Congressman: Americans need guns for self-defense ‘against the bad guys’ to preserve government

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PHOENIX, AZ — Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was recently interviewed about the topic of guns and gave two reasons why he supports the right of Americans to defend themselves when their lives are threatened.

Rep. Biggs was one of several guests who spoke at Turning Point USA’s America Fest 2021 event in Phoenix last month.

Turning Point USA is a nonprofit organization that assists students in promoting principles of freedom, free markets and limited government, according to its website.

Biggs was scheduled to discuss election integrity at America Fest, but the congressman took time to speak about guns with Breitbart News columnist AWR Hawkins.

When asked about why it is important for people to have the ability to own and carry a lawful weapon, Biggs gave two reasons:

“The Founders said this is what we need to have to preserve a free form of government.

“Their position was, you need to be able to have this militia, this group of citizens, because you don’t want the government to be putting their thumb down on you, because they are just coming out of King George doing that, so that’s number one.

“The second thing is when you start talking about my wife or me or someone else, we’re talking about self-defense, and the first liberty is the right to life.

“So, if you can’t defend yourself against the bad guys you start looking like the 12 cities in America that have the highest homicide rate in their history.”

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Biggs told Hawkins:

“You don’t want to look like that. You don’t want to look like Venezuela. You want to be a free American and the way to be free and reduce crime is to allow people to carry guns.”

Turning Point USA profiled Biggs on its website, noting:

“Congressman Biggs is a member of the House Judiciary and Science, Space, and Technology committees. He is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, co-chair of the Border Security Caucus, co-chair of the War Powers Caucus, and Chief Regulatory Reform Officer of the Western Caucus.”

Regarding Biggs’ reference of 12 cities that broke their annual homicide records in 2021, ABC News listed those cities, but omitted the fact that they are all Democrat-controlled.

ABC News reported that some of the cities had already surpassed homicide records that were set or tied just last year. One state had two cities listed on the grim list — Ohio.

The number of homicides as of Dec. 8 in the 12 cities include:

  • 82 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 60 in Austin, Texas
  • 137 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 179 in Columbus, Ohio
  • 246 in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 175 in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 501 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 72 in Portland, Oregon
  • 71 in Rochester, New York
  • 35 in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • 62 in Toledo, Ohio
  • 80 in Tucson, Arizona.

Regarding Philadelphia, ABC News noted:

“Philadelphia, a city of roughly 1.5 million people, has had more homicides this year (521 as of Dec. 6) than the nation’s two largest cities, New York (443 as of Dec. 5) and Los Angeles (352 as of Nov. 27). That’s an increase of 13% from 2020, a year that nearly broke the 1990 record.”

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After his city surpassed its annual homicide record of 500, which was set in 1990, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney lamented:

 “It’s terrible to every morning get up and have to go look at the numbers and then look at the news and see the stories. It’s just crazy. It’s just crazy and this needs to stop.”

ABC News explained why Chicago was not on the list:

“Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, leads the nation with 739 homicides as of the end of November, up 3% from 2020, according to Chicago Police Department crime data. Chicago’s deadliest year remains 1970 when there were 974 homicides.”

ABC News also warned that Milwaukee in Wisconsin and Minneapolis in Minnesota were two cities on the brink of setting new homicide records.

There are several possible reasons for the increased homicides. Some cities now have  reduced law enforcement staffing due to retirements and “defund the police” initiatives.  Fewer police means that criminals can get away with more.

With fewer police around, the number of arrests is also reduced.

The COVID-19 pandemic made an impact as well.

As officers became sick with the virus, staffing was reduced further.

The pandemic also led to shutdowns of courts and inmates getting released early from jails.

Stresses associated with COVID-19 also contributed to mental health issues in some members of the public.

Christopher Herrmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Law & Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, told ABC News that the decrease in arrests could be attributed to the large number of police officers who retired or resigned in 2020 and 2021:

“I think, unfortunately, police departments are just losing a lot of their best and experienced officers and then because of the economic crisis, because of COVID, are having difficulties in hiring or just delays in hirings.”

Chief LeRonne Armstrong of the Oakland Police Department told ABC News that the lack of resources to fight crime is one of the reasons why homicides have gone up.

Oakland police have investigated at least 127 homicides in 2021, up from 102 in all of 2020, according to ABC News’ report.

Armstrong said his department’s 676 officers is the smallest staff his agency has had in years, nearly 70 fewer officers than in 2020. He said:

“To have 70, nearly 70 less officers a year later is definitely going to have an impact on our ability to address public safety.”

Another major factor is bail reform laws. Many cities embraced the new laws meant to provide a sense of equity, but the result is that many violent criminals have been released onto the streets, where they commit new crimes.

Robert Boyce, retired chief of detectives for the New York Police Department and an ABC News contributor, said one national crime statistic stands out to him:

“Nobody’s getting arrested anymore. People are getting picked up for gun possession and they’re just let out over and over again.”

Some cities have embraced the use of “violence disruptors” to stem the tide of crime. However, even the disruptors are struggling to make a difference in their communities.

Ironically, in at least one case, a violence disruptor initiated a violent situation and was subsequently charged with assaulting a homeless man.

“We Push for Peace” employee Brandon David Miller, 24, of Minneapolis, was hired to foster goodwill and deter crime outside of a supermarket in St. Paul.

Unfortunately, Miller appeared to do the exact opposite of what he was hired for. Miller was quickly fired after video surfaced of him beating a cowering, shoeless man.

Ramsey County prosecutors charged Miller with felony fifth-degree assault for the incident, which occurred Aug. 13.

According to experts, another contributing factor to the issue of criminal gun violence is the effect the pandemic has had on marginalized groups of people.

Thomas Abt, the director of the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, told Intelligencer:

“A marginalized and isolated group who are at the highest risk of gun violence suddenly became even more marginalized and isolated.”

While Abt supports the work of community nonprofits which use violence disruptors, he said they should be working with police — not competing against them:

“No city has successfully arrested its way out of violent crime, but no city has successfully programmed its way out of violent crime either.

“We need police and community-based groups working together, not competing for funding.”

Last year, a survivor of a shooting in the Flatbush neighborhood of New York City spoke with Intelligencer. Requesting anonymity, he said:

“I’m an educated black man. I’m far from gangsta. I’m everything they tell you to be. And this [shooting] still happened.”

When asked his opinion on what should be done about the rise in shootings, the victim immediately replied:

“Bring back stop and frisk.”

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