The Case for an Armed Citizenry
by Paul R. Hollrah
Just minutes after midnight on Thursday evening, July 19, 2012, 24-year-old James Holmes walked into a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, dressed in a gas mask and full ballistic riot gear. He was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40 caliber Glock handgun. Without warning, and with no apparent motive, he stood before the movie screen and opened fire on the sold-out audience, killing at least 12 and wounding 59 more. The killing spree, with 71 killed and injured has been called the “largest mass shooting in U.S. history.”
Preliminary investigations indicate that Holmes acted alone. And while he had no apparent motive for his attack on a theater packed with total strangers, elsewhere in the country we find self-appointed race pimps such as the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton inciting black youths to violence over the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida.
[pullquote_right]‘‘To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.’’ – Richard Henry Lee, 1787[/pullquote_right]Martin’s killer, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, has been charged with second degree murder, although it is beyond comprehension that prosecutors could ever prove “willful intent” on Zimmerman’s part. To do so would require jurors to be convinced that Zimmerman threw himself onto his back, broke his own nose, and repeatedly pounded his own head against a concrete sidewalk, causing him to feel as if his head was “about to explode.”
Nevertheless, blacks across the country have been lead to believe that Zimmerman pursued Martin and that in doing so he provoked a violent confrontation, culminating in Martin’s death. That is unlikely to be proven, and when Zimmerman is found not guilty by a jury of his peers, the violence that the race-baiters and the mainstream media have incited will likely make the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles pale by comparison.
In fact, we may already be seeing some of that predicted violence. In major cities across the country, especially in Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, and New Jersey, we hear reports of a new urban phenomenon called “The Knockout Game,” in which mobs of black teens attack lone individuals… usually elderly whites, Asians, or homosexuals. The object of the “Knockout Game” is for one of the black youths to strike their victim so hard as to render him/her unconscious with a single blow to the face.
Police report that, if the victim is not rendered unconscious by a single blow, he/she would be attacked by the gang, en masse. As one “player” confessed to police, “We used to walk to where a lot of people be at (sic) and hit ‘em. If one of the homeboys didn’t knock him out, then the others would come. Whoever knock him out would be king.”
In St. Louis, for example, a news report tells of an attack on a Vietnamese couple, 72-year-old Hoang Nguyen and his 59-year-old wife, Yen. The couple was taking a walk when they were accosted by a group of four black youths. As Mrs. Nguyen described the attack, one of the youths pushed her husband’s face to the side so as to make a “clear target for his fist.” Nguyen was punched so violently that he fell to the ground and struck his head. The attacker then turned his attention to the woman, punching her so hard that she suffered a fractured eye socket. Unable to defend herself or assist her husband, she could only watch as her husband was kicked repeatedly as he lay on the ground. He succumbed to his injuries later that day.
The history of gun control is quite clear. According to statistics compiled by an organization called Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO):
- 56 million people were murdered by their own governments during the 20th century.
- The Soviet Union banned gun ownership in 1929. Between 1929 and 1953, some 20 million Soviet dissidents were rounded up and exterminated.
- Turkey banned gun ownership in 1911. Between 1915 and 1917, some 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Germany banned gun ownership in 1938. Between 1939 and 1945, some 13 million Jews and other “undesirables” were rounded up and exterminated.
- China banned gun ownership in 1935. Between 1948 and 1952, some 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Here at home, using the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. as justification, the U.S. Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968, in what many saw as a direct violation of the 2nd Amendment. Then, in 1993, 86 members of the Branch Davidian religious cult in Waco, Texas were killed by FBI and BATF agents because of the government’s belief that the Davidians were in possession of automatic weapons made illegal by the Gun Control Act.
Perhaps the most telling recent statistics come from Australia where, in 1998, the government confiscated and destroyed some 640,380 personal firearms, at a cost of approximately $500 million dollars.
An August 4, 1999 report by the Orange County Register concluded that the confiscation of handguns had resulted in a major increase in crime. The Register reported that, in just one year following the confiscation, Australia-wide, assaults were up 8.6 percent and armed robberies were up 44 percent. In the state of Victoria, alone, homicides with firearms were up 300 percent.
But all is not lost. Help is on the way as more and more states enact “concealed carry” laws, allowing thoroughly-screened law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. A new Oklahoma law, effective November 1, 2012, goes one step further; it allows those with “concealed carry” permits to carry firearms openly, in full view.
The new concealed carry laws are already beginning to pay dividends. On Friday, July 13, in Ocala, Florida, 71-year-old Samuel Williams was seated in the back corner of an Internet Café when two black teens… Davis Dawkins and Duwayne Henderson, both 19 years of age… walked into the café brandishing a handgun and a baseball bat and shouting obscenities at the patrons. Within seconds, Williams leapt to his feet, drew his .38 caliber handgun, and began firing at Henderson.
Fearing for their lives, the two robbers fell all over each other attempting to escape. Rounds from Williams’ handgun struck both teens. Both were later arrested by Ocala police and have been charged with attempted armed robbery with a handgun and felony criminal mischief. State’s Attorney Bill Gladson is quoted as saying that, “Based on what I have seen and what I know at this time, I don’t anticipate filing any charges (against Williams).”
A January 1, 2006 TexasInsider.com report by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the original author of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law, tells us that when the law took effect in 1996, critics predicted anarchy in the streets as Texans returned to the bad old days of the Wild West. But such was not the case. As Patterson reports, “Since the passage of the Concealed Handgun Law, the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows an 18% drop in handgun murders (in Texas), down from 838 in 1995 to 688 in 2004…”
Patterson goes on to say, “Texas Department of Public Safety Uniform Crime Report indicates the overall crime rate in Texas has continued to drop over the past ten years.” And although the population of Texas has grown by 3 million in that ten year period, the number of crimes per 100,000 population has dropped from 5,478 to 5,032.
Patterson concludes by saying that, “To the supporters of individual liberty and the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, this outcome is no surprise. However, the Concealed Handgun Law isn’t just about personal safety. Perhaps even deeper in its roots in constitutional freedom, the Concealed Handgun Law is about trust.”
Yes, concealed carry laws are about trust. Law abiding citizens trust other law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons responsibly. And just as 71-year-old Samuel Williams did what he saw as his duty in the Ocala Internet Café, perhaps saving the lives and property of a dozen or more innocent victims, if he had been seated in the front row of the theater in Aurora, Colorado we might not be mourning so many deaths today.
The Aurora, Colorado killer was outfitted from head to foot in full ballistic riot gear and a bullet from a .38 caliber handgun might not have penetrated his body armor. But chances are that the impact of one or two .38 caliber or .45 caliber slugs would have knocked him from his feet, preventing him from killing and wounding 71 people.
The American people are now angry and aroused and it would be a good idea if the parents of those who play the “Knockout Game” and who take part in “flash mob” anarchy would get their young men under control before they find themselves crying at a graveside.
Paul Hollrah is a native of St. Charles, Missouri. He holds a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and is a 2001 inductee in the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni. From 1962-70 he served as a Senior Project Engineer for Cities Service Oil Company (CITGO) and the Sun Oil Company (Sunoco) in New York and Tulsa, Oklahoma.