My Evolving Stance On Gun Control

After a recent local town council meeting where I live, I realized how many people truly do not understand the Constitution or what gun control really is all about.  There were several people who rolled out the “I’m an NRA instructor – and no one should ever open carry, so I support an ordinance which stops people from open carrying.”  Here’s a tip: if you believe in gun control, of any kind, no matter how insignificant, you don’t really understand liberty and you certainly don’t understand the 2nd Amendment.

Also, let’s be clear: we do NOT live in a Democracy.  We live in a Constitutional Republic, designed to protect the individual.  It’s not about protecting the collective – it’s about protecting you, your crazy neighbor down the street, your best friend, the cat lady who keeps bugging you on facebook, the owner of the local coffee shop, everyone.  But everyone as individuals, not a group.  In a Democracy, it’s mob rule.  The 51% majority makes ALL the decisions – which is a serious problem for protecting individual rights.

The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. – Ayn Rand

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Ben Franklin

Our system of government is built around the individual and the idea that no one can lead your life better than you.  Unfortunately, this gun control crowd will stare you right in the face and tell you that they honestly know what’s best for you.  Ironically, many of them have never held a gun in their entire lives – they just watch the news and think “OMG!!  G-G-G-G-GUNS WILL K-K-K-KILL YOU!”

At any rate, I wish them luck for getting this on the ballot.  In case they forgot, our side is pretty good at voting.  Just ask our three former state senators.

But my all-time favorite argument in this open carry battle has got to be “I’m a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment.  But you don’t have the right to be responsible with guns in the manner you choose, so I want more laws restricting your rights.”

It’s the old “I love you, you’re perfect, now change” thing.  My favorite color is blue – I love it… if only it were yellow, it would be even better.  So I’m going to take my favorite color, blue, and pass a law requiring that it become yellow.  It reminds me of this:

I love the old “I love this country so much… that I want to change its very core and make it into something completely different.”  If you’ve ever said those words, there’s a good chance you don’t get it.

Look, if you honestly believe that gun control is the correct path for us to take, I support your right to follow your dreams.  But the only above-board path to doing that must start with the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  I’ll even write it for you: “The 2nd Amendment is hereby repealed.”  Done.

Now you just need to get two-thirds of both houses of the US Congress and three-quarters of the states to ratify it.  It sounds difficult, I know.  But think of the reward: then you can pass any gun control law you want!  New York and Kalifornia and Connecticut can finally ban guns completely, which I’m sure will lead to a massive drop in their violent crime rates.  There you go.

Another argument we hear on occasion is “well I suppose some of you gun-nuts actually believe you should be allowed to bring a gun on a plane!”  Funny… and yes we do.  But there’s one key difference here: Southwest Airlines owns their own planes, which makes them private property.  And in my book, private property is the unquestioned domain of the property owner!  I’ll fight for that right!  So since it’s private property, they can do whatever they want.  If Southwest Airlines wants to keep banning guns on their planes, I’m totally cool with that.  But an airline should also be able to choose if they’re going to allow guns on their plans or not.  And imagine if Airline 1 is pro-gun and Airline 2 is anti-gun… which is more likely to get hijacked?

You see, that’s the funny thing about “shall not be infringed.”  Infringed: to limit or restrict.  Here’s the text again, in case you need a refresher:

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.

Just because we’ve accepted infringement in our lives for years now doesn’t make it right.  And just because you might agree with this particular infringement doesn’t mean it’s not still violating the Constitution – and my rights.  You want to talk about gun control?  Let’s start here.  I have the God-given, Constitutionally-enumerated right to go into Walmart and buy a grenade launcher (assuming Walmart would carry them, of course… and my guess is that yes they would).

And yes, I’ve pretty much come full-circle, all the way back to “what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do you not understand?”  My apologies.  You see, it does not say “infringing is bad, unless you’re a really good person” or “pretty please, try and not infringe, if it’s convenient.  If it isn’t, then nevermind.”  It doesn’t say “no infringing on hunting guns, on evil, scary guns infringe all you want.”  And please don’t give me the “but our Founders never anticipated an evil assault rifle” crap.  The 1st Amendment clearly applies to the internet, which Al Gore invented.  But even better, check this out – a .46 caliber repeating rifle with a 20-round magazine designed in, get this, 1779.  Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you, Clark?

Well it’s not black, it doesn’t have a carry handle, so clearly it’s not an assault rifle.

The only infringement that I’d be willing to accept is in places where the government has guaranteed my personal safety, complete with armed and trained security proportionate to the number of people in the building.  That’s it.  (private property is different – they can do whatever they want)  In every other area, you either protect me personally or you should allow me to protect myself.  I don’t see any gray area.  Pick one.

Same goes for schools, by the way.  Either have adequately trained armed guards to protect our kids (which clearly is a budget challenge) or allow the teachers (or other school personnel) do it themselves.  Period.  Hoping for safety is not a solution.

If you need another example, notice how many in the gun control crowd either have armed guards themselves or are just blatantly exempting themselves from their own idiotic laws.  Are we still a nation of laws, or are we now officially a nation of men who are above the laws?  Because if the latter, we all have bigger problems than gun control.

