“Resistance is futile,” the evil Borg would warn enemies that they intended to assimilate into their collective on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It seems like we hear that exhortation from all types of progressive “experts” these days when it comes defending ourselves from those who would prey upon us.
While Colorado was passing its recent gun bans (including banning licensed concealed carry on college campuses), for instance, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs advised its students to vomit or urinate on themselves to repel a rapist. Active resistance could get the girl harmed, don’t you know? This despite the fact that research going all the way back to the Jimmy Carter administration shows that of attempted rapes 32% were actually committed, but when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.
Rape isn’t the only crime that armed defense has proven effective in resisting. After the Newton shootings President Obama called for a review of existing research on gun violence. The results he got probably weren’t what he was looking for. The assessment from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council concludes that crime victims who use guns in self-defense have lower injury rates than other victims.
One 2006 Florida State University study cited in the assessment found that “self-protection in general, both forceful and nonforceful, reduced the likelihood of property loss and injury, compared to nonresistance.” It found that using a gun in self-defense reduced the risk of property loss as well minor or serious injury to the victim. In clinical language, it concludes: “Combined with the fact that injuries following resistance are almost always relatively minor, victim resistance appears to be generally a wise course of action.” In other words, “Resist, damn it!”
You can see the macro-effects of individual armed resistance on our crime rates as well. Since violent crime peaked in 1991, twenty-four more states have enacted “shall issue” laws giving citizens a lawful means to carry the most effective tool of resistance. Researchers found that “when state concealed handgun laws went into effect[,] murders fell by 8.5 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent.” In our nation we now see that gun ownership is at an all-time high while the nation’s murder rate is at all-time lows. (Despite this, 56% of Americans think gun crime is worse than 20 years ago. Thank you mainstream media!)
Of course our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms wasn’t meant just to give us the means to resist muggers, murderers and rapists. It also gives us a defense “against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers” (in the words of jurist and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story).
Although 65% of Americans believe the 2nd Amendment exists as a hedge against tyranny, I’ve heard this idea pooh-poohed by modern intelligentsia who believe that common citizens armed with light weapons would no longer be able to stand up to a foreign invader or domestic tyrant armed with heavy weapons and even nuclear weapons. (“Resistance is futile.”)
However, there are numerous examples of primitive indigenous forces wreaking havoc on more-advanced foreign occupiers. The Afghans, for instance, were able to fight the Soviets for nearly a decade, eventually expelling them, and they have kept us hemorrhaging blood and treasure and unable to declare victory for over twelve years now.
Whether the tyrannical oppressor is foreign or domestic, in his book The War of the Flea, Robert Taber makes a convincing case that as long a guerrilla force retains the support and good will of the general populace it is very nearly unbeatable. An American resistance movement fighting honorably against despotism would no doubt retain a great deal of popular support from the American people.
Even if it were to fail, would it not be better to try? Better to stand against tyranny? Is not better to die on your feet than live on your knees? In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book about the Soviet forced labor camp system, it is recounted how the victims of Communist brutality regretted not standing up against their oppressors early on:
“During an arrest, you think since you are not guilty, how can they arrest you? Why should you run away? And how can you resist right then? After all, you’ll only make your situation worse; you will make it more difficult for them to sort out the mistake.
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family?
“Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?
“The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! We did not love freedom enough. Every man always has handy a dozen glib little reasons why he is right not to sacrifice himself.”
No wonder that our Founding Fathers wrote in several of their state Bills of Rights that, “The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” Whether it be against the petty crimes of street criminals or the high crimes of tyrants: Stand and resist!