In truth, one who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God’s gift of life (or, in modern parlance, does not properly value himself), does not live up to his responsibilities to his family and community, and proclaims himself mentally and morally deficient, because he does not trust himself to behave responsibly. In truth, a state that deprives its law-abiding citizens of the means to effectively defend themselves is not civilized but barbarous, becoming an accomplice of murderers, rapists, and thugs and revealing its totalitarian nature by its tacit admission that the disorganized, random havoc created by criminals is far less a threat than are men and women who believe themselves free and independent, and act accordingly.
Jeffrey R. Snyder
A Nation of Cowards
[It’s probably been 20 years since I read this. I linked to it on a very old web page of mine here. The link there, and nearly all the others as well, are dead. I was somewhat surprised that many of the things I have said in more recent years had been said, more eloquently, in Snyder’s essay in 1993. I should reread that powerful essay more frequently and use his words instead of substituting my resuscitation of the dusty, vague, memories of decades old enlightenment.