One of my biggest frustrations is my inability to express myself in a concise and eloquent manner. It takes me 100 words in a half-arsed effort to write what a true wordsmith can say far more effectively in 25. I have to make use of the limited talent God provided, so bear with me.
There has been a lot of talk and words written in recent weeks about gun violence in America and what to do about it. Look, if Fate had sent an omnipotent Monte Hall who offered to exchange my life for the lives of the innocent lambs at Sandy Hook I would have made the deal in an instant. I am willing to discuss any means to prevent similar events in the future.
I also believe before we pass feel-good measures and knee-jerk reaction laws we should consider the consequences. Any time you infringe upon a Natural Right (God-given Right if you prefer) you had better have good reason. The basic right to protect one's self, loved ones and property transcends government and society. It defines our very humanness, our essence, our being. I challenge anyone to argue otherwise. I have the inalienable right to life.
When we join a society we give up a certain amount of freedom. We cannot do what we want, when we want. Rules and laws are part of the pact we make to society in the name of mutual protection. My right to live is not a guarantee or protection against the hand of another. Thus we have the right of self-defense. As a society we chose to defend our collective rights and freedoms through individual protection as well as group protection via police or military strength.
There are some who argue we need to ban scary and so-called 'assault rifles". Others call for a registry of all guns. Facts are that the assault rifles decried by Senator Feinstein and others are rarely used in crimes. A registration of guns means only the law abiding will register their guns. You read every day of criminals possessing and using a firearm in the commission of a crime, despite laws against it. Felons are arrested every day for owning and possessing a gun despite it illegality. Is one more or two or even twenty more laws going to make them stop? Will banning rifles with black plastic stocks preclude a nut job from using a rifle or shotgun with a wooden stock? If your drunk husband is determined to kill you, a handy kitchen knife will work just as effectively as the .22 handgun in the nightstand.
Some will argue we have to have a license to drive and that we register cars. Those people somehow equate the privilege of driving with the right of self defense. Such an argument is a moral equivalency without merit. But we can address the argument on the surface. Does a driving license law prevent individuals from driving cars registered in other's names? Do the laws prevent cars from being stolen or unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel? Will a gun registry stop a bank robbery or school shooting? Will it allow a tryrannical government easy access to a list of potential armed enemies?
I wish I knew why the gun crime rate was so high in our nation. For every gun-free Great Britain and its low gun crime rate you mention I will offer up Switzerland where every home has a gun and its low murder rate. I will cite the hundreds of millions of guns that are safely stored in private hands here in America that are never used in commission of a crime. I will argue the number of crimes that are prevented due to an armed citizenry.
I am willing to discuss the cause and effects of crime in this country. We can start with the high rates of crime in single parent homes and the effects of welfare on marriage. We can discuss the cuts to mental health funding and the efforts of advocacy groups like the ACLU to prevent the treatment and long-term care of the mentally ill. We can talk about the culture of violence in movies and TV and video games. We can blame it on dodge ball for all I care. But I will not bow to half-thought, feel good we-have-to-do-something measures that interfere with my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that do not bring about true safety.
In the end, the Founders included a partial listing of our natural rights in the Bill of Rights. They expected individuals to retain the means to protect themselves not only from each other, but a tyrannical government. You might argue that we have nothing to fear, but history demonstrates the first act of a despot is to confiscate the means of defense from those it subjugates.. This is true from the era of the Mongol invasion through the dictators of modern times -- Pol Pot, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Castro, and others each in turn disarmed the citizens as a first order of business.
It is unlikely we shall see troops quartered in our homes in the near future, but should we scrap the 3rd Amendment? Our uniquely American right to speak against government, to worship as we please (or not to), our natural right to write and publish is universally accepted in today's age. Should we trash the First Amendment because we see no active threat to those freedoms today?
I submit without the Second Amendment, the Constitution and the other twenty-six amendments are nothing but scraps of parchment and lofty ideas.