True Story: 9pm, Christmas Eve 2006, my wife and I had put the kids to bed and were wrapping the presents. We were excited to celebrate in our new house. We had just moved back to Colorado Springs, and while the house was a budget stretcher, it was in a good neighborhood right in the foothills. Suddenly, we heard a pop, pop, pop. Hmmm, it’s possible that someone nearby was celebrating with fireworks, but it sure sounded like gunfire. Honey, get the kids into our bedroom, making sure to crawl past the open window. Make it a Christmas Eve game. I’ll call the cops and grab the AR-15 out of the gun safe. Sure enough, five minutes later, our doorbell rings. It’s the teenage son of our next door neighbor.
“Please help me, my mom’s ex-boyfriend has gone crazy. He has a gun and is trying to kill us.”
“Go to the basement, you’ll be safe there.”
A couple more minutes and the mom and sister are also in the basement. Thankfully, I was not the one who killed the gunman. The police officer who did was traumatized. I have no desire to be a hero. I have no illusions that killing a person, even in self defense would be anything other than horrific. When hunting, I mourn the animals I kill even while I’m grateful for the food. I can’t imagine the nightmares that would come from killing a person. Even still, I am haunted. What would I have done if I hadn’t been armed with an “assault weapon”? Knowing that an armed assailant was pursuing two teenagers and their mom, but that he had no intention of harming my family? Would I have opened my door to essentially strangers, inviting the gunman to chase them into my home, putting my own wife and preschool children at risk? Or would I have shut my door and let them die on my front porch because I didn’t want to get involved? I am glad I had the means to defend myself, my family, and my neighbors.
The right to self-defense (including the defense of others) does not derive from the Second Amendment, but from human nature. This God-given right isn’t just a human right, but a right of all living organisms, to use whatever means are available. Deer have antlers, roses have thorns, humans have tools. To suggest that someone in mortal danger shouldn’t use the most effective tools that exist to defend their life is immoral. To suggest that no one should have the tools of self-defense is barbaric. That is no different that saying anyone who is not in a position of power deserves to be a victim.
The flip side of the unalienable right is the nondelegable duty. Just as no one can prevent a victim from fighting back, no one can promise protection. There is an old saying, “When seconds count, cops are minutes away.” But even if the cops show up in time, the Supreme Court has ruled that they are under no obligation to protect you. Legally and factually, you must defend yourself. You CANNOT delegate that responsibility. Learn Martial Arts. Buy a gun, or a taser, or pepper spray and learn how to use it. Teach your children how to defend themselves. Don’t spend most of your time in a soft target. And for goodness sake, stop trusting politicians when they promise to keep you safe.