Macron's 'I'm Opposed to Self-Defense' Remark Won't Bode Well at the Ballot Box

Scott McPherson | April 18, 2022 | 2:30pm EDT
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French President Emmanuel Macron talks to media at the end of the second day of an EU Summit on October 16, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron talks to media at the end of the second day of an EU Summit on October 16, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

On April 1, four criminal thugs broke into a man’s house in Longre, France. Responding as any reasonable human would, the homeowner fired twice at the intruders with a rifle, killing one of them. Despite the forced entry into his home, and the fact that the man was protecting not just himself but his three-year-old daughter, police have charged him with murder.

Sadly, this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. Acting in self-defense in a European country is still generally considered a greater crime than actual crimes. Hearing the news, French president Emmanuel Macron told Europe 1, “I am opposed to self-defense.” His remarks, coming on the eve of that country’s presidential election, might explain why he received just 28 percent of the vote, landing him in a run-off with the controversial and ultra-right wing candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Le Pen won around 24 percent of the vote in the first round, and current polling puts the race at its final stage in a dead heat. Establishment media, like the BBC, are roiling at the result, particularly the National Rally candidate’s surprising, and strong, showing among voters in the 18-to-34 bracket. But all the pearl-clutching ignores unease among French voters. Crime in France is spiking, particularly murders and sexual assaults, and several of its large cities have “no-go” zones run by violent, criminal gangs.

As noted earlier, Europeans in recent years have budged significantly from long-held views about the “vigilante” nature of gun ownership and private efforts to combat crime. If Macron ends up the loser on April 25, the day of the final vote, his foolish remarks about self-defense could be a contributing factor.

Certainly, there are those in the United States who, like Macron, are opposed to self-defense. But our Constitution and our legal system uphold and protect the moral and legal right to act, with lethal force, if necessary, to defend ourselves, our families, our property, and even our communities, against the criminal class. Amendment II reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The Framers of our Constitution were well aware that throughout history, governments have disarmed their people, leaving them helpless and defenseless. The newly formed federal government of the United States was expressly forbidden to act in a like manner, and the result is a nation of armed citizens. Approximately 100 million of our people own at least one firearm, and typically two or more. The primary reason given for owning a gun is self-defense, and more gun-owners join the ranks every year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported that 5.4 million people became first-time purchasers last year, a third of them women.

There are some who claim that private gun ownership leads to high crime, and they seek to subvert our constitutional order by imposing restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety spend tens of millions of dollars to sway elections in favor of anti-gun and anti-self-defense candidates, but their efforts, time and again, prove fruitless. Even Democrat voters have largely given up on pushing the idea that gun control will make people safer. A Trafalgar Group poll conducted in December found that almost 54 percent of Democrats believe gun control makes “no difference” in reducing crime, and 16 percent said gun control actually makes crime “worse.” Perennial Democratic candidate Frances “Beto” O’Rourke once boasted, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47” rifles in an attempt to rally his base. In February, he threw in the towel, telling KLTV in Texas, “I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone.” President Biden is currently crusading for gun control, a move that will only increase the number of Republicans sent to Congress after 2022’s mid-term elections.

Concealed carry of handguns is now widespread. From meager beginnings in the late 1980s, when Florida first passed a law allowing qualified residents to obtain a license to carry a gun for self-defense, the movement has grown by leaps and bounds. Georgia just became the 25th state to allow “constitutional carry,” which means no license at all is required; a resident need only be legally able to own a handgun to carry it in public. Politicians in this country do not admonish people who want to protect themselves, because a candidate for public office who claims “I am opposed to self-defense” is almost certain to face defeat at the polls.

Scott McPherson serves as a Future of Freedom Foundation policy advisor and wrote "Freedom and Security: The Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms."

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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