The Corner

Intellectuals and Self-Defense

Today on Uncommon Knowledge, Thomas Sowell, author of Intellectuals and Society. Discussing the unease that intellectuals display toward the need for the nation to defend itself, Sowell notes that they’re no more comfortable with the need for individuals to do so.

You can renounce war, but that does not stop your neighbor from building up the biggest army in the world and coming in and killing you. It’s much like the thinking about gun control. You can say, “Well listen, I don’t think people should have guns.” Hey, I wish people didn’t have guns, but the fact is that passing a law does not stop people from having guns. It just makes you defenseless. Take Britain – the burglary rate is far higher there than in the United States, and British burglars do not case the place before they go in. . . . In Britain [gun control] has made burglary a safe occupation. It’s like OSHA for burglars!

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Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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