One of the big topics of the day, one that will only get bigger as the election draws nearer, is that of gun control. I have seen arguments promoting total disarmament and those promoting no regulation at all, and everything in between. In light of the recent rash of shootings, beginning with the theater shooting in Aurora, CO, proponents of more gun control argue that the shooter shouldn’t have been able to purchase the weapons, and crises like this could be avoided with stricter gun laws. One person I know said, “I don’t see any reason why any person should have an automatic weapon.”
On the other side are those who argue that the problem is not with too few gun laws, but with the individuals and a decreasing respect for the value of human life. Somewhere beyond that line are those who see a conspiracy in everything, suggesting that these shootings are planned as a deliberate attempt to legislate stricter gun laws, as Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine reportedly believes.
I’m sure you’ve heard the arguments on both sides, and you’ve already made up your mind about what you think. Whether you believe disarming will reduce violence or whether you think “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns,” likely any argument for the other side will fall on deaf ears.
However, I would like to point out one thing: debating gun control laws on the basis of reducing violence or protecting an individual’s right to bear arms is essentially missing the point.
Currently in the United States we have the privilege of enjoying certain liberties, one of which is the right to keep and bear arms. The second amendment states: 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.
Of course, no one is sure exactly what that means, which is why we’ve been arguing about it for the last couple hundred years.
There are many interpretations and even more interpretations of those interpretations, based on other parts of the constitution and other writings of the founding fathers. But there is one key idea I think bears remembering.
The point is not just that sportsmen have the right to own a gun for hunting, although certainly that is their right and it should not be taken away from them.
Nor is the point just self-defense, although absolutely people have the right to defend themselves, their families, and their property, and the right to bear arms is a crucial part of self-defense.
The point is that one of the reasons the second amendment was added in the first place is so the people could defend themselves against the government.
As long as private citizens have the right to bear arms and protect themselves from threats, the government cannot effectively take control of everything. Martial law cannot be effectively imposed, and the people cannot be forced to submit to totalitarian rule.
Little by little, we as a nation are voting ourselves out of our rights. We’ve already allowed ourselves to be taxed if we don’t purchase something, all in the name of “health.” We’ve allowed the government to take our privacy in the name of “security.” We’ve allowed our children to be indoctrinated in the name of “education.” There are hundreds of other examples of rights we’ve given up because we believe the hype and propaganda that tells us it will be better.
As long as we keep giving our rights and liberties to the government, the government will keep taking. One of the last things standing between We the People and a dictatorship is our right to keep and bear arms, to defend ourselves from hostile takeover.
So, whether or not you like guns yourself, or whether you believe there’s no reason a person should have access to an assault rifle for whatever reason, please consider the implications of a disarmed populace. Think about how many liberties and rights you’re prepared to give away and consider defending your right keep and bear arms, because as soon as we give up that right, the government will take the rest of our rights by force.