It is time to trot out my old gun posts to counteract the tsunami of leftist Unsinn washing over us because of the recent massacres in Oregon and Connecticut. Here is one from December of 2010, slightly revised.
How should we deal with offensive speech? As a first resort, with more speech, better, truer, more responsible speech. Censorship cannot be ruled out, but it must be a last resort. We should respond similarly to the misuse of firearms. Banning firearms is no solution since (i) bans have no effect on criminals who, in virtue of being criminals, have no respect for law, and (ii) bans violate the liberty of the law-abiding. To punish the law-abiding while failing vigorously to pursue scofflaws is the way of the contemporary liberal. The problem is not guns, but guns in criminal hands. Ted Kennedy's car killed more people than my gun. The solution, or part of it, is guns in law-abiding hands.
Would an armed citizen in the vicinity of the Virginia Polytechnic shooter have been able to reduce his carnage? It is likely. Don't ask me how likely. Of course, there is the chance that an armed citizen in the confusion of the moment would have made things worse. Who knows?
But if you value liberty then you will be willing to take the risk. As I understand it, the Commonwealth of Virginia already has a concealed carry law. Now if you trust a citizen to carry a concelaed weapon off campus, why not trust him to carry it on campus? After all, on campus there is far less likelihood of a situation arising where the weapon would be needed. Conservatives place a high value on self-reliance, individual liberty, and individual responsibility. Valuing self-reliance and liberty, a conservative will oppose any attempt to limit his self-reliance by infringing his right to defend himself, a right from which one may infer the right to own a handgun. (As I argue elsewhere; see the category Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms.) And appreciating as he does the reality and importance of individual responsibility, he will oppose liberal efforts to blame guns for the crimes committed by people using guns.
Nothing I have written will convince a committed liberal. As I have argued elsewhere, Left-Right differences are rooted in value-differences that cannot be rationally adjudicated. But my intention is not to try to enlighten the terminally benighted; my intention is to clarify the issue.
Persuasion and agreement are well-nigh impossible to attain; clarification, however, is a goal well within reach. We must be clear about what we believe and why we believe it and how it differs from the beliefs of the benighted. And in the light of that clarity we must carry the fight to our enemies.