I bought a gun last weekend. It’s not a purchase I wanted to make, and I pray I never have to use it, but with mayhem recently engulfing cities across the United States, I and many others are biting the bullet and purchasing firearms.
Mine is a Springfield 9mm — something small enough to fit in my nightstand or under my driver’s seat should I have to visit one of America’s many war-torn cities. But it’s powerful enough to do the job.
I’ve pondered the purchase for years but always found a reason to put it off. The carnage that has rocked the country over the last couple of weeks, however, sealed the deal. After all, I have a duty to protect my family as best I can, and when the government’s protections begin to break down, a firearm becomes my only option.
It’s not that I have anything against guns — quite the opposite. I’m a big believer in the Second Amendment and have defended Americans’ right to bear arms in writing. But guns were such a fixture of my youth that, like a kid forced by overzealous parents to play baseball year after year, I walked away at my first opportunity.
My father was an independent gun dealer who had me shooting my Chipmunk rifle at four years old, and my mom’s second husband was an avid hunter and gun collector. By the time I was 17, I had shot nearly every gun imaginable, from derringer and Desert Eagle pistols to SKS rifles.
I suppose I enjoyed it all at one point, but it’s been 20 years since I fired a live round. I will be heading to the range this week to correct that error.
I Can’t Count on Anyone Else to Protect Me
I seriously doubt I will get the same trigger rush as my gun-loving friends, but I’m not in this for the thrills. Knowing that if someone kicks in my door I have a fighting chance of defending my home is well worth an arduous hour or so at the range. In fact, I have come to view it as my civic responsibility as I witness, in real time, the unraveling of the societal structures that are supposed to ensure our safety.
For years, liberal politicians and their public relations officers in the mainstream media have attempted to repeal the constitutional right to bear arms protected by the Bill of Rights. We were told our juvenile fantasies of protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government were laughable, given the advanced technology of the U.S. military. You know, all that “What good is a rifle against a fighter jet?” nonsense.
But that’s an absurd framing of the issue, done purposely to deflect from the real reason gun owners so passionately cling to their Second Amendment rights: the gross incompetence of their respective local governments.
That incompetence has been abetted by liberal politicians and pundits who, while trying to strip Americans of their right to protect themselves, also demonized American law enforcement by obsessing over and flooding the media with extremely rare incidents of police brutality. They also, of course, ignored the heroic stories of cops risking their lives to save others.
The tragic combination of these two efforts is now playing itself out on the national stage as cities across the country grant license to mobs of looters and rioters, grifting on the heels of the horrific murder of George Floyd and wreaking havoc on minority communities. The predictable result: cities full of sitting ducks in the throes of national turmoil. Thus far, my town has remained immune from such insanity, but the way this madness is spreading, I fear it’s only a matter of time.
As Police Presence Goes Down, Gun Sales Go Up
The nation’s most iconic newspaper is publishing op-eds calling for the dismantling of police departments across the country. While such thinking was previously confined to America’s most liberal enclaves, it has gained footholds in mid-America cities such as Denver and Nashville.
All the while, violence goes unchecked because America’s police forces either have been ordered to stand down or are paralyzed by the fear that if they do their jobs, the media will ruin their lives. Whatever the reason, I can no longer rely on the government for my safety, and every bad guy in America knows it. Sadly, the left’s concerted campaign against America’s cops is dangerously close to taking them down.
But there’s a silver lining: As America’s cities continue spiraling out of control, millions of Americans like me are exercising their rights and purchasing firearms, thus undoing decades of work by the left to restrict the gun rights of Americans. According to Business Insider:
Federal background checks increased 75% in May compared with 2019, a further acceleration from April’s 69% gain over the previous year, according to Cowen research. Handguns, in particular, were up 94%. Background checks are largely considered a proxy for gun purchases in the absence of more granular sales data.
With weak mayors and powerless police, we have little choice but to take our safety into our own hands.
Greg Jones is a conservative blogger and writer. Aside from The Federalist, his work has appeared at TheWeek.com, Reason.com, and in The Daily Caller, among others.