Self Defence: Where Do You Stand?

The following essay by Michael Copeland was originally published at LibertyGB in 2013.

Self Defence: Where Do You Stand?

by Michael Copeland

This is no video game. You are in a café in the USA. Other customers are present. Suddenly two men enter with guns. They make clear their intent to rob everyone. It is a nightmare: an armed robbery for real, and you are in it. This is no video game.

Your heart sinks as you quickly think what cash and valuables you have with you, and the first victim begins to produce his ready wealth. Suddenly a shot rings out, then another. One of the customers, a retired ex-serviceman, has a pistol: coolly and calmly he has dropped down on one knee and is shooting at the robbers. Shocked, wounded, and in total disarray, they flee empty-handed, crashing through the door and slipping to the ground in their haste. The shooter sends further shots after them. This is no video game. It is all over quite quickly. Shaken, you try to pull yourself together and assure yourself that you are unharmed.

“Ooh, it was just like a Hollywood movie!” is frequently the first reaction of an eyewitness. We are all so used to seeing things on screen that for many people this is the standard by which experiences are measured. Films, though, are make-believe, and we are comfortable enjoying their fictional world. Videos and broadcasts can be switched off: we are still in command. When an armed robbery happens before your eyes and you are one of its intended victims you cannot switch off: it is not a fiction, and you are not in control. You have to rely on your own inner resources.

This incident was, indeed, no video game: it happened in an Internet cafe in America, and was captured on CCTV. Though the open carrying of a gun is only permitted in certain states, American law provides for “Concealed Carry Permits” (CCPs). The law entirely backs up that particular citizen’s self-defence: he committed no crime. A serious robbery was defeated. The robbers in that incident were later traced and apprehended.

Here is a proven observation: the individual’s self-defence is also the defence of the law-abiding community. Zones where Concealed Carry Permits are in use have a lower crime rate: criminals know they might well encounter armed defence. As Ann Coulter explains, this is borne out by “all the actual evidence, mountains of it, in peer-reviewed studies by highly respected economists and criminologists and endlessly retested”.

Here is a second observation: criminals, by definition, do not observe gun control laws or restrictions. However careful and strict the laws may be, criminals will obtain firearms. An inescapable consequence of gun control laws, therefore, is to render the law-abiding population defenceless.

Here is a third observation: imposing gun control laws does not reduce gun crime. In Britain, after handguns were made illegal following the Dunblane shooting, the incidence of gun crime increased.

Now for some honest self-examination. Setting aside pipe-dreams and wishful preferences for a moment, be completely realistic. Where do you stand? Which café would you rather be in: one with a responsible CCP citizen, or one without? Which one would you prefer your daughter to be in?

I prefer the defended one. That does not make me a dangerous gun maniac. I am on the side of the law.

For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.

15 thoughts on “Self Defence: Where Do You Stand?

  1. The signature line in my emails ends with:

    “If you are unwilling to defend even your own lives, then you are like mice trying to ‘negotiate’ with owls. You regard their ways as ‘wrong’, they regard you as dinner.”

    If you see me in public I will almost certainly be armed but you will not know it unless circumstances demand it.

  2. My wife and I have concealed carry permits along with 19 million other Americans.

    https://www.fox5dc.com/news/1-4-million-more-americans-than-last-year-have-concealed-carry-permits-report-says

    I am ex-military and know how to handle a gun. My wife and I would have dropped them in a heartbeat.

    Having said that I never want to have to do that as it would haunt me forever.

    Mixed emotions but you do what you have to do. It’s not just our lives we are saving – it is the other people as well.

  3. In Australia, as a knee-jerk response to the Port Arthur Massacre, the Federal Government (one of Liberal, i.e. right of centre, Party Prime Minister, John Howard’s few major errors) tightened the already very tight gun control laws here. A government-run “Gun Buy-Back” scheme had people selling their guns to the government to be destroyed. Of course some people in the scheme were corrupt and, for a handsome fee each transaction, on-sold guns to criminals whilst falsifying the records so that officially those guns had been destroyed.

