While the statics come out in favor of concealed carry, yet again, I think it is also true that Tom Knighton here is asking the wrong question. His article at Bearing Arms asks In the Wake of Synagogue Shooting, How Effective are Armed Citizens Anyway? But the truth is, the armed citizen is not an unpaid security guard, nor is he a member of the police, who do have a mandate to protect the public at large. No, the armed citizen only job is to protect his own life, and those of his loved ones. He has no duty to act just because he carries a gun. But most of us would consider him a coward not to act if the opportunity arose.
The use and abuse of statistics is the way of the "Utilitarian Argument." The utilitarian argument says that the only things allowed in society are those things that serve society. Unfortunately, the utilitarian argument is a slippery slope that inevitably leads to a dystopian future. There is no end to the horrors that can be visited on people in the name of society. Thus for instance, since older people can no longer work, their abilities being eroded by time, they can be euthanized. Similarly, we can abort disable children in the womb because they would be a net cost to society. Indeed, the entire eugenics movement was based on utilitarian arguments.
Some things must be based upon principles, immune to utilitarian arguments and statics. The right to free speech, to freedom of religion and so on are such principles. The right to defend one's life is another. Along with that right is the right to possess and carry tools necessary to that end. These should not be up for grabs, but recognized by everyone. Laws should only apply to those who abuse these rights.
Still, it is interesting that when an armed citizen is available, and has an opportunity to stop a bad guy, that they are 75% effective. Good to know, so thanks for the tip, Tom.
Go read the article and see if you agree.
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