Ken Connor

People are taking this admonition to heart. As more and more deranged individuals target public places for their violent rampages, more and more individuals are taking measures necessary to protect themselves. The demand for concealed weapons permits is burgeoning. Many seniors, including women, are getting certified. As people witness America's social fabric unraveling before their eyes, they see their government's impotent and misguided response and they are determined to competently execute their right to self-defense.

There's no denying that the problem of gun violence is complex. An increased coarsening of the culture, the depreciation of the value of human life as demonstrated in violent video games and movies, a general loss of respect for the rights of others, the politically-driven mainstreaming of the mentally ill into society (rather than institutionalizing them for the safety of themselves and others), and a failure to stem the flow of illegal weapons into the hands of criminals and the insane – all of these components play a role. There's no way that our government can protect us from all of these threats, and in some cases, it won't protect us from these threats because doing so would jeopardize its cozy relationships with various special interests.

Criminals aren't stupid. They are shrewd and they know how to take advantage of a population that has become complacent and vulnerable. The surest defense against an armed criminal is to be armed yourself. In the end, we the people are responsible for our own safety and that of our families, neighbors, and loved ones – and we have a constitutionally-protected right to the tools necessary to secure that safety.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.