If my pastor ever reads this, he’s going to start thinking that I’m only going to church now to get ideas for my blog. I promise, that’s not the case. But the Lord works in mysterious ways… and clearly he’s using you as a vehicle to throw perfect analogies at me that I’m going to twist and distort into something new. Which, clearly, I’m about to do. So sorry about that (truly).
Bounded sets and centered sets
First, the analogy. In Australia, some of the ranches are so large, that there’s no real way to fence the entire thing. So to keep the cattle from wandering off too far, they’ve strategically placed wells around the ranch. The cattle will wander off, but eventually they get thirsty – and then they’ll find their way back to where the water is.
The spiritual/theological analogy there is pretty clear (and I *love* it!). You can build a fence and force people to stay where you want them to stay, or you can trust that they’ll do the right thing and stay nearby on their own. After all, if they wander too far, it’s a lesson they’ll not soon forget (and thankfully we’re smarter than cattle are and we’ve been given the capability to learn from other people’s mistakes)!
For me, this is a perfect analogy for politics in general (and yes, I’m afraid that I’m becoming a libertarian… yikes!), but I’m here today to make the fundamental case for the right to keep and bear arms… and yes, for “open carry” in Castle Rock (and everywhere).
The fence in the analogy is used to keep people (or cattle) in, not out – exactly like East Berlin… and yes, that comparison is exactly the one I want to make here. If the goal is to get people to act a certain way, to exist near the center-point, you can either fence them in or you can somehow encourage them to choose to live there. If you create a center (where the well is) of both liberty and personal responsibility – you need both parts – and then leave the people alone, they’ll RUN to that well. If you trust the people to make the right decision, trust them to be responsible citizens, everyone wins!
Laws and ordinances that prohibit open carry, and infringe upon our natural rights, are nothing more than a fence which attempts to force us to act in a certain way – and you only promote that insane fence idea when you don’t trust people to make responsible decisions for their own lives.
You see, when you fence people in, you have a full-time job now convincing them that they’re better off inside the fence. You spend money maintaining the fence. And yet, inevitably, where do the people want to be? Outside the fence.
Another funny thing about the fence is that it’s great about dividing the people. “Oh, you’re one of those crazy outsiders.” “No, you and I have been friends for a long time. You just drew an imaginary line between us.” “Sorry, I can only talk to insiders now.”
Forget the whole fence. Build something called liberty and responsibility and 99% of us will flock there!
There’s a catch here, of course. The catch is that not everyone in our society today wants to deal with having a burden of responsibility (still a very small number, but sadly, this concept is growing… and why not? Free phones? Free health care? Sign me up!). That’s the funny thing about removing freedom – you remove the incentive to be better people. Read The 5,000 Year Leap sometime. But clearly there needs to be an element of education with all of this. I’ve talked and written extensively about why open carrying isn’t for me or my family. But that’s how liberty works: you educate the people as best you can and then leave the decision up to them.
Peer pressure works pretty well to discourage rat-tail haircuts and puffy shirts. You try it once, people laugh at you, then you go back to being a responsible person.
Ultimately, if someone decides to open carry a firearm, the rest of society has to deal with that. If that person is threatening me or my family with his weapon (that sounds a lot like menacing to me), that’s already a crime! But if he is minding his own business, then that’s liberty in practice! He and I are two ships passing in the night – none of us messes with the other, and then we go our separate ways. If that’s the worst-case scenario, that doesn’t sound too awful to me.
As for me and my house, we choose liberty (and we’ll serve the Lord).
Carry on, Colorado!