    Apart from farmers (who get special dispensation on the possession of firearms because shooting predatory wild boars, feral dogs, etc is a necessary part of farm management here when one runs stock, i.e cattle and sheep), crocodile hunters (essential north of the Tropic of Capricorn to cull the numbers of crocs annually. And, yes, they do exist – “Crocodile Dundee” was, in that respect, not fictional) and the police, the ONLY people who have firearms ARE criminals.

    In 2000 one could buy an illegal pistol with ammunition for $400 by lingering long enough, and not looking like an undercover cop, at the western end of Sydney’s Devonshire St pedestrian tunnel just south of Central Station. The sellers were Chinese or Vietnamese.

    Amongst the tertiary-educated class here, extreme disdain for the States’ 2nd amendment prevails. With an American girlfriend at the time, I tried in my workplace to gently offer a contrary view and was met with outraged indignation and hostility over the “madness of Americans and their guns”. Then a very young professional of Croat extraction, who’d grown up in one of Sydney’s rough and poor western suburbs, quietly spoke up: “My high school (!) was full of guns”. His (and my) colleagues, who’d been upbraiding me (all of whom had grown up in much more affluent parts of Sydney where no gun would ever be seen in a high school private or public), were speechless. “The thugs in my school, were the ones that had them” he qualified.

    A religious teacher at my children’s former private high school in the eastern suburbs (i.e. by the ocean beaches and harbour, so therefore affluent), in fact he was the equal number three in the school’s hierarchy, was arrested and jailed for possessing child pornography. And for possession of an illegal firearm when his home was raided on the computer child pornography warrant. Five years later, while still in prison, he was charged with and convicted of child sexual assault offences. The school hastened to assure parents that the victim (that particular victim would have been more honest) was not a student of the school, but the child of a family friend.

    An acquaintance of mine bought a pistol illegally in the 1990’s for self protection and carried it in the glovebox of his car. Several years after he bought it (and had never used it, other than to go out into the bush alone and practice firing it at trees a few times) he was driving on a busy street with two of his three children in his car. He flicked his cigarette butt out the driver’s window and unfortunately it sailed into the face of a “bikie” motorcycle rider coming up beside and behind him. There was a long, winding, chase through side streets and eventually my acquaintance was trapped in a dead-end street. Terrified and shaking, he reached into his glovebox and retrieved his never-used pistol as the bikie got off his bike and strode towards the driver’s door of the car with obviously violent intentions. My acquaintance, a smallish man, pointed the gun at him and stammered “It was an accident! I didn’t see you there! Leave me alone or I’ll shoot you!” The bikie turned and went back to his bike and left. My acquaintance said that he was shaking so violently from fear that he doubted he would have hit the bikie even at such close range if he had pulled the trigger. As of 2010, when I last saw him, he still had the illegal handgun.

    It is a terrible thing that law-abiding citizens in Australia cannot legally obtain guns for self-defence. Or the defence of others. I would welcome a 2nd Amendment here.

      • It is actually not excellent inasmuch as there is ample forensic and other evidence that the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996 was, like 9/11, a false flag aimed at tightening gun laws and not a “knee jerk response”.

        However, Australians, like too many Americans, believe they are living in benevolent democracies.

        So look up eyewitness Wendy Scurr or read Keith Noble and look at http://members.ii.net/~nedwood/Pam06.html

        For all the 2nd Amendmenters at GoV, of whom there are many year by year: unless all you Concealed Carrier “Jeremiah Johnson” frontiersmen form fighting forces you will be picked off individually when FEMA or whoever come calling to confiscate your weapons.

        I don’t recall that the Yugoslav Army had trouble doing just that on a house by house basis as from 1991.

    • Very interesting. Your problem in Australia is compounded, because even if you successfully use a gun to save your or your family’s lives, you will be prosecuted for doing so. This in turn may lead normally morally upright people to leave the scene of the shooting before authorities arrive, which is a crime in itself. At best, these actions will weigh on your conscience.

      I live in a “red state” in America, after having lived in “blue states”, and I can unequivocally tell you that freedom tastes good.

  4. Australia – the country that has no oil refineries left and no automobile manufacturing. Australia is pathetic. That may come as a surprise. The US has 143 oil refineries and lots of car manufacturing plants. From here it looks like Australia is embracing its inner eloi fast.

