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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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The Silence of the Gun-Control Crowd


While the gun-control crowd is going bananas over the fact that state and local governments are not constitutionally permitted to ban private ownership of handguns, they are remaining mute over a killing that took place in an apartment in Forestville, Maryland, on the same day that the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the Chicago gun-ban case.

According to the Washington Post, a maintenance man shot and killed an intruder in his apartment. The maintenance man, who remains unidentified, had confronted the intruder as he was trying to force a woman into her apartment. The intruder forced the maintenance man into the maintenance man’s apartment, where the shoot-out occurred. The intruder shot at the maintenance man but missed, and the maintenance man, who was able to reach his gun, returned fire and shot the intruder, who later died at the hospital.

If they weren’t remaining mute about this shooting, what would the gun control crowd say about this situation? One hint of what they might say appears in theWashington Post’s article: “Law enforcement sources said the shooting appeared to be justified — a classic case of an armed homeowner shooting an intruder. It remains unclear, however, how the maintenance man obtained his gun or whether he possessed it legally. Investigators said they were still exploring that.”

In other words, if it turns out that the maintenance man happens to live in an area where there is a state-imposed or locally imposed gun ban, such as that which existed in Chicago, Washington, D.C., or New York City, you can bet your 9mm that the gun control crowd will be demanding that the maintenance man be criminally prosecuted and given the highest possible jail sentence for illegally possessing a handgun, just as they did with Plaxico Burress, the former New York Giants wide receiver who is serving two years in jail for illegally possessing a handgun in New York City.

What would have happened if that maintenance man had been living in a legally mandated gun-free apartment? It is a virtual certainly that he would dead. Moreover, the woman who the intruder was accosting would also most likely be dead, after probably being raped. Most likely, the intruder would have escaped, as did his two accomplices.

Of course, the gun-control crowd would say, “Not so! A gun control law would have meant that the intruder wouldn’t be armed with a gun.”

Well, except for one thing: By carrying a gun into that apartment complex the intruder was violating the state of Maryland’s gun-control laws!


And that right there reflects the fatal flaw in the gun-control crowd’s position. They have somehow come to convince themselves that once a gun ban goes into effect, rapists, burglars, robbers, and murderers are going to obey it.

Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous than that?

As we have seen time and time again, rapists, burglars, robbers, and murderers don’t give a hoot for gun bans. In fact, they love them because it makes their dirty deeds safer for them. They know that most peaceful, law-abiding people aren’t going to risk a felony conviction and a long jail sentence for unlawful possession of a handgun and so they feel safe in breaking into homes and raping and killing the disarmed residents.

Who can doubt that the residents of that Forestville apartment complex, including those who don’t have guns, are now a lot safer, given that the following message has been sent out to robbers, murderers, rapists, and burglars: “This apartment complex is not a gun-free zone. There are people who live here who have guns and who are fully prepared and able to use them to defend themselves and their fellow residents.”

As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet that that intruder’s two accomplices who got away aren’t likely to ever return to the place where their buddy just got shot and killed.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.