In Defense of Self-Defense

From:,  by Judge Andrew Napolitano,  on Jun 16, 2016,  see the article HERE.

Gun free zone ratio to gun allowed

From: article.

Most of the mass killings by gun in the United States in recent years — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino and now Orlando — took place in venues where local or state law prohibited carrying guns, even by those lawfully licensed to do so. The government cheerfully calls these venues “gun-free zones.” They should be called killing zones.

As unspeakable and horrific as is the recent slaughter in Orlando, it has become just another example of the tragic consequences of government’s interfering with the exercise of fundamental liberties. After a while, these events cease to shock; but they should not cease to cause us to re-examine what the government has done to us.

We know from reason, human nature and history that the right to defend yourself is a natural instinct that is an extension of the right to self-preservation, which is itself derived from the right to live. Life is the great gift from the Creator, and we have a duty to exercise our freedoms to preserve life until its natural expiration. But the lives we strive to preserve should not be those actively engaged in killing innocent life.

The Framers recognized this when they ratified the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court recently held was written to codify — and thus prevent the government from infringing on — the pre-political right to own and use modern-day weapons for self-defense or to repel tyrants.

The term “pre-political” derives from the language of the Second Amendment, which protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.” The constitutional reference of “the” right to keep and bear arms makes clear that the Framers recognized that the right pre-existed the government because it stems from our humanity. That’s why pre-political rights are known as fundamental or natural rights.

Because the right to use modern weaponry for the defense of life, liberty and property is natural, we should not need a government permission slip before exercising it, any more than we need one to exercise other natural rights, such as speech, press, assembly, travel and privacy.

Yet since the Progressive era 100 years ago — ushered in by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and enabled by nearly every president since — the government has taken the position that it can care for us better than we can care for ourselves. So it has severely curtailed our rights and left us reliant on the government itself for protection.

The modern-day massacres are proof beyond a doubt that the government cannot protect us.

In the Orlando tragedy, the man who killed 49 and wounded 53 used a handgun and a rifle. The handgun accepted magazines containing 17 bullets, and the rifle accepted magazines containing 30 bullets. The killer, using both weapons, fired more than 250 times last Sunday morning. That means he reloaded his weapons about a dozen times. Each time he reloaded, he stopped shooting, as it is impossible for any person to shoot and reload simultaneously.

We know from forensics that the killer was a poor shot. We can deduce from that knowledge that he was a slow reloader. One learns to shoot first and reload later. It is likely that it took between three and seven seconds each time he reloaded the handgun and longer with the rifle. In those time periods, any trained person carrying a handgun in that Orlando nightclub could have wounded or killed him — and stopped the slaughter.

Don’t expect to hear that argument from the gun control crowd in the government. It is the same crowd that has given us the killing zones. It is the same crowd that does not trust you to protect yourself. It is the same crowd that ignores the reality that in the post-World War II era, there is not one recorded example in the U.S. of a person in a restaurant or bar getting drunk and shooting his lawfully carried handgun.

Hillary Clinton called the rifle the Orlando killer carried a “weapon of war.” It is not. It is the same rifle that her Secret Service detail carries. Many of her acolytes have called it an assault rifle. It is not. It fires one round for each trigger pull. True assault rifles — not those that the politicians have renamed assault rifles because they have a collapsible stock and a bayonet holder (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is true) — fire numerous rounds per trigger pull. They have been outlawed on U.S. soil since 1934.

What do we have here?

We have a government here that is heedless of its obligation to protect our freedoms. We have a government that, in its lust to have us reliant upon it, has created areas in the U.S. where innocent folks living their lives in freedom are made defenseless prey to monsters — as vulnerable as fish in a barrel. And we have mass killings of defenseless innocents — over and over and over again.

How dumb are these politicians who want to remove the right to self-defense? There are thousands of crazies in the U.S. who are filled with hate — whether motivated by politics, self-loathing, religion or fear. If they want to kill, they will find a way to do so. The only way to stop them is by superior firepower. Disarming their law-abiding victims not only violates the natural law and the Constitution but also is contrary to all reason.

