Firearms Policy Coalition Statement On Las Vegas Shooting

The Firearms Policy Coalition released the statement below yesterday. I think it makes some very pertinent points about civil liberties, civic virtue, trust in government, and opportunistic politicians.

It is not a short statement meant to be a sound bite. It is a serious response that needs to be read and digested and then read again.


Our hearts break for the
victims of the heinous mass murder in Las Vegas and our prayers are
with them, their families, and everyone affected by this
incomprehensible act of evil. While it is impossible to measure the
loss suffered in Sunday’s tragedy, the sting from this senseless
violence will doubtless be felt for years to come. 

We are deeply grateful for the law enforcement officers,
firefighters, paramedics, nurses, doctors, blood donors, and countless
volunteers who stood tall and delivered aid to the innocent in a time
of great need, as Americans do. 

Sadly, opportunistic politicians who prey on tragedies like this
one have already begun to suggest that our response should be to
abandon our constitutional principles in favor of policies that would
ban more guns, disarm more victims, and further expand “gun free
zones” — spaces shielded by nothing more than invisible lines and
wishful thinking. 

Such policies are not only irrational, but outright dangerous. As
every attack in what was purported to be a ‘gun-free’, ‘bomb-free’, or
‘vehicle-free’ zone proves, there is no set of laws that will prevent
evil people from monstrously plotting an effective means to harm

In a cruel and potentially dangerous irony, many—if not most—of the
same people who assert that we cannot possibly trust the government
under someone like President Donald Trump also claim that it
is only the government that we should trust to safely and
responsibly possess weapons like the most common semi-automatic rifle
in America, the AR-15. 

We know that the privileged and wealthy elite will purchase
paramilitary protective teams armed with the very firearms they so
desperately wish to put out of the reach of the common man, but the
rest of us would be left to hope and pray. 

That is why the Second Amendment’s guarantees are not a matter of
convenience, nor of need, nor even of want. The basic
 right to armed self-defense against unjust force
is precisely why our Founders enshrined it into our Constitution—to
protect it against the capricious nature of popular opinion, the
momentum of the mob, and those who would seek to limit it to a
watered-down, second-class privilege for some. 

Thankfully, as the Supreme Court correctly noted in the
landmark Heller decision, the “very enumeration of the right
takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of
Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the
right is really worthinsisting upon.” 

Nearly 15 years ago, the Ninth Circuit’s then-Chief Judge Alex
Kozinski aptly wrote that the “prospect of tyranny may not grab the
headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw
the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is
a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare
circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the
government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who
protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no
one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies
may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get
to make only once.” 

Every day, evil people and governments around the world employ
tools ranging from clenched fists to combat aircraft to perpetrate
unspeakable and unjustified crimes upon others. But objectivity and
reason compels us to recognize that those instruments are but the
means to the end, and not the end itself. Indeed, the span of human
history shows that such arms are also used to liberate the oppressed,
establish order and justice from anarchy, and defend innocent life
from cruel despots. 

The American people will not be bullied by killers or politicians
and neither will we cower against attacks on our most important civil
rights. We reject the notion that good, peaceable people and our basic
rights must suffer for the crimes of the wicked.
There is no more pure a victory for evil than for our society to
assault or eliminate the rights of good people in response to things
we did not do. And so a just world must hold accountable the writers
of history for their deeds, not the mere quills through which it is

We law-abiding people of America do not accept responsibility for
the evil, cowardly acts of the deranged and hateful among us, nor do
we accept blame for their unconscionable and cowardly uses of
instruments that can and do serve as instruments of self-defense and

A great champion of individual liberties once said that if civic
virtue does not reside in the people, no constitution, no bill of
rights, no legislative body, and no court will be able to preserve our

That is why, in troubled and troubling times like these, we are
honor-bound to stand united in defense of fundamental, individual
liberties, in all cases, and in spite of the incalculable grief we
feel for the victims of Las Vegas as fellow human beings. 

Firearms Policy Coalition takes seriously our chartered duty to
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially
the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear

FPC and our allies will continue fighting to defend and advance our
Constitution’s protection of fundamental human

Firearms Policy
is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially
the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear