I left this comment on a Sultan Knish article on the Aurora killings and calls for gun-controls.
It is a forensic fact of life that if a killer or robber suspects that his victims have the capacity to fight back, he is not likely to enter a home, business, shop or theater and start shooting. It is also a forensic fact – and there are dozens of stories that demonstrate it, which video footage – that a killer or robber who enters a venue with a gun gets the short end of a hail of bullets from victims who were as armed was well as he was. I recently watched a video of a pair of hooded thugs entering a Starbucks kind of café with a gun and baseball bat and proceeded to round up the patrons. Then some 83 year old patron with a pistol got behind them and began firing. The thugs tripped over each other trying to escape.
But laws that ban guns are pointless, as Daniel suggests here. Law-abiding citizens will refrain from buying guns, or are prohibited from buying them, regardless of their spotless records. Law-breakers will not obey such laws and will always find ways to get guns. Breaking laws is what they do. Then they prey on the defenseless law-abiding citizens. And in a society in which the health and safety of law-abiding citizens are not a government’s first priority, but control of all actions, if they fight back, they are liable to be made criminals themselves, for having had the capacity to fight back to preserve their health and safety. And if they happen to injure a criminal in the act of defending their values, in that same society they’re liable to be sued for the injuries they have inflicted on the criminal. Such citizens don’t even need to have possessed a gun. They could just as well kick the criminal in the groin or judo-chop his larynx or break his jaw, and they could be charged with using “excessive force” to subdue a criminal.
It’s the criminal who initiates force, and when he does, he is risking death or injury at the hands of his victim, who can retaliate only to the best of his ability. That’s the only thing criminal law should consider, and not whether or not a “sporting chance” is granted to the criminal. A criminal forfeits all rights once he initiates force. He introduces the element of force into his victim’s life, and he is just as likely to be a subject of force if his victim fights back as he is willing to subject his victim to. For horror stories of people jailed, fined, or sued for defending their lives or property, see Britain, a comprehensive police-state envied by gun-control advocates here in the U.S.