2nd Amendment is a right, not a need

January 10, 2013

The nation’s attention is being focused on guns, and gun ownership. To say that the way in which the attention is being focused, and the specific issues on which it is focused is flawed would be a profound understatement.

One position being voiced, would, if adopted by the defenders of the 2nd Amendment, do more to undermine it than to uphold it. That is the idea that “some guns are bad”, or that “some guns should only be available to government”, or that the discussion should focus on “needs”, not rights. Because this position, in its various forms, concedes the argument to the gun-banning crowd, it would have the same effect as all other appeasements have had throughout history: it just encourages the other side they can achieve complete victory.

Here’s what is wrong with banning guns, types of guns, or specific guns. 1. Rights are rights, not needs. 2. As a practical matter, only the law-abiding gun owners would be affected by any new law, and the guns we may own are not a threat to anyone, anyway.

The argument against a ban thus occurs on two levels: 1. Moral and ethical: the right to bear arms is a natural right, the curtailment of which constitutes a prima facie injury to those who choose to exercise it. 2. Pragmatic: banning certain weapons, or types of weapons would not keep criminals from possessing and using them.

On that point, it is quite pragmatic to argue that we who do not commit crimes should have access to the same level of weaponry that is available to criminals.

This all gets very silly, when one considers that the opponents of private firearm ownership are exactly that: opponents of private firearm ownership. For each weapon, of any type, they will present an argument–of sorts–why “no one needs to own one”. Like big cats on the African plain, they pick off stragglers by separating them from the herd. Today it’s military-style weapons; tomorrow it’s “powerful” handguns; pretty soon, it’s that old single shot .22 squirrel gun your grandfather got when he was 10. Notice the “herd” has shrunk to the point it is totally defenseless. Unlike the cats, who only want a meal, the opponents of private firearm ownership truly will not rest until ALL guns, of EVERY type have been outlawed. TO THINK OTHERWISE IS TO MAKE A DREADFUL MISTAKE.

Beyond that, they are part of a larger group that has as its goal rendering the Constitution and all of the Bill of Rights irrelevant. As our President said before the 2008 election, what bothered him about the U.S. Constitution was that it is largely a document that places restrictions on the government. For many of our opponents, that makes the document “seriously flawed”–so much so that it cannot be fixed by amendment, it must, instead, be treated as a “living document”, until every part of it has been re-interpreted, stood on its ear, and until its meaning is the opposite of the original intent. “Animal Farm”, déjà vu.

The only sane position to take is to oppose—vigorously oppose any new restrictions on gun ownership.

Initially published at Illinois Review on January 10, 2013.

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