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Sandy Hook. Newtown. Those words are shocked into the collective consciousness like 9/11. It feels personal. My youngest goes to an elementary school designed with exactly the same “safety features” as Sandy Hook. Clearly, the design isn’t safe enough. My family lives in a low-crime suburban community like Newtown. Clearly, the community was not low crime enough. American parents work hard to choose the right schools in the right neighborhoods -- to ensure that it will be okay.
Turns out, most days, it is okay. The likelihood of being killed in a mass shooting is about the same as being hit by lightning says number cruncher John Fund. Mass shootings have declined over the last 100 years. And no, the 1994 assault weapon ban didn’t cause a decline in gun deaths. Criminals just used other guns.
Still, numbers and statistics mean little next to the loss of a child. There out to be a law, right? When it comes to guns, though, there are laws; laws that determined criminals break. The media urges restricting guns (#doitforGabby), but my frustration with the Sandy Hook massacre was that there was one gun too few. In a school filled with the innocent and helpless, the great equalizer would have been just one woman with a gun. A gun is the ultimate feminist tool: a woman with a gun beats the strength of a man. Just this week, a mother defended her children against an armed intruder, and a boy protected his younger sister with an AR-15 against armed robbers.
Our founders knew the equalizing worth of a gun. They knew that an armed citizenry was a populace not easily bullied. The Bill of Rights Second Amendment is explicit about gun ownership: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Thomas Jefferson reinforced: "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Americans value guns because they value their other freedoms -- to speak freely, to assemble, to worship, and to protect their lives and property. Bearing arms defends these other rights. Author Ben Shapiro said this to CNN host Piers Morgan about why he defends the American right to bear arms:
“I fear the possibility of a tyranny rising in the country … The fact that my grandparents and great grandparents in Europe didn't fear that is why they're now ashes in Europe. So this kind of leftist revisionist history where there's never any fear of democracy going ‘usurpatious’ or tyrannical, is just that. It’s fictitious.”
For all these reasons, Americans cling to their guns. In the face of the tyranny of the madman whether in one’s home, the movie theater, an elementary school, or in the halls of government, a gun can save one’s life. Since America will never give up its right to bear arms, the answer to a problem like Sandy Hook is to allow citizens to have more freedom not less. No one should be defenseless in the face of a tyrant.
iVoice Melissa Clouthier from Houston, Texas writes at her own blog MelissaBlogs.com or you can follow her on twitter at @MelissaTweets!