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Snuffy and Me By: Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, October 16, 2002


I'm a gun owner. "Snuffy" is my .38 snubnose Smith & Wesson. As a woman a firearm is the only thing that truly equalizes me if faced with someone determined to do me harm. Yes, physical defense courses are good, but in my opinion if a man who wishes me harm is close enough to touch me, he's already too close. Anyone who enters my home with malevolent intentions will not leave standing up. It's that simple.

As a defender of the Second Amendment, I knew it was only a matter of time before opponents of our right to bear arms couldn't stand it anymore and started to exploit the tragedy brought to us by the cowardly freak dubbed the Beltway Sniper. Anti-gun political candidates are using it make hay with their self-defense supporting opponents; professional haters of firearms are, as usual, shouting from hill and dale that the sky is falling.

Ginni Wolf, executive director of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse declared that the Beltway Sniper has proven her group's argument that there are "too many guns out there, and it's very easy for these types of people to obtain guns."

What planet is she on? What the sniper has proven is that there aren't enough firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens! Here's a newsflash for Ms. Wolf — the Beltway is essentially a gun-free zone. There, law abiding citizens do not carry weapons leaving them unarmed and defenseless to face a maniac killer who does not care about rules.

The sniper isn't cowed by gun laws, or the rhetoric of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend about the evils of firearms. Gun laws wouldn't have saved her father like they aren't saving the innocent good people who have also been murdered by a deranged man. The deranged and the criminal will always get their guns, just like those who wanted a drink during prohibition got their booze. The reality is gun laws only serve to keep firearms out of the hands of the law-abiding and cost those good people their lives by giving the murderous clear, risk-free targets.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the author of the Tyranny of Good Intentions, wrote about author and professor Joyce Lee Malcolm and her book Guns and Violence. Malcolm provides evidence that firearms actually reduce violence:

  • National polls of defensive gun use by private citizens indicate that as many as 3.6 million crimes annually are prevented by armed individuals.
  • As many as 400,000 people each year believe they saved a life by being armed. Contrary to Handgun Control's propaganda, in fewer than 1 percent of confrontations do criminals succeed in taking the gun from the intended victim.
  • Thirty-four percent of felons said they were scared off, wounded or captured by victims who turned out to be armed.

Even more telling, in the 17 states and the District of Columbia without concealed-carry permits (the suburbs in which the sniper is thriving) enjoy an 81 percent higher rate of violent crime. Dr. Roberts reports their restrictive gun laws produced 1,400 more murders, 4,200 more rapes, 12,000 more robberies and 60,000 more aggravated assaults.

There was recently a slew of attacks on gay men in Southern California recently. Two thugs from south Los Angeles ventured up into West Hollywood, armed with bats, and brutally attacked several gay men. It's safe to say those bent on committing violence for whatever reason would think twice if they knew their potential targets could defend themselves in the most definitive of ways.

The Beltway Sniper proves that gun control laws actually put people at risk. The sniper is already in violation of numerous laws, gun related and otherwise. If the sniper is part of a foreign terrorist cell it also reminds us that the average citizen, here in the Homeland, is in fact our first line of defense. Those who argue, during this time of war on our own soil, that Americans should be disarmed, are naïve, irresponsible and promoting arguments which are ultimately fatally dangerous, not only for human life but for liberty itself.

It is law-abiding citizens like myself and so many others who own firearms who not only are personally safer, but keep this country free. If the anti-gun zealots insist on politicizing the situation with the sniper, those of us who support the Second Amendment have a duty to stand up and remind people this is an issue of civil rights and of self-defense. Those who argue to disarm us simply do not trust Americans, and perhaps even despise what has made this country great — like the individualism fostered in part by rights like the Second Amendment.

As of this writing, the last victim of the sniper was a woman who, with her husband, was putting merchandise into her car at a Home Depot. Her husband witnessed the shooting and could not respond. Several other bystanders witnessed the shooting and could not respond. If one of them, just one, had been armed, odds are the sniper's murderous rampage would have ended right there.

It is time to reject the vacuous arguments of the Left that we Americans need to be protected from ourselves and cannot be trusted to implement self-defense. Europe's history has shown us that a defenseless citizenry invites nothing less than criminal anarchy and tyrannical dictatorships.

While the Left wants you to believe you need to be protected from yourself, it took terrorism and a serial killer to show us who the real enemies are, and to expose the absurdity of gun control fanatics. Let evildoers — ranging from bin Laden to the Beltway Sniper, know this — American individuals will defend this nation, our neighbors, and our selves. Snuffy and I, and our compatriots throughout this great country, guarantee it.


Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.


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