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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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If Guns Are Outlawed, Who Protects Us from Criminals and Tyrants?


In yesterday’s blog, I stated that while Colorado permits the concealed carry of guns, the Aurora movie theater where the massacre took place has a policy prohibiting guns from being carried onto the premises.

There’s a new twist to the story, however, According to this article by Michael Adams, the city of Aurora has a law prohibiting concealed carry within the city that trumps Colorado’s general concealed-carry law.

Now, where does that leave the usual suspects — that is, the statists who always call for gun control in the wake of a gun massacre where there already is gun control in place?

I’ll tell you where it leaves them. It leaves them looking ridiculous.

Permit me to emphasize the obvious: Murderers don’t obey gun-control laws. Why do gun-control advocates expect them to? Murderers obviously don’t give a hoot for murder laws. Gun-control advocates operate under the naïve assumption that a murderer is going to say to himself, “Gosh, I’m going to have to murder people with something other than a gun because it’s illegal for me to use a gun when I murder my victims.”

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, that’s just plain ridiculous.

At the risk of further belaboring the obvious, peaceful law-abiding people do obey gun- control laws. That includes many people who have concealed-carry permits.

So, combine those two factors — murderers who don’t give a hoot about gun-control laws and peaceful, law-abiding people who do — and what do you get?

You get massacres of innocent people in gun-controlled areas committed by murderers illegally possessing guns against peaceful, law-abiding people prevented by gun-control laws from defending themselves.

Gun-control advocates respond, “But with really strict gun-control laws, like those in North Korea and China, we could eradicate all guns from society (except those employed by the military and police), which would mean that criminals could never get their hands on guns.”

You mean, like in the war on drugs? If making drugs illegal to possess hasn’t eradicated drugs from society, why would making guns illegal eradicate guns from society?

At the risk of further belaboring the obvious, that too is just plain ridiculous. Immediately after the government made gun ownership illegal, a black market in guns would pop up, just like it did with drugs when they were made illegal. And if you think gangs, gang warfare, robberies, muggings, burglaries, theft, corruption, smuggling, and violence in the war on drugs are bad, imagine what it would be like in a war on guns.

If guns are outlawed, only criminals and the government will have guns. Peaceful, law-abiding, freedom-loving people would lack the means to protect themselves not just from the criminals but also from government tyrants. Just ask the people of Syria.

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.