Jacob G. Hornberger
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of New York City’s strict gun-control law. While the city permits the issuance of concealed-carry permits, they are rarely granted. That means that people in the city are prohibited by law from carrying a gun that could be used to defend themselves from murderers, rapists, and robbers.
Let’s assume that a woman goes into the New York City subway system late at night. No one else is around. She’s 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She encounters a guy who is 6 foot 2 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. The guy grabs her and attempts to rape her.
What is that woman supposed to do? Fight back? That’s a joke. Unless she is a black belt in karate, she will have no chance of resisting that man’s assault.
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However, let’s suppose she has a Glock 9mm pistol in her purse, which she quickly pulls out when the man grabs her. Now things have suddenly become equalized. It doesn’t matter how small she is or how large he is. A bullet fired into his abdomen is going to stop him from raping her.
Thus, what the New York City law does is that it takes away people’s right of self-defense. It essentially forces that woman to succumb to the rape and just hope that the rapist doesn’t kill her after raping her.
New York City officials think that their law prevents “bad guys” from carrying guns. That’s ridiculous. “Bad guys” don’t care if they are violating a gun-control law. It’s only peaceful and law-abiding people who comply with a gun-control law.
Take the case of our hypothetical rapist. Is he going to say to himself, “I’m going to go out and rape someone but I guess I had better leave my handgun at home because it’s against the law to carry it”? Of course not. If a man doesn’t care about complying with a rape law, he’s not going to care about complying with a gun-control law.
So, even if he does have a gun, at least an armed woman has a fighting chance to survive, especially if she is a better shot than he is. New York City’s gun-control law takes that chance away from her and forces her to just succumb to the rape and quite possibly her murder.
Moreover, the city’s gun-control law actually makes the situation more dangerous for peaceful and law-abiding people. That’s because the law converts the entire city into a gun-free zone. Rapists and murderers love gun-free zones because they can act with the reasonable assurance that their victims lack the means to fight back.
In the absence of New York City’s gun-control law, there would be a certain percentage of people carrying concealed weapons. Murderers and rapists would not know which people are carrying and which ones are not. Therefore, the fact that some people will be carrying would serve as a deterrent to would-be murderers and rapists.
People have the fundamental right of self-defense. With its gun-control law, New York City has destroyed that right. Let’s hope the Supreme Court rules the right way and restores the right of self-defense to people in New York City.