After last week’s killings the cry for banning guns is again heard throughout the land. Yet, if banning guns worked, Washington, D.C. Chicago, Detroit and New York would be the safest cities in the country. In Washington, D.C. it has been illegal since 1976 to own any handguns or to keep any type of gun in your home unlocked and fully assembled. However, Washington D.C. is one of the “murder capitals of the United States.”

Each of these cities have severe gun control laws, yet they rank among the most dangerous places in the country. In all these cities, violent criminals can easily obtain the most deadly weapons available.

The police cannot always protect you, but maybe you can protect yourself. If a criminal attacks you, the police will respond, if you can notify them, and you have time to wait until they arrive. Unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for a thug to rob, rape, or murder. Making guns illegal will disarm law-abiding citizens. That gives a “gun free” city for violent criminals to attack without fear of defense.

That was just the small picture, as I lived in Los Angeles, during the 1992 “Rodney King Riots,” where police abandoned entire neighborhoods. Thugs were burning homes and businesses, dragging innocent people from their cars, beating them senseless. The police were overwhelmed and could do nothing to protect them. So community residents had to ban together, they barricaded their streets and used guns to protect their homes and families.

This is the real reason for the second amendment and the case is described in the third amendment. We have to be able to defend ourselves in the event of government failure or being overbearing. The reason for guns is not sporting, its protection from personal attacks, group violence and government failure. A recent survey showed 50% of Americans were afraid of the government. Shocking, but when we see some of the conflicts like the Bundy standoff, we see many afraid of government and near a flash point.

Disarming citizens would simply put all of us at the mercy of well-armed criminals, police failure and government tyranny. Given a choice between obeying the law and being able to continue to defend ourselves, our homes, our families, and our communities, millions will ignore such law.

America was born as an open and armed society. Guns are part of our traditions and remain essential for the preservation of our safety and our liberty. We need our guns to protect ourselves from crime and to deter would-be tyrants. The picture of SWAT-teams invading our homes in the dead of night to confiscate our guns is repugnant to Americans. Storm troopers against citizens, yet that is a possible future.

Whatever the penalties, millions of Americans will not peacefully surrender their guns. Honest and law-abiding citizens will lie, evade, and in some cases kill to defend their rights.  Thomas Jefferson once said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Are we near that time in America?