The great respect and admiration for Dr. Sowell the Armadillo has notwithstanding, he finds a rare moment of disagreement with the good Doctor. It seems that in this instant Dr. Sowell yields principle to outcome based thinking––the moral equivalent of economic short term thinking.
The second amendment was not included in the Constitution because the Founders thought doing so would result in less violence or fewer deaths than otherwise. (The Founders were not so intellectually poisoned with collectivism as we are to even have such a noxious thought occur to them, even fleetingly). The second amendment was placed there because defending yourself and your family from attack, injury or harm, regardless of the source, is a natural right--even, nay, especially if the source of that attack, injury or harm is an overreaching, intrusive and tyrannical government.
What of the number of deaths with or without second amendment rights? Logic dictates that if society is unusually violent and criminal acts are widespread then the second amendment may result in a relatively large number deaths by gun shot reported. What may be missed by the enemies of the second amendment who point out these deaths is the number of rapes, deaths by other means, and robberies that were prevented because the second amendment rights were in effect.
Opponents of the second amendment often talk as if taking away guns would end violence. It would not. It would not even end gun violence. It would just make that violence one-sided. It would simply put the naturally violent and despotic (politicians, criminals and military) in full control with no civil resistance possible. We, as a people, would be virtually helpless, just as the people in communist China are presently in their disarmed state. There anyone with a pocket knife with a blade over three inches can be arrested. I know that because I was told when I was there to leave my father's pocket knife in my hotel room because I could otherwise be arrested.
In an episode of All in the Family Mike (Meat Head) says to his father-in-law, "Arch, did you know 20,000 people died in the US last year from gun shot?" Archie replied, "Would it have made you feel better if they had been pushed out of windows?"
Archie's point? If someone wants to kill you they will do what they have to do---even if it means pushing you out of a window. Your only defense at that moment? The object you have to defend yourself, thanks to the second amendment and Patrick Henry! Bang bang.
One life was spared and one was lost. And the type of death reported to the police and entered into the statistics? Death by gun shot––not death by being pushed from a window. No footnote accompanies that statistic saying the death was the result of an act taken to prevent the aggressor from pushing the defender and others in his family out of the window of a room on the top floor of a twenty-five story hotel. Statistics are for bean counters and many bean counters, especially the idiological ones, think all beans are the same, especially if the total fits their idiology. If the number is sufficient a gun shot death is a gun shot death and can, therefore, be used to further one's idiological agenda. Hmmm. This, in a better age, is called lying.
The point here is statistics, in respect to the second amendment, are largly irrelevant. They cannot and should not be used to decide the second amendment, pro or con. It's nice to note that statistics do indicate that crime, violence and death are decreased where second amendment rights are widely exercised. (Who, thinking logically––as opposed to idiologically...or idiotically–– could deduce any other result)? But that is not the point––not at all. Nice as it is it's not necessary. The point is the individual has the right to defend himself from those who would harm him, whether they be crooks or despotic oligarchs or second story men. Any other "niceties" beyond that are just icing on the cake. But if the icing were not there the right would still stand!
And as Forest Gump was fond of saying, "That's all I (the Armadillo) have to say about that."