The right to self defense is one of our most fundamental rights. Few people will argue against that. However, some believe that people should not be allowed to arm themselves. Libertarians strongly disagree.
Imagine a small person, walking home after a late shift at work. Imagine that person is attacked by someone twice their size. The victim fights back but is unable to defend themselves against the much larger attacker.
Now imagine if the victim was armed. With the help of a gun, the victim has a chance at self defense against the much larger attacker.
Gun rights are important for everyone, but especially those that are physically weaker.
Banning guns would not curb violence or deaths…it will just change the nature of violence and deaths. It would result in violent criminals having more power to perpetrate violence against innocent people. Violent criminals will be emboldened if they know that average Americans are unable to defend themselves.
And banning guns would mean people who should be free to go about their business, for example traveling home from work after dark, will live in greater fear. It will mean that people who live in more dangerous areas (and who are typically poorer) have fewer options to defend themselves and their families.
Libertarians support people’s rights to defend themselves and to arm themselves. We see it as immoral for government to try to prevent someone from doing so.
Advocacy of controversial political or social views frequently provokes violent antagonisms and convert withdrawal of police protection. During the civil rights turmoil in the South, Klan violence might have been worse if some blacks had not had guns to fight back. In contrast, political opposition groups in Mexico and Spain where civilian possession of guns is forbidden have been helpless against mob violence. Women would also be handicapped by gun restrictions, particularly in today's violent society where women increasingly choose lifestyles independent of male protection. Women are as capable of combat shooting as men, as demonstrated in several incidents where women successfully prevented rape or robbery with guns. Although the Eisenhower Commission's Firearms Task Force Report concluded that a gun was ineffective in preventing unexpected burglary or robbery in private homes, the report did not develop comprehensive statistics on the number of lives saved by armed citizens. However, another national survey showed that householders against whom crimes were attempted injured far more criminals than killed and captured without shooting far more criminals than they wounded. The frequency of successful self-defense cases is unknown because many are not reported. However, civilian firearms training programs in Florida and Michigan have been followed by a decrease in violent crime. Misleading American statistics and misrepresentations of the british experience have led many people to believe that banning handguns would reduce violence. Demands for gun control allow us to ignore out own unwillingness either to make fundamental changes in values and institutions or to accept and live with a violent society. Several studies have demonstrated that gun restrictions have no effect on reducing crime in violent societies. Switzerland's firearms violence rate is negligible even though it has the world's highest rate of gun possession among civilians. A University of Wisconsin study which compared each State's gun control laws with crime data found no correlations between lower crime rates and gun control or between high civilian pistol ownership and violence. A handgun probation would be virtually unenforceable because of the attitudes of many Americans, and even partial enforcement would not be worth the enormous cost in civil liberities. Eight references are cited.
D B Kates (1976). Why a Civil Libertarian Opposes Gun Control. Civil Liberties Review, Volume 3 (2), 24-32