In the recent horrible Islamic Terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the terrorists simply had free reign. Not only has the entire populace in India been disarmed for over a century, but some of the armed police in the train station took cover rather than fire on the terrorists. Those spineless cowards should be run out of law enforcement. Additionally, the anti-terror capable paramilitary units took a reported 10 hours to arrive from New Delhi.
Richard Munday, writing in the Times of London [HT: Instapundit], points out that while such an attack could be relatively successful in London today it would have been far less successful in London a century ago when the citizens were still allowed arms for self defense, and he provides an example of citizens stopping criminals in 1909. He also contrasts the situation in India and the UK with what we have here in the states: not only do we have the [recently reaffirmed with the Heller case] second amendment protection of gun rights but there has also been a huge trend in America for the states to pass “right to carry” laws, which when they were first being instituted drew predictions from anti-gun people of a bloodbath, people shooting each other constantly over minor disagreements. Instead, crime has dropped and the percentage of licensed people committing crimes with their guns is a fraction of a percent.
Another key difference here in the states is that in almost any large city we have well trained SWAT teams that are probably superior to many countries’ real military in weaponry and tactics. But, as as Munday points out with the example of the massacre in 1984 at a California McDonalds (and I can point to another one that he did not mention in Littleton Colorado where those two high school morons killed so many), often the reaction of the SWAT teams are too restrained with the result being a far higher victim count than could have been the case.
Perhaps it is the Yosemite Sam in me, the Don’t Tread On Me Scotts-Irish culture that influenced my upbringing, that makes me very uncomfortable with the idea that I have to depend on others for my self protection but I am not willing to place that responsibility in others’ hands. Bless their hard work and sacrifice, but by the time the police arrive it is often too late for any action that would prevent further violence and save lives.
I live in the southeastern US and have had a concealed carry permit for more than 15 years now. Unless I am in a government building, where firearms are not permitted, I am always carrying a high caliber pistol and am no threat to anyone who is not a threat to my safety. Can I guarantee that if terrorists went after a target that included me that I would be able to successfully stop it? No, certainly not, but I like my chances a lot more if I can do something more than cower in hiding like so many of the victims in Mumbai were forced to do.
I am going to go home and punch some .45 inch holes in some paper targets. Live free or die, brother. What a great country I live in.