would be no freedom. Surrender your security to no one. Take that responsibility upon yourself because you’re the only one you can trust with your life.

    I am not a nut and I am certainly not a wacko, I am just a realist. I do not buy the propaganda that strict gun registration or stiffer penalties imposed by a myriad of new laws will put a stop to violence in our society. I do not believe the lie that government can protect my family and I from that portion of society that chooses to live outside the limits of the law. As long as human beings inhabit the earth, some will always seek to do each other some amount of harm. The only sane reaction to this stark reality is to prepare a proper self-defense. As I have said before many times, “Enough is enough! Buy a gun, the life you save will probably be your own or that of someone you love.â€

    R. Lee Wrights is a writer and political activist living in North Carolina. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All, contributing editor for Rational Review, Chairman, Libertarian Party of Forsyth County, Vice-Chairman, Libertarian Party of North Carolina, and an editor at Free-Market.Net.