    • I’m a proud Australian but I have to admit, I agree with you…..but that makes me a transphobic intolerant cis- fascist

    • Welcome! Please join us. May I recommend looking at an American political map and choosing a state colored “red”. The American South can be hot, but also can be very beautiful and provide a high quality of life.

  5. Kenneth Royce, a.k.a. “Boston” of the well-known reference book “Boston’s Gun Bible,” has written that “gun-control laws” ought rightly to be termed “victim-disarmament laws,” for that is their actual intent. Consider the following…

    Historians of such things regard the Armenian genocide of 1915-1921 as the first “modern” genocide and mass-killing. During and before that time, the Sunni Muslim Turks of the Ottoman Empire passed draconian firearms laws which effectively disarmed and rendered helpless some 1.5 million Armenian and Greek Christians – the eventual targets of the Ottoman government.

    The hapless victims, deprived of arms and unable to defend themselves when the time came, were rounded up and summarily-executed, or marched into the desert to die of exposure, starvation and dehydration. Since a film and photographic record of that time survives, we also know that young Christian girls and women were stripped naked, crucified on large wooden crosses and then left to die in the desert.

    In Austria, a young itinerant painter and wounded veteran of WWI watched in rapt attention. His name was Adolf Hitler, who later rose to absolute power and total control over greater Germany. His magnum opus, the autobiographical “Mein Kampf,” detailed how Hitler observed that the world seemed to ignore the plight of the Armenians and other victims of the Turks, who were then free to slaughter them when they chose. Learning from the Ottomans, Hitler and the Nazis disarmed their intended victims as well, before implementing “The Final Solution.”

    In Soviet Russia, Josef Stalin disarmed the kulaks and other enemies of the state before killing them in the millions. In Red China, Mao Zedong and the communist party did likewise before killing their opponents in their millions. In Cambodia and Cuba, other communist dictators – Pol Pot and Fidel Castro – did likewise before taking their victims to the killing fields and concentration camps.

    Chairman Mao, the individual who slew some seventy million of his fellow Chinese, said famously, “Every Communist must grasp the truth, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.'”

    Mao and his fellow tyrants did not ban firearms because they hated them; they banned them because they wanted to be the only ones with them. They knew, as night follows the day, that once disarmed, their opponents would be helpless to stand against them.

    Royce makes the point that Switzerland, that “nation of riflemen,” remained neutral during the two biggest wars in history, WWI and WWII, which swirled around them, yet without violating their borders. No Holocaust took place on Swiss soil; armed Swiss militia – Jew and Gentile alike – remained free by practicing armed neutrality.

    Great Britain and her Commonwealths – Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, in particular – ought to serve as an omen of what awaits nations like the U.S. and Switzerland if comprehensive gun control becomes a reality. And the century-old warning from the Armenian genocide is just as pertinent today as it was one-hundred years ago.

    Do not be dissuaded by the smooth-talkers, propagandists and others who say otherwise: Self-defense is a basic human right, which is inherent to each human being. Just as being able to defend one’s loved ones, home and possessions is such a right.

  6. A government which does not trust its citizens to be armed is not itself to be trusted.
    Niccolo Machiavelli

    All the armed prophets conquered; all the unarmed ones perished.
    Niccolo Machiavelli

    Why did the US not give Germany after WWII something like the 2AD?
    Would I buy a gun? I dont know. But I would like to have the choice of buying or not buying.

    And my own experience:
    I was once (about 1990) a member of a martial arts club with about 80% turkish immigrants.
    One of them (age about 16) offered to sell me an UZI with 1.000 bullets for about 500 DM.

    It is funny that the muslims have access to fully automatic weapons and nobody does anything about it.

    A few weeks ago a muslim marriage convoy stopped on the streets and they used fully automatic weapons and the Police did not enforce the law.
    According to the Report in BILD (yes, it is a tabloid, sigh) the groom said that he didnt know that anybody was ever shot with a gun.
    It happened in Aaalen and BILD reported it on 06.10.2019

    I would like to have a muslim weapon Permit – that allows you to own and use fully automatic weapons in Germany even if the German law says otherwise.

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