Wouldn’t any decent person wish for a world without guns? In my view, only someone who doesn’t understand violence could wish for such a world. A world without guns is one in which the most aggressive men can do more or less anything they want. . . A world without guns, therefore, is one in which the advantages of youth, size, strength, aggression, and sheer numbers are almost always decisive. Who could be nostalgic for such a world?
Firearms are the great equalizer. I’m dubious about the integration of females into combat arms, but we wouldn’t even be having the conversation if we were still using swords and pikes.
About 2/3 of the way through, he goes off the rails about founder’s intent of the second amendment (Supreme Court and contextual writings be damned) and how yokels with AR-15s couldn’t possibly be a bulwark against the federal military might (although I note yokels with AK-47s have been doing it for a decade now). His end state is worth noting, however:
Rather than new laws, I believe we need a general shift in our attitude toward public violence—wherein everyone begins to assume some responsibility for containing it. It is worth noting that this shift has already occurred in one area of our lives, without anyone’s having received special training or even agreeing that a change in attitude was necessary: Just imagine how a few men with box cutters would now be greeted by their fellow passengers at 30,000 feet.
I don’t know why you would assert that everyone has some responsibility for maintaining their own safety, but then determine that access to the most effective means for doing so should be limited only to those who can afford expensive training, testing, and certification akin to flying an airplane (his example). If that isn’t an elitist attitude, what is?
I don’t really believe in gun rights. I believe in a fundamental human right to effective defense. For it to be meaningful, the right to defense implies and requires access to effective means by which to exercise it. The fact that these means are frequently (and illegally) misused does not change that basic reality. Outlawing firearms gives a monopoly on effective use of force to the young, the fast, and the strong. Only if you believe no one should ever use force for anything could you be internally consistent in advocating this state of affairs.
[Edit: National Review took a shot at this idea back in 2001. This piece highlights both the absurdities in trying to prevent access to high school shop-level technology and the realities of pre-firearms violence and society. The genie is not going back in the bottle.]