Guns and rape are often deplored in the public prints as two of our nation’s worst plagues. One may be the cure for the other. Denver, for instance, is at the mercy of a serial rapist. It is increasingly clear that the police, if not exactly helpless, cannot cope with the massive violence that is a symptom of the social pathology of contemporary America. They have enough on their hands doing the job they have assigned themselves: giving parking tickets, setting up checkpoints for drunk drivers, patrolling the adult movie theaters of Sarasota, Florida, and showing themselves sensitive to the domestic quarrels of Jeffrey Dahmer and his dates. Anyway, the Denver rapist gets to his victims by entering open windows and unlocked doors—frequent in warm weather. Although in the 60’s the mayor of New York used to put a policeman in every subway car on occasion, a policeman in every house would probably be too much for most Americans.

That leaves one alternative: selfdefense. As George Mason tried to remind us in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, and by militia he meant the armed citizenry. The police cannot rescue Americans from the wave of violence now drowning them. Denver needs a statute that insists that all women must be armed. Failure to carry a gun or keep one at home or residence would be punishable by a small fine, like a traffic ticket. Licenses for keeping and bearing a gun would be issued to all women after they pass a simple written and practical examination, just as for driving a car. The law would include a provision that there would be no checks on the possession of a gun except in the case of a crime of violence. There would be no harassment of women who chose not to carry guns, except for a small fine when an act of violence was committed. Rapists would know that all law-abiding women were keeping and bearing arms. The law would contain a Sunshine clause that would guarantee a review after five years. If Denver were still as violent as before, the law would fall into desuetude.

Experience and the theory of republican government suggest that rapists and other violent men would avoid Denver and betake themselves to a safer habitat. The licensing provision would help to ensure that our armed citizenry was well-regulated. Before long, perhaps even men would be permitted to participate. Women who preferred to rely on police could always move to Minneapolis or New York City.

Look upon it as a social experiment. Are there aspects of republican government that can prove useful and vital in the empire that our political class has created? I know your objection. What will happen to bur system if any substantial plurality of our subjects learn that they can take care of themselves? You may be right. It may be too horrible to contemplate.