Praise God, Capt. Richard Phillips is safe and alive in the hands of the US Navy. Snipers killed three pirates and freed Capt Phillips as the brigands pointed their AK-47s at the American and threatened to kill him. The story is here.
Back home, there’s a lesson to be learned. The pirate problem off the Somalian coast is an apt analogy for the guns control debate back in the States. The only reason piracy succeeds off Somalia is because the pirates know the crews are unarmed. If they thought for one minute that the crews would fire back, would-be pirates would think twice about trying to scale a steel shipside into the face of waiting gun barrels. A few well placed shots by the ship’s crew at the approaching speedboats would stop the operation cold before any boarding ever took place. Eventually, piracy would come to a virtual halt as word got out that crews shoot back.
Back home, gun control advocates must explain why that same dynamic would not hold true in our neighborhoods stateside. In the Gulf of Aden, the navies of many countries patrol the sea, but by necessity remain in reactive mode and can only respond after a piracy has taken place. They simply cannot cover enough ocean to be everywhere a crime might take place. The domestic police who patrol our neighborhoods are in exactly the same position. They serve perpetually in reactive mode, showing up after a crime has taken place.
Now imagine that American citizens — as the ship crews in the Gulf of Aden should be — were armed and trained in the use of their weapons, ready to defend themselves and their families from criminals. Imagine that the couple that walks in the park at night, like a ship plying the African waters, is armed. How many criminals would approach? How many home invasions would occur? Once it became a near certainty that accosting a citizen might result in instant death, criminals would begin to seek alternate occupations.
This is the argument gun control advocates don’t want to have. Next time you are confronted with a liberal who wants to ban your handguns, ask him exactly how he proposes to stop piracy in Africa. His answer will either be a pointless stream of bilge about international resolve, blah, blah,… or it will be that he thinks ships crews should be armed. Either way, you’ve got him. International resolve stops nothing. It didn’t stop the N. Koreans from launching a three stage missile. It hasn’t stopped the Iranian mullahs from their quest to build a nuclear weapon. And it will never stop piracy. Now, as always, self defense — from common criminals or from pirates — can only be accomplished by the citizen, or sailor, becoming the prepared defender. The Second Amendment is what gives us the right to rely on ourselves to do what police, or navies, can never do for us.