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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has spoken: there is a sickness in this country, and that sickness is gun violence. Despite O’Malley’s confident diagnosis, his prescriptions are defined by ideological visions and not objective reality. A second opinion is sorely needed because both our cherished freedom and our lives are at stake.

Further, it must be stated explicitly that our right to armed self-defense does not conflict with protecting kids.

Tyranny is the real sickness, and it is clear to me that some people will refuse to perceive the presence of tyranny until they themselves are dragged off to a camp. Of course, long before that happens, the people already have been conditioned to accept all manner of small rules and restrictions.

One example is banning smoking on planes — that is how smoking bans started. What has happened since can only be described as an economic and social war against smokers.

Here’s another small rule that seemed reasonable in 1934 — no fully automatic weapons. Interestingly, every single mass school shooting in U.S. history has occurred since then. Of course, the worst U.S. school killing ever was earlier, but that was a disgruntled school board member who exploded a bomb and killed 45 — the Bath School killings in 1927. There also have been horrific knife attacks, like the 2001 Osaka massacre by a school janitor — eight deaths with 13 more injured.

Attackers have hardly ever met armed resistance. One more small reasonable rule. How about not allowing any weapons at all on planes? The only thing these seemingly “reasonable” rules have achieved is to create huge vulnerabilities.

Denying a person’s right to self-defense is an act of aggression against them. Pretending that disarmed environments are safest, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary that has accumulated over many decades, is delusional.

Responding to each successive attack on disarmed victims with more failed disarmament policies is insane.

This is exactly how tyranny works on the minds of the populace. The founders were very clear on this, with Thomas Jefferson saying that the natural course of things is that freedom yields and tyranny gains, and with Benjamin Franklin even more on point, saying that those who try to trade their liberty for temporary security shall receive neither.

If O’Malley disagrees with Jefferson and Franklin about guns, we should listen to the old dead guys.

Attempting to restrict the options of attackers is a dead end. It’s not about them and never has been. It’s about the soft targets that our disarmament mentality creates.

Our Second Amendment rights are not luxuries just for safe situations; on the contrary, they exist to protect people out in the real world from just these kinds of catastrophic attacks. They can’t work in critical situations if watered down and restricted. It is disgusting that successful attacks are being blindly used as justification to take away the very rights that could have prevented them.

As for armed guards, they are easily handled or simply avoided by a determined aggressor. Details like magazine size mean nothing to a killer compared with the secure knowledge that his intended victims are disarmed. Armed citizens don’t need guards; we can be our own security and handle our own self-defense needs.

I said this back in 2004 after the Beslan massacre. The founders said it 240 years ago.

How many more must die before we recognize the real sickness?

Tom deSabla, La Plata