Monday, April 30, 2007

Unwittingly Armed: The Hypocrisy of Hillary

"If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns." The old saw is not quite true; it misses a huge group of people who will remain well armed in the wake of gun prohibition.

I realized this while watching the Democrat Presidential Debate. Brian Williams asked the candidates to raise their hands if they had kept a gun in the house during their adult life. Several raised their hands to acknowledge that guns are an important part of the American tradition of individual freedom and responsibility. Sen. Hillary Clinton did not raise her hand.

Yet, Sen. Clinton most assuredly did have a gun in her home from 1992-2000. Unless the Secret Service was armed only with batons during the Clinton administration, she had many guns in her home. Even assault weapons. The only reason she did not think to raise her hand is that she did not have to concern herself with the nitty-gritty of firearms self-defense. She could afford to have someone else worry about it for her. Those of us who do not have access to the U.S. Treasury for our self-defense needs must take responsibility for ourselves, or remain defenseless.

Why is a professional, semi-private security force like the Secret Service (or a private force like Rosie O'Donnell's armed guards) any different from private gun ownership? Training and firepower for professional bodyguards and private gun owners differ - but only in relation to the likely threats. Is one a legitimate exercise of the right to self-defense, but the other not?

If private ownership of guns is outlawed, the only people with guns will be those who can afford them - both the criminals who can afford to go to prison if caught with an illegal gun and the wealthy who can afford to hire armed guards. These groups will not feel the sting of gun prohibition.

It's the rest of us who will be defenseless.

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