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My Turn

Disarming the good guys won’t work

Bad guys with guns are nearly everywhere

One of the most fundamental of all rights is the right of self-defense. Every living creature has the natural right to defend self, family and community. This right predates our Constitution.

Mankind from its very beginning developed tools for every aspect of life. Humans used rocks, spears, swords, crossbows and finally firearms for self-defense. Yes, a firearm is a tool for self-defense. And it is by far the most effective defensive tool ever developed. It is the great equalizer, allowing the weak to defend against the strong, the unskilled against the skilled.

There are bad people who use a gun as an offensive weapon, but there are far more people who use a gun to defend themselves, their families and their communities against the bad people.

Most firearms are kept at home or in a business but many good people – in New Hampshire, estimates are as high as 10-15 percent – carry a concealed weapon so that they can defend themselves and those around them. Concealed weapons in the hands of good people have stopped crimes before a single person was hurt and have stopped small massacres before they became large massacres.

Concealed weapons can be heavy and uncomfortable. People carry them not because they want to be macho but because they feel a duty to defend themselves and others around them. There are bad people out there who carry guns, knives or just their fists. Some good people carry guns to defend against the bad people.

The fastest growing group of gun owners is women. If you could check their purses, it is likely that you would find more than a few carrying a gun. One of the strongest opponents against “gun-free zones” is a woman who saw her parents shot down. She testified that she could easily have killed the gunman before he killed her parents and many other good people – but due to a “no guns allowed” sign, she had left her gun in her car.

Gun-free zones do not stop bad people; the worst of the bad guys actually prefer gun-free zones because they know that nobody else will have a gun to stop the bad guy. These zones would better be called “self-defense-free zones” because the people in them cannot defend themselves or those around them.

Some state representatives say they fear having guns in the State House. Do they equally fear guns in supermarkets, theaters or the mall? Let there be no doubt that almost anywhere there are people, there are some bad guys with guns and there are good people with concealed weapons who are willing and able to defend against the bad guys.

Disarming the good guys is not a good way to protect against the bad guys. Any gun in the hands of a decent person is no threat to anybody – except bad people.

(Spec Bowers of Sunapee is a former state representative.)

Legacy Comments8

"Every living creature has the natural right to defend self," How many frogs do you know with uzi's?

Thanks, but no thanks - I don't need itchy trigger finger George Zimmerman type macho "good guys" with concealed weapon permits going around defending me. I do want an assault weapon ban, extensive background checks on all transfers of gun ownership, and a passing grade on a gun safety course prior to receiving a license to own, carry, or fire a gun. As you said "One of the most fundamental of all rights is the right of self-defense" - I think self-defense means defending one's self. If I want self defense I'll provide it without your unwelcomed assistance. In other words: Even though you're probably a "good guy", please stay the...........away from me with your.............gun.

Sure would be nice if folks took a step back and realized an unarmed person is an easy target for a killer. That is why most killers go after the folks who are the most vulnerable. Look at the mass killings and notice they all take place where guns are banned. Schools, camps, etc. Killers want an open target. They want no resistance. Get it?

There are several problems with the "gun-free zones are killing zones" theory. First and foremost, it is factually incorrect as we saw last year. A movie theater is not a gun-free zone, and neither was the parking lot in Arizona where Rep. Giffords was shot and several others were killed. Second, why would someone who intends to end his shooting spree by killing himself worry about whether others might shoot back? Finally, most folks agree that these shooters have generally been mentally unstable (btw-I welcome the NRA and other pro-easy-access-to-firearms folks to the battle for better access mental health care). It seems incongruous to argue that these same imbalanced shooters chose the venue for their crimes using such clear-headed reasoning.

The killer in Colorado went to the only one of 12 movie theaters that had posted that concealed weapons were not welcomed. That theater he picked was gun free, the owners posted it. Look it up.This theater was also the furthest from the shooters home. You can bet he picked that theater on purpose. Most killers do opt for the place to be one of least resistance. Now mentally ill folks will be going after school children the most defenseless.

You assume too much. Are you aware of any evidence that indicates that he chose that theater for any reason other than it was showing the new Batman blockbuster on midnight of the opening day? Is there evidence that he even knew of the theater's policy on guns? I checked their website and it is not posted there. In fact, the only places where it seems to be available are websites that are focused on promotion of concealed carry laws, and those remarks were posted after the shooting. And if he knew, and if he was so confident that no one would shoot back, why was he wearing body armor? All you have is a coincidence, not causation. I note that you have no response regarding the shooting in Arizona, so I presume you have conceded my point regarding the ineffectiveness of your hypothesis about gun-free zones, at least as it relates to that tragedy. One more thing - how does the shooting at Fort Hood fit into your hypothesis?

All a good guy has to do is miss and kill some inocent child, and guess what... He's a bad guy.

All a fool has to do is sit and watch the bad guy kill more people because doing so might save lives!

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