HuffPo Blogger: Self-Defense is Never Legal

photo from the thewellarmedwoman.com

The Huffington Post has never been a big fan of 2nd Amendment rights, but recently, they blew a loud trumpet, posting a three-part series explaining why the section of the Constitution guaranteeing Americans the right to bear arms needs to be revised.

In the third installment, blogger Justin Curmi takes on one of the aspects to gun ownership that usually draws very few arguments: one’s right to defend themselves from mortal danger. Curmi posits that any act of self defense is technically illegal, flying in the face of two centuries of legal precedent.

“The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right to a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal, because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights,” Curmi writes.

He then goes on to describe how allowing anyone not thoroughly screened somehow to “ensure mental capacity” to own a gun would damage the domestic tranquility of our nation.

“Therefore, if we ponder and meditate on the recent events in news about guns, it would be obvious that the current state is incorrect,” he writes. “A gun for civilians is a weapon for a revolution and not for ordinary use. The belief that a gun is a useful tool to protect one is counterintuitive because guns get into the hands of people who use them for horrible reasons.”

He then goes on to cite a “study” done by ABC in which armed people in a classroom were put in a mock active shooter situation and they performed poorly, as proof that average citizens are incapable of defending themselves with a firearm anyway, so they shouldn’t be allowed to have them. Watch the video of the so-called study and see for yourself if it’s proof positive that only police officers with the proper training should be permitted to defend themselves and the rest of the country:

The responses on HuffPo’s site came quickly, and fiercely. An early commenter, Andrew Durkee, posted a lengthy response to the article in which he takes Curmi to task point by point, writing:

“The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial.”

We cannot assume that “justice” always means a fair trial. Otherwise, every action would need to be deemed appropriate by a judicial body before it can be affected. Instead, Justice in a purer sense simply means “just treatment.” Self Defense is defined as the reasonable use of force to a threat from the attack of an aggressor. In other words, if someone threatens violent action upon you, appropriate just treatment would be to respond with violent action, until the threat of force ceases.

Additionally, to assume that killing in self-defense denies a fair trial (through the 4th amendment) is absurd. The 4th amendment does not apply to individuals. You or I cannot deny someone a fair trial, only the government. I will also point out that killing is not the goal of self-defense. The goal is to stop the threat (i.e. If the threat runs away, I cannot chase after them).

Lastly, Self-Defense is not a legal loophole, or get-out-of-jail-free card. There are plenty of legal mechanics in place to identify and prosecute those who misuse the right of self-defense (its called a murder trial).

“Second, if one’s brain is distorting his or her reality, they do not have the proper reasoning and deduction skills to use a firearm.”

Again, the government must prove this. Not the individual.

“The belief that a gun is a useful tool to protect one is counterintuitive because guns get into the hands of people who use them for horrible reasons.”

These two are not mutually exclusive. How someone else uses a tool does not qualify how I use it. A similarly false statement would be: The belief that a car is a useful tool for commuting to work is counterintuitive because cars get into the hands of people who use them to drive drunk.”

“In addition, there are reasons why cops are trained to use a firearm in stressful situations. It is not to keep their mind at ease or anything of that sort, but to be able to fire accurately at the target in the correct location.”

And that is what training is for. There is nothing magical about a badge that makes a police officer shoot better under fire. Additionally, there is nothing unique at a police academy that gives them the proper training. In fact, my local civilian range contracts its space out to local police and military for small arms training. And the vast majority of civilian firearm instructors are prior police and military.

“the United States government is lobbied to not study or fund research that observes the effects of guns.”

Incorrect, the law specifically outlaws the funding of research with the express purpose of promoting gun control. In the 90’s the higher ups at the CDC got caught producing bunk research. There is no blanket ban on gun violence research.

The CDC recently contracted a study on gun violence that indicated guns are used to prevent crime more often than they are used to commit violent crime at a rate of at least 10:1.

“But, there was one study by ABC, which observed using guns in a classroom. All the participations poorly performed at the mock situation.”

This was a poorly conducted “study” that was produced purely for ratings. The “carrying” students were set up for failure, in that the mock school shooter knew exactly where they were sitting and shot them first. Nobody cites this “study” as any kind of proof because its scientifically terrible and, frankly, terrible television.

That pretty much says it all, but if you want to read more comments, very few of them in favor of the post, go here. Craig Lassiter from Maine goes as far as to suggest the article wasn't written by a real person:

“This article appears to be computer generated. The syntax and grammar are all wrong and whatever point you’re making is lost in the lack of a (sic) consistent logical theme.