I joined the NRA to support Nick Melli, a 22 year old father, who went to the Clackamas Town Center, in Happy Valley, Oregon, with his friend Casey, and Casey’s baby. Nick heard three shots, and instructed Casey to lay on the floor with her baby. Nick, in the meantime, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Nick saw the shooter, who had a jammed AR-15 he was frantically working to clear. Nick positioned himself behind a pillar, and prepared to fire on the shooter. The shooter locked eyes with Nick, unjammed his firearm, placed his own weapon to his head, and took his own life. Nick Melli ended what would have otherwise been a mass shooting event, and in support of Nick’s right to keep and bear arms, I joined the NRA.
I joined the NRA to support James Gerow. James Gerow woke up one night, in his Springtown Texas home, to find a man wearing a dark hoodie, robbing him. James told his wife to call 911, grabbed his handgun, and followed the intruder out to James’ driveway. James ordered the man to drop his keys, and held the intruder at gunpoint until the police arrived. James protected his wife, and his household, against an intruder, and in support of James’ right to keep and bear arms, I joined the NRA.
I joined the NRA to support Monica Jones. Monica heard a neighbor girl screaming, grabbed her shotgun, and ran to see what was happening. Monica found her neighbor’s twelve year old daughter on the ground, with her torn clothing around her, and a man holding her down, about to rape the young girl. Monica told the man, “Stop or I’ll shoot.” The man stopped. Monica had him get off the young girl, and held him at gunpoint until the police arrived. Because of Monica, a twelve year old girl was not rapped, and in support of Monica’s right to keep and bear arms, I joined the NRA.
I joined the NRA to support great patriots, like James Maddison, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and countless others, who risked their lives to fight tyranny. These men, unfortunately, did not extend liberty to all Americans. I wish they had done so, and I joined the NRA to support other great Americans, like Robert F. Williams, who in 1957 got a charter from the NRA to found an organization called The Black Armed Guard, to defend African Americans in the South from the KKK. I joined the NRA to honor Robert F. Williams, and his fight against racism.
I joined the NRA to honor the more than 683,000 Americans who have given their lives defending the United States Constitution, and the countless millions more, myself included, who served without having to give our lives. We did not take an oath to a person, or to a country, but to the US Constitution, which we pledged to defend ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ We pledged our service, and if necessary our lives, to the US Constitution, with the knowledge that, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “The people — the people — are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.” One can see how badly the Bill of Rights has been perverted here. If ‘we the people’ do not demand that our elected officials stay within the bounds of their constitutional power, who will? If we the people are one day to be called upon to restore the Constitution, we will need both the pen and the gun. I joined the NRA to help defend the Constitution of the United States, and to honor those who defend the Constitution with me.
The argument against the right to keep and bear arms is a poor one, rooted in the numbers of people who die at the hands of guns every year. Anti-gun people often use invalid numbers to support their anti-gun agenda, but we know exactly how many times people are killed with a gun each year. According to the CDC, there are about 32,000 gun deaths a year, about 60% of which are suicides. Only about 34% are homicides, or about 11,000 a year. Of those 11,000 gun homicides a year, 80% are gang-related, leaving the number of gun homicides that are not gang related at about 2,200 a year – in a country of about 320 million people. Gang members would ignore a ban (if you want to see how to fight gang violence, read American Apartheid), so 2,200 is the real number of gun homicides a gun ban would target.
It is harder to determine how many lives are saved with guns every year, but according to a Northwestern University study done by Dr. Gary Kleck, guns are used to stop violent crimes, in the United States, about 2.5 million times a year. The Department of Justice’s estimate is 1.5 million. I joined the NRA to support those millions of people who defend themselves with a gun every year. The 2,200 people who are killed each year in a gun homicide have the entirety of the mainstream media as a voice. I joined the NRA to give voice to the millions of people every year who are still alive because of their right to keep and bear arms.
I joined the NRA because the mainstream media does not mention Nick Melli, James Gerow, Monica Jones, or the other millions of Americans who have used firearms to save their lives, and/or the lives of those around them. The seminal work on the relationship between guns and crime is still John Lott’s More Guns Less Crime. John Lott’s research is exhaustive and clear – criminals fear an armed populace far more than they fear the police, and though crimes where a criminal is not apt to encounter their victim, such as the theft of empty cars, actually tend to increase where more people own guns, violent crimes come down across the board as conceal carry permits grow. I joined the NRA to help bring down the numbers of violent crimes committed each year.
The media is silent when it comes to self defense. I hear calls every day to have the CDC study guns as an American health issue (note that many of the numbers I am using come from the CDC), but I never hear calls for the CDC to study how guns are used in self defense. It is as if the 2,200 lives lost are deemed to be more important than 1.5-2.5 million lives saved. I joined the NRA to honor those who are saved by their right to keep and bear arms.
The anti-gun lobby says that they are not just against gun homicides, but also gun accidents. The top causes of death in the United States are, in order, heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza / pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. There are 136,000 accidental deaths in the United States every year, making accidents the largest cause of death for people under the age of 45. Less than 1,000 accidental gun deaths occur per year, and yet the focus is on gun deaths rather than the more than 135,000 accidental deaths that have other causes. According to the CDC, accidental drowning is a bigger problem than are guns. Where is the cry to ban swimming pools?
It is of course a terrible tragedy whenever an innocent life is lost, and I, like the NRA, want to take sensible steps to protect our children, and our public, from those who would otherwise harm innocence. We want to protect our children, in schools and at home. We want to protect women who walk alone in public. We want to protect the elderly. We want to protect all law abiding citizens. Unlike the anti-gun lobby, we recognize that the best way to protect people is to allow law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I joined the NRA to help protect our children.
Have you joined the NRA? If not, please do so here. Tell them that The Daily Libertarian sent you, and tell them to keep defending our Second Amendment.
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