Dominic Erdozain: Handguns ‘have no place in a civilian society’ By:

Dr. Dominic Erdozain is a research fellow at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Erdozain studied modern history at Oxford University and earned his MPhil and PhD at Cambridge. In March, he gave this presentation at the Warton Institute for International and Public Affairs.

Dominic Erdozain’s latest book, “One Nation Under Guns: How Gun Culture Distorts Our History and Threatens Our Democracy,” is, well, what you might expect: an anti-gun tome designed to convince readers that one’s fundamental right to keep and bear arms is deeply wrongheaded.

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Truth be told, I have not read the book nor do I plan to. The reason? Erdozain’s exclusive interview with ABC News tells us everything we need to know about the author and his work.

“So I suppose my most challenging chapter is called ‘The Myth of the Law-Abiding Citizen.’ Well, I just show the intimate connection between the good gun owner and the violence that we’re all suffering. And even if these law-abiding citizens are not committing crimes on an individual level, they’re feeding into the narrative and the legitimacy of arms,” Erdozain explained in his interview with ABC News.

In other words, he denies the fact that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people each year use firearms to defend themselves, their families, and their property—what we commonly refer to in the 2A community as defensive gun uses (DGUs).

On GunsAmerica, we highlight a story every week where a good guy with a gun uses it to neutralize a threat, be it a home invader, a carjacker, or a would-be mass killer. The point of publishing these stories is to make it abundantly clear that personal defense in America is not a “myth.” Responsible gun ownership does, indeed, save lives.

But Erdozain clearly doesn’t see it that way. Consider his take on handguns:

You know, I don’t think any living, breathing person should have a gun, especially handguns. I don’t have any problem with people having shotguns or hunting rifles, which align with the 19th and 20th century traditions of this country. However, I have a big problem with handguns and, obviously, assault weapons, high capacity, high velocity weapons.

He goes on to say that “they have no place in civilian society,” and that the data suggests “families of those people who are in the greatest danger.”

Yep. Crazy, right?

As we all know, the fundamental truth underpinning a civil society is not just laws and governance, but the inherent capacity of its citizens—specifically, the good guys—to employ appropriate levels of force against those who disrupt peace and security.

When lawful individuals are hamstrung by restrictive gun control measures, their ability to provide immediate defense in critical situations is compromised. This inhibition doesn’t lead to safety. Rather, it paves the way for chaos to thrive. It creates more victims.

History has shown us repeatedly that tranquil times are not the default setting for mankind; they must be vigilantly maintained and actively earned. In stripping citizens of their means to protect themselves and uphold public order, we risk not only the safety but also the very civility of our society.

In this context, Erdozain’s stance on banning handguns isn’t just impractical—it’s dangerously naive.

That said, we would gladly invite Dr. Erdozain to the gun range for some hands-on training. This would provide him the opportunity to fully appreciate the practical aspects and responsibilities of gun ownership. It’d also underscore the essential element he is overlooking, i.e. handguns are a must-have!

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