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Respecting the poor

Scott Walter author image /

Over at, I ask, Why doesn’t the Left trust the law-abiding poor to have guns to defend themselves from violence? I put the question to my left-wing friend Rick Cohen, who recently cast doubt on whether any home should have a gun.

After pointing out that the statistics on these issues are hotly debated by both sides, I add,

Rick, I believe both of us think moral arguments are more important than statistical squabbling. As your fellow populist, I challenge you to walk around dangerous neighborhoods where poor people live and ask law-abiding families whether they think they’ll be safer if their guns are taken from them, and whether gun ownership is too grand for the likes of them—a special privilege to be accorded to professionals only.

I trust law-abiding poor people to handle weapons honorably, and I believe that ordinary law-abiding citizens have a right and a duty to participate in the protection of their communities. Why don’t you?

The Author

Scott Walter

Walter served in the George W. Bush administration as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and was vice president for publications and research at the Philanthropy Roundtable. There…