January 15 2013
A Mother's Case for Gun Rights
There was no good guy available to protect the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. from evil. Those poor, innocent, defenseless children had to wait 20 minutes for police to arrive, and the horror only ended when the gunman chose to take own life.
I am passionate about protecting the civil rights enshrined in the Second Amendment particularly because I am a thirty-something year old woman with a three year old and a newborn. The only chance I have against one or more assailants seeking to harm me or my family is a firearm.
As a free person, I have a natural right to protect myself whether an assault against my person occurs inside my home or outside of it. As a mother, I will use every available and legal means to protect my family.
Those in power—the wealthy, the politically connected—do not have to sully their hands with firearms to protect themselves. They have the means to outsource their protection and hire private security.
The rest of us can only rely on ourselves for protection. Yes, the police are there to enforce the law, but you may be surprised to learn that the police have no duty to protect you against crime.
In Warren v. District of Columbia, two women who were repeatedly raped at knife point and beaten in their own home - over the course of fourteen hours by two assailants - sued the DC police department. Their multiple calls to the cops reporting the crime in progress were misrouted by dispatchers and poorly investigated by the cops on patrol.
The court’s conclusion was sobering: despite the carelessness and ineptitude of the police in this particular case, the police cannot be held liable if they fail to provide adequate protection because there is no duty for the police to protect citizens. The case was dismissed.
It is hard for me to take Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Diane Feinstein, President Obama, Piers Morgan, Beyonce or any other politician, journalist, or celebrity seriously when they publicly rail against the availability of semiautomatic weapons, wring their hands over so-called “assault weapons,” and decide that AR-15 should be banned because in their opinion, no person “needs” one.
These gun control advocates want to restrict or ban me from accessing certain types of firearms and ammunition all the while their safety (and their family’s safety) is guaranteed by guards armed with semiautomatic handguns and AR-15 rifles with magazines containing multiple rounds—the very items they want to make off-limits for ordinary citizens.
The hypocrisy on parade is distasteful—guns to protect me, but no guns for thee.
While I may disagree with those who abstain from exercising their second amendment rights, I would never seek to use the law to force people to purchase and own a firearm. In return, I expect them to respect the fact that I choose to exercise a right protected by the Constitution.
Furthermore, people wholly uncomfortable with and uninformed about guns should not dictate what weapons I may use for my self-defense. Few understand the distinctions between classes of guns, and I should be able to use whatever tool I deem best--be it a stick, a Glock, a shotgun, or an AR-15.
I cannot fathom the pain the mothers of the Newtown victims feel, and I pray I never come to know their kind of loss. That’s why I’m committed to protecting my family to the best of my ability, and standing up to those seeking to deny me the opportunity to exercise my civil rights and leave us defenseless.
A gun is a tool that can be used for both good and ill. Denying law-abiding citizens the right to use those guns does nothing to prevent evil. A gun cannot magically transform its holder into some crazed, violent person. Any depraved person using a gun to perpetrate crime was depraved before picking up the weapon.
The simple fact is that evil will never be constrained by laws. Good guys—and gals—must be able to possess guns in order to fight evil.
Anna Rittgers is a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum and an attorney.