Notre Dame Professor Claims Only Those Living In Dangerous Neighborhoods Need Guns for Self-Defense: Why the Head in the Sand Defense Isn't a Good One

First, click on the link and read the op-ed editorial posted to The New York Times Opinion Pages by Notre Dame professor Gary Gutting:

He starts the article off by bringing up recent mas shootings and deplores each and every one of us to ask ourselves the following question:

"Should I own a gun?"

He then goes on to make a blanket statement that is absolutely ridiculous:

"Unless you live in (or frequent) dangerous neighborhoods or have family or friends likely to threaten you, it’s very unlikely that you’ll need a gun for self-defense."

This statement makes one of the most dangerous assumptions a person can make, and it's one gun control advocates across the United States make daily.  "It won't happen to me." This defense is one I've heard and seen time and time again when debating gun control and it's one I can personally attest to.

I don't reveal a lot about my personal life on here, but I'm about to reveal something very personal here. There's a very good reason why I'm a gun owner. Growing up, my mom was a staunch gun control advocate who constantly beat into my head the evils of gun ownership. She lived in a nice neighborhood and constantly pointed out how she didn't have anything to worry about because of where she lived. As I moved into adulthood, I wasn't against guns, but found myself feeling ambivalent about gun ownership. I didn't hate firearms, but I didn't really see a strong need to own one.

After all, I lived in a nice neighborhood and the chances of me needing a gun were slim to none.

When I bought my second house, I picked a small town with a population of less than 30,000 and a relatively low crime rate. I thought I was safe and slept well at night thinking I was safe and sound in my nice neighborhood.

My myopic utopia was shattered one Sunday afternoon when I was out and about and received a phone call from a neighbor, who told me three men had attempted to break into my home around 1 PM in the afternoon. He told me the men had knocked on my front door and when nobody answered they'd hopped the fence into my yard. His son saw them and called the police, who arrived 10 minutes later and scared them off.

We headed home, thanking our lucky stars we weren't home at the time. We didn't realize just how lucky we'd gotten until we spoke with our neighbors and assessed the damage these criminals had done to the house.

As soon as I got home, my neighbor caught me in the driveway and explained what his son had seen. A chill ran down my spine as I listened to my neighbor explain the way the men were acting. He said they were obviously high or drunk and had tried to stop a car driving down the street and pick a fight with them. They were screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs and were making threatening gestures at the vehicle as it drove by.

When I assessed the damage done to my house, a chill went up my spine. There were 7 bullet holes in the second story of my house. The men had stood outside the fence on a public street in broad daylight and had shot over the fence, spraying bullets into the wall and window of my house. The gun, which was found a couple hours later in a neighbor's garbage can, was a .22 and most of the bullets didn't make it through the wall. There were 2 bullets that hit the window and made their way into the house. Both of them ricocheted through my game room, bouncing off the ceiling and leaving two holes at head height in the wall on the opposite side of room as the window.

The shooting had to have happened before the men knocked on my door and none of my neighbors heard a thing.

After shooting the side of the house, the men brazenly walked up to my front door. This is when my neighbor's son, who happened to be looking out his bedroom window at the time, noticed the men. He said they were acting erratically and it caught his attention. They knocked and nobody answered, so one man stayed out by the street to keep lookout while the other two entered my backyard. We don't know what exactly they did in the yard, but at some point they took the transom saver off of my boat in the side yard and broke the window to my sons room with it.

Luckily, my neighbor's son had the good sense to tell his dad what was going on and they called the police. The police arrived 10 or so minutes later. The lookout saw the police coming and all three men took off running through my yard. They hopped a few fences and all three of them escaped, never to be seen again.

I got lucky that day.

I'll never know what would have happened had we been home and answered the door that day, but I know it wouldn't have been good. These men were looking for trouble and had no problem shooting at a dwelling that could have been occupied.

Had we been home, we would have had no way to defend ourselves against these men. We would have been sitting ducks. I realized that day that there is no magical good neighborhood fairy who keeps bad men from coming into good neighborhoods to commit their crimes. I got lucky and learned the easy way.

A few bullet holes and a broken window are a small price to pay to learn that lesson. Many people aren't so lucky and pay for it with their lives.

I am now armed and have prepared myself in case a similar situation occurs. Is it likely to happen again? No, but it did happen and I got lucky once. I'm not betting on getting lucky again.

Liberal gun-grabbers can bury their heads in the sand all they want. Most of them have never felt the helpless feeling I felt as I heard my neighbor tell me a group of men attempted to break into my house in broad daylight. Most of them have never felt the pain I felt when I found bullet holes in the 2nd story of my house and realized I could have been at home when this happened. They've never felt completely helpless as they consider the possibilities of getting caught completely defenseless against men dead set on doing harm to their families.

They've never felt the anger, frustration and humility associated with almost falling victim to violent crime.

I have felt it and vowed that day to never be defenseless again. Fewer guns in the hands of good citizens do not make the world a safer place. They make it so the good citizens of America are unable to defend themselves when the bad guys come calling. And they do come calling, more often than you'd like to believe.

Mr. Gutting, here's what I say to your article. It can happen to you. I hope it never does, but it can happen in your neighborhood. Is it likely? No, but most victims of violent crime will tell you they never thought it would happen to them. Will you be defenseless if it does happen?