In any gun control debate, there is one question that will quickly strip away all pretense and evasion to reveal the true feelings and intentions of anyone answering it: do Americans have an unalienable right to self-defense?  Anything other than a prompt “yes” or “no” speaks volumes.

Those answering “yes” are clearly on the side not only of history’s most influential political theorists, including Jesus Christ, but on the side of America’s Founders, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court–for at least the time being.  Those answering no, or in any way evading or qualifying the question, do so because they understand that to acknowledge an unalienable individual right to self-defense erects a near-absolute bar to gun control schemes, to unlimited federal government growth, and ultimately, to tyranny, three things they want very much.

Last week provided two tragic glimpses into the consequences of those anti-liberty desires: the active shooter death of former Marine and middle school math teacher Michael Landsberry in Sparks, Nevada, and the razor knife murder of High School  math teacher Coleen Ritzer in Danvers, Massachusetts, by a 14 year-old student.

Landsberry’s murder  was committed by a 12 year-old student using his parent’s handgun.  Shooting and wounding one student was sufficient to bring Landsberry on the run.  Unarmed, he tried to talk the shooter into giving up the gun and was shot in the chest.  The shooter shot and wounded one other student before killing himself.

Coleen Ritzer’s murder was not relating to a school attack.   Her killer, 14 year-old Phillip Chism, was one of her students.  One day after school, he apparently followed her into a bathroom, punched her in the face, and using a razor knife that may have been stolen from another class, slashed her to death.