As terrorists continue to attack freedom around the world—and here at home—we can stand with the people of other nations in solidarity to resist the tyranny of despicable evil. Solidarity shown for the free peoples of the world subjected to horrific terrorist attacks by savages can be as simple as merely putting the colors of an assaulted nation’s flag on your Facebook page. It shows both friends and enemies where we stand. But Americans have the ability to do something that, frankly, many Europeans wish they could. Places where generations of politicians have denied their people both the means and the right to armed self-defense.
But in America we need not limit our reaction to a social media status update. Unlike other parts of the world, the right to legitimate armed self-defense is not denied to Americans. Je suis un citoyen armé. Simply translated, “I am an armed citizen.”
As an individual citizen, you have the choice to carry the means of armed self-defense with you. This is a right that is denied in some areas and states, but the law-biding citizen throughout the overwhelming majority of this country can decide to carry a firearm if that is part of his or her own personal security solution. You do not have to, no one is forcing you—and you must follow the law. But this is a choice more and more Americans make every day.
Americans are reacting to world events at the gun shop counter and at the county courthouse. The sale of firearms continues at record levels. In talking to representatives of the firearm industry, one category that shows no sign of slowing is the concealed-carry handgun. At the same time, concealed-carry permit applications continue to increase throughout the nation—Texas is up more than double, nearly three times the same period for last year. The demand for firearms and carry permits are not unconnected to world events.
NRA’s Executive Vice President recently spoke at Liberty University, saying “The hard facts are we can't predict where evil may strike—the next campus, the next church, the next shopping mall or airport. We do know evil will eventually strike again. And if, God forbid, a monster should walk onto this campus, that evil will be met with the one indisputable fact of liberty: that the surest way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Mere kilometers from where terrorists detonated bombs, killing and maiming the innocent, at the Brussels airport and at the subway stop for the offices of the European Union, is one of the world’s greatest firearm manufacturers. That company, Fabrique Nationale, produces both military and civilian firearms—including the legendary Browning High Power—le Grande Puissance. But unless you are an agent of the state, you are extremely unlikely to be able to own—let alone carry—a gun in defense of yourself and others.
Americans are different from citizens of the world. We have the Second Amendment. For many of us in our everyday lives, we can choose to have the means of self-defense on our person.
The attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the horrific Paris attacks that followed and now the attacks in Brussels, demonstrate that those who seek to use terror to force their worldview on others show no sign of relenting. Here in the United States we have had such attacks in San Bernardino, at Fort Hood, in Moore and in Chattanooga.
Having the means of armed self-defense on your person is no absolute guarantor of safety. But what it does is give you a choice. It says that you have made the decision to defend yourself and others in the event of such terrorist acts. Want to know why so many American are buying guns? Turn on the news. Je suis un citoyen armé.