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Please begin with an informative title:

Self defense isn’t just a right, it’s a duty.

I am sure most everybody has heard about what took place around 5:00 am on May 26th in Chicago;

As an 80-year-old Army veteran, his wife and great-grandson slept in their Humboldt Park home just before dawn Wednesday, a would-be burglar busted a basement window, crawled over discarded bikes and paint buckets, and made his way up winding stairs to an enclosed porch.

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

RKBA is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who also have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our second amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing, restrictions on small arms.) Moderate or extreme, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994. We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you, as long as you engage in a civil discussion. RKBA stands for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
What happened that morning was not an anomaly, rather, it occurs quite regularly, a person takes care themselves and their loved ones, they take responsibility for their own safety, they are prepared to not be a victim, which is exactly what this man did.
The homeowner bought his handgun after being robbed just six months ago, having vowed not to be a victim again, his family said.
His neighbors are applauding his actions.
I’d have done the same thing," said another neighbor, Audrey Williams, who has known the couple for more than 40 years. "They say we've got to give up our guns. But that's crazy."
It’s a good thing they had a gun, or they might be dead,” said Curtis Thompson, who lives next to the couple.

Thompson reflected on the break-in and added, “It could have been us.”

The idea that people should relinquish their responsibility of protecting themselves from violent crime and turn it over to the government is ludicrous and dangerous.  Of course the government does curtail crime via the police and court systems but the State cannot protect you from violence.  It doesn’t matter how ceaselessly the police force might work because there is little to no chance they can defend you from being assaulted.  There simply aren’t enough of them to protect everybody.  The fact of the matter is that our persons, our homes and our businesses will always be targets for the criminally inclined, unless of course we assume the duty of defending them ourselves.

We have seen a drop in violent crime, yet gun laws are becoming more and more liberalized throughout the country.  Now while correlation does not necessarily imply causation it appears that citizens having fewer restrictions on firearm ownership hasn’t resulted in an increase in crime.  When the average person makes the decision to arm themselves, they do not transform into homicidal maniacs. Rather they gain the ability to defend themselves against violent assault and criminals will logically respond by making such attacks less frequently since they can no longer be assured of finding easy prey. We should not underestimate the effect that trained, law-abiding gun owners can have on violent crime.  

But what this really comes down to is a matter of principle.  We as a nation have given up vengeance and replaced it with the rule of law which is to be expected if we want some semblance of order and not anarchy.  What we haven’t given up is the right to defend ourselves.  We have the right and the duty to protect ourselves and our families from injury and death.  This is a foremost and fundamental part of our stature as free men and women because without the ability to defend ourselves we are little more than objects of opportunity destined to be held the mercy of madmen, criminals and tyrannical governments.

Sometimes people will sneer at the concept that an armed populace might keep arms against government tyranny, because a bunch of pistol-packing “gun nuts” have little to no chance of repelling a modern military force. This argument completely misses the point.  Regardless of the "futility" of taking on a professional army, a population that is unarmed doesn’t have much of a choice but to obey orders. But if the population is armed, the forces under a tyrant’s rule must do much more than impose curfews and display their weapons… at some point in time they would have to start pulling triggers and that would be difficult.  Oppression should not be easy neither should be having a secret police.  It is of course unlikely that such a scenario would ever be played out in the United States, not because our government is, has been or will be benevolent (although we have made gains in that area lately) but for the very reason that our population is well armed.

The right to keep and bear arms is vital and is a unique union of liberty and obligation. When you own a gun you are charged to tend to it and keep it secure, you have an obligation to be knowledgeable of firearm safety and you have the responsibility to yourself and others to behave in a manner (especially if you carry open or concealed) that is commensurate with the severity of the potential consequences associated with owning a firearm. It would do us good as a nation to realize that being free and exercising any of our rights does not exist in the absence of responsibility… or risk.

When you exercise your 2nd Amendment right, when you accept this duty of self defense, you are taking an active role in the protection of yourself and your family from the machinations of madmen. You have eliminated the often lengthy amount of time it will take for the police to respond to your call for help.  Something to keep in mind is that those times do not include the amount of time it takes to call 911, talk to a dispatcher, describe the situation and be told to stay on the line, that the police are on the way, all the while someone is breaking a window or a door to gain access to your house for unknown intent. This might be a well used adage but it still rings true that when seconds count the police are only minutes away.  

The contrary position to being armed is that it is the responsibility of the police to protect you.  Now this seems reasonable on its surface, but this is shown as a fallacy in the case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales.  Jessica Gonzales had a restraining order against her husband which he ignored.  He took their three children, murdered them, had a shoot out with the police and was killed.  The case went to the Supreme Court where they ruled “that enforcement of the restraining order was not mandatory under Colorado law; were a mandate for enforcement to exist, it would not create an individual right to enforcement that could be considered a protected entitlement”.  The police not only can’t protect you from being assaulted but, under the law, neither do they have a requirement to do so.

We are not children dependent on the State for protection.  We are adults with the duty to protect ourselves and our families.  To voluntarily give up this duty and give it to the state is in my opinion insanity and to lay down at the feet of criminals begging for our lives to be spared is an insult not only to our species but to the principles of independence and freedom our country was founded on.  The Second Amendment secures our right of self defense, defense against injury, violence, rape or death at the hands of criminals and tyranny at the hands of oppressors.  We need to embrace this duty, this unique birthright of our independence, make it our own, reclaim it from the right and ensure its place in our future.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to oldpunk on Tue Jun 15, 2010 at 06:11 AM PDT.


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