Daniel Gardner

What are the consequences of infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms? Could the consequences be worse than the problem we’re trying to solve?

Amy Swearer, senior legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and Lucas Drill, a member of the Young Leaders Program, both at The Heritage Foundation, wrote an article for The Daily Signal titled, “Guns Saved These Americans From Assault and Robbery in July.”

They wrote, “In an effort to keep the national conversation grounded in this important context, every month this year we’ve highlighted just a handful of the many times law-abiding citizens have used their firearms in defense of their rights or the rights of those around them.”

In 2013, researchers from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council compiled and analyzed data from a number of studies on gun violence in America. They found “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”

Yes, people in America defend themselves with guns at least 500,000 times every year. To be clear, defense does not always indicate shooting the gun. Sometimes displaying a gun is enough to defend against an attack.

In 2018, the Center for Disease Control released data showing firearms are used defensively about 1 million times each year in America. In their article, Swearer and Drill documented a few cases of defensive uses of firearms last month. They also included links to examples in every month so far this year. One of these real-life cases answers the oft-asked rhetorical question, “Why would anyone need an assault weapon with a large magazine?”

From the article: “July 10, Summerfield, Florida. A disabled 61-year-old homeowner kept his AR-15 loaded by his bedside after a suspicious interaction earlier in the day with a man who was looking through the sliding glass door on his back porch. When the homeowner awoke to loud noises that night, he grabbed his rifle just in time to defend himself from four armed men who had broken into his home. He killed two of the armed intruders and sent the other two fleeing until they were tracked down by a police K9 unit. Despite being outnumbered and wounded himself, the homeowner survived.”

In this case, and many like it every month in America, a good guy with an AR-15 defended himself and stopped four armed bad guys. Swearer and Drill wrote, “These types of everyday, lawful gun uses are not something we can afford to forget in our desire to just ‘do something’ about mass public shootings, which, while statistically incredibly rare, still strike terror into our souls and break our hearts.”

What are the consequences of infringing the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms, even so-called assault weapons? The first murder was one generation removed from Adam. An assault weapon is anything a bad person uses to attack innocent people.

Don’t be distracted by the bumper-sticker political rhetoric that threatens even more deadly consequences to law-abiding citizens who have the right to bear arms. Remember, stopping bad guys from attacking innocent people is the goal.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi. You may contact him at

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Mississippi. You may contact him at