All these mass killings have the same ending: The killer stops only when he is killed. But that requires someone else with a gun to be there. Shouldn’t that be sooner rather than later?


Each time the nation experiences another case of a mass shooting, the gun control crowd immediately attempts to use the specter of a crazed madman shooting innocent civilians as reason to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. Truth be told, the gun control crowd want to see all guns banned from ownership by the populace. It’s a pipe dream that is one of the major issues that liberals (democrats) can rally around.

There are several facts that we need to consider when discussing the concept of “gun control” as represented by the gun control crowd. They intentionally exclude these facts in any discussion about the gun issue because they don’t fit their agenda.

We all want to ask, “how can we prevent another mass shooting from happening?” The factual response is that we can’t. The gun control crowd maintains that they can reduce the number of mass shootings by enacting another one of their “feel good” laws (limiting the capacity of magazines and strengthening the ‘gun show’ loophole) when neither of those things will make a substantive difference. There will be more – it will happen again.

Who will protect us? The law enforcement community can’t be expected to prevent something about which they have no prior warning – i.e., a mass shooting. In other words, they can’t protect us.

The only thing that can offer some protection from becoming one of the victims in a mass shooting is the ability to shoot back. Absent that, we are at the mercy of the gunman. The police won’t get there in time to prevent a shooter from firing at his chosen targets, at his/her leisure.

Law enforcement response time upon learning of a shooting averages 10 minutes nationwide. According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes. Ten minutes is an eternity when a shooter is loose among unarmed civilians. Who or what will deter him/her from shooting victims as long as their ammunition holds out? Remember the old saying, “when seconds count the police are minutes away” – in most cases, ten minutes away.

How many victims would there be? It depends on how many were packed into the venue and how densely they were packed. If the shooter were blocking an exit and/or could minimize the number of escapes from an alternate exit, the carnage in the case of a venue like the Pulse nightclub where there were supposedly 300 people jammed into the club, could be even worse than was experienced there. The judge’s article says that 250 rounds were fired, later reports say that 202 rounds were fired (that includes police).

But what if one or more armed individuals in the club could have returned fire? That act alone would have required the shooter to alter his focus from the mass of unarmed people and concentrate (even momentarily) on someone shooting at him. Putting the shooter in a defensive mode and perhaps requiring him to seek cover is time that he’s not concentrating on shooting innocents – and thus likely saving lives.

Personally, I can understand the logic of not wanting drunks to have easy access to a handgun, however other venues that aren’t known for alcohol consumption like churches, schools, theaters, etc. don’t have that same environment and it seems to me that preventing those licensed to carry from exercising that right in many other venues doesn’t make sense.

It ought to be apparent by now that “gun free zones” don’t work – they can’t work. They’re dependent on voluntary compliance and a “bad guy/gal” with murderous intent won’t pay any attention to them – except to assume that the people there will be unarmed.

It’s not “high capacity” magazines or “assault-style” rifles that should be outlawed, it’s gun-free zones.





Categories: General


8 replies

  1. It’s true we cannot stop these mass shootings, but we can change how we react to them, provided we had a government of the mind to protect its people. I hate to say it, but it’s going to take a personal incident to jolt them out of this gun control mindset. Not that I wish it on them, but that’s not likely to happen anyway, because most all of them have some kind of security.

    Their hypocrisy in regard to guns is just as obvious as it is in other areas. They say the shooter doesn’t represent muslims, but he does represent gun owners. Wrong again, liberals.


    • We can expect the left and democrats to characterize the Orlando terrorist attach as a “mass shooting” rather than a “terrorist attack.” They can’t use the terrorist attack to be a justification for more gun control measures. They can only “benefit” from the attack if it’s labeled as a “mass shooting.” Watch and see if that doesn’t play out that way.


  2. Both the judge’s essay and your commentary are spot-on, Garnet. And the visual really makes a powerful point as well.

    Clever, calculating leftists like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who understand the intellectual limits of their audience all too well, are pursuing a strategy of subliminally changing the way people think about their rights to own guns and defend themselves. By continually dredging up this debate they plant the seeds in minds of the sheep that gun rights are an issue of democracy and not a natural right protected by the Second Amendment, and democracy is a simple matter of majority wins. Conservatives and others who value their natural rights need to take control of the argument and make it clear that the people’s right to bear arms is not negotiable – period. And when people ask, “How can we prevent another mass shooting from happening?” we add, “…without infringing upon the people’s right to bear arms.”


    • Your additional nine words ought to be permanently attached to the “How can we prevent” statement. I do take some satisfaction that, in my opinion, more people are speaking out about our 2nd Amendment rights than ever before. I believe that it is more difficult than ever for the left to water down the 2nd and we’ll see how accurate my perception is when the democrats attempt to renew the “Assault Weapons” ban and other constraints on our rights. That’ll be in the next couple of weeks.


  3. Absolutely correct, Garnet!

    This entire debate drives me insane, and for me, that’s a short drive! 😉

    I understand the visceral fear of weapons by those who are unfamiliar with them. My sisters, wife, daughter, and grandchildren all are familiar with weapons. The young grandgirls aren’t too keen on them, but they aren’t afraid of them, because their parents taught them to respect them.

    This is a cultural outgrowth from the ending of universal military training. When all able-bodied men served their stretch, they were taught how to handle, shoot, clean, and store their weapons properly. They became a constant companion that you respected, but didn’t fear. Now folks cringe at the sight! What absolute wusses!!

    From what I’ve seen in situations where folks are pretty universally armed, folks ten to be much more polite. Almost like they take to avoid causing offense in those nearby! And this is wrong? HOW??

    Even in bars, while I understand the fear, I believe universal carry would calm the beasts, not aggravate them. It might also incline the barkeep not to over serve anyone!

    And then we see our choices for POTUS! It makes me want to consolidate a personal arsenal, and head for the hills!


    • I’ve had my Texas CHL ever since it was enacted (1995) and I’ve been exposed to countless other “carriers” at the range and when we were required to take refresher classes to renew the license. I can honestly say that I saw NO individuals that appeared to be “cowboy” types or seemed to view the license as anything other than a serious statement that they were taking responsibility for their own personal safety. They’ve been all colors, a lot of women (especially lately), some couples and in all, not a single person that I perceived as a threat to themselves or others. That holds true for my many trips to shooting ranges as well. My exposure has been limited – but, I’d guess that there were hundreds. I never saw anyone that would cause me to fear that they were armed. I think that it’s safe to say that anyone who applies for and secures a license to carry has probably considered the ramifications that surround the decision.

      Speaking for myself, I don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable knowing that the person next to me in line, or at the next table, may be armed.


      • The breadth of the CWP community often comes as a surprise (or point of denial), to the uninitiated (or willfully ignorant).

        In my last CWP licensing class of 25, gals outnumbered the guys 14-11, seven of us were over 60-years-old, four were under 30, three were black, two were of Asian decent, five had Hispanic surnames. That pretty much squared with other groups I have seen undertaking the process, and not a “cowboy” in the bunch.

        These are not the people likely to go on a killing spree, or misuse their weapons — as evidenced by statistics provided by Arizona’s CWP licensing authority, AZ Department of Public Safety.

        Of the 274,500 permits issued since their inception in 1994, only 1179 have had to be permanently revoked, with 3708 currently under suspension. Take out the additional 2810 that were not renewed, and that still leaves 271,690 active permit holders.

        These are also not the ‘macho’ young Turks, hellbent on proving their manhood by packing heat. These responsibly armed citizens are the backbone of society, 65% of whom are between the ages 40-69, and almost 22% of whom are female.

        Note: For those who might perceive a racial disparity in the DPS numbers, I would point out that persons identifying as “White” or “White Hispanic” are grouped as “White” for licensing purposes.


      • One thing that we’ll never hear the anti-gun crowd quote are the statistics regarding concealed carry permit holders. As of April 30th Texas had 1,017,618 permit holders, about 5.3% of the adult population. In 2015, there were 43,924 felony convictions, of those only 108 were CHL holders – that’s 0.2459%. We are, as you said, the backbone of society.


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