The manner in which one carries a gun is immaterial.  The gun one carries is irrelevant.  I’ll say that again because it really matters.

The manner in which one carries a gun is immaterial.  The gun one carries is irrelevant.  A t-shirt covering a firearm does not create safety.  An exposed firearm does not create danger.

We all have the ability to drive 114 miles-per-hour through our nearest school zone.  But we don’t.  Why?  Because we’re good people.  If someone does, they’ve demonstrated that they shouldn’t be on the road and they’ll be dealt with.  But we’re not about to ban all cars on the outside chance one nut-job could drive 114 through a school zone.  In fact, we don’t even ban cars in school zones.  We also don’t ban fast cars in school zones.  Or deadly, evil assault cars.  And interestingly, we’d be within our rights to do that – the right to own private transportation isn’t exactly enumerated by our Constitution.  But the right to keep and bear arms is.  Fascinating, isn’t it?

By the way, I’d also recommend reading up on natural law.  Penn Jillette and a mama bear have more in common than you’d think – and they’re both right.

I’m not willing to compromise on types of guns, gun-free zones, or other well-intentioned (but uninformed) infringements.  And in case some of you are thinking it, “arms” to me is any weapon that I can carry.  I could be swayed on tactical nuclear weapons.  But “weapons of war” is a phrase invented by the political left as an excuse to eat away at my rights.

“The “arms” here meant are those of a soldier … The citizen has at all times the right to keep arms of modern warfare, if without danger to others, and for purposes of training and efficiency in their use, but not such weapons as are only intended to be the instruments of private feuds or vengeance.” Henry Campbell BlackHandbook of American Constitutional Law, 1895.

I’ve been very fortunate in these last few years to meet some very brave people.  Two of them are in my immediate family.  Several of our friends spoke at one or more of the recent town council meetings.  Many are very plugged-in with what’s going on at the state level.  But in my first installment of Great American of the Week, I nominate Mr. Zambruk.  He’s 9, and he’s a friend of mine.  Not only did he speak at the town council meeting, but he reminded us all of why we’re here – to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign, domestic, and down the street.  I could not be more proud of you, Mr. Zambruk!

Carry on, Colorado!

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8 comments on “My Evolving Stance On Gun Control

  1. SS says:

    Bingo!

    You really nailed this. I found myself saying, “yep, yep, yep,” over and over when reading this.

    So much to agree with here that I’ll hit just two points. Our rights, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, are unalienable. Pronounced, un-a-lien-able. Not un-alien-able, but rather, un-a-lien-able, as in a permanent right that no one may lay claim to. No one may barter, or buy, or place restrictions on, and more importantly, can not be taken by force (or the threat of force) including, and especially, government.

    Government, in fact, is chartered to protect these rights, chartered to protect the minority from the majority as your Ayn Rand quote so aptly states.

    I leave you with this short video, which clearly delineates the difference between a nation of laws, and a nation of men.

    Citizen or Subject – The Fundamental Question of Gun Control

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-zAFpR2Emc)

  2. Ed says:

    I love the article. I would however like to state that I wish articles would back up their claim when they talk legislation. The Washington Times article you link to does not mention which bill they were talking about. Rumors get running rampant without any substance to back them up and sometimes end up hurting our cause.

    It took some digging, but I finally found the reference. Here’s the bill with the strikes: “http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_610_bill_20110413_amended_sen_v97.html”. While the exclusion was initially there, it was struck before becoming law. Here’s the final bill: “http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_610_bill_20111009_chaptered.html”.

    Still tells you that they though they were above the law, which really pisses me off.

  3. Kruegz92 says:

    Jeff, thanks for sharing this article. You did a great job hitting some of the main gun control arguments.

    My only comment would be concerning your view of human nature. You said, “We all have the ability to drive 114 miles-per-hour through our nearest school zone. But we don’t. Why? Because we’re good people.”

    I’d argue that point by pointing out that I’m not a good person. That the only thing keeping me from driving 114mph through a school zone, or going on a killing spree, is accountability to a higher power. It’s the reason you’re more likely to do something immoral when you think no one is watching.

    Accountability and consequences is what keeps most of us in line; not because we’re good.

    This may seem insignificant, but it makes al the difference for me.

    • Jeff Meek says:

      Good points. 🙂 For many of us, you’re exactly right. But I also know several atheists who are really good people. Penn Jillette (atheist) *seems* like a really good person to me; he and I certainly agree on plenty and I’ve heard him explain it this way (paraphrasing): “People often ask me why you don’t just kill everyone you want because you don’t believe in God. I tell them ‘I have – I have killed every single person in the world I wanted to kill: no one. Why? Because I’m a good person and I don’t believe murdering people is ok.'”

      But I won’t disagree with you. Some of us are good because we fear God, some of us are good because we don’t want to let our families down by ending up in jail, and some of us would be good people alone on a deserted island. There are different motivations, but the results are the same.

      My point was this: if you believe that people are inherently bad and can *not* be trusted, then a Constitutional Republic will never work. Allowing them to vote would be foolish and suicidal. In those cases, you’d need the strong hand of the government to step in and tell each of us how to live our lives – and gun control would be a necessity. My contention is that we *can* govern ourselves, with the help of God. When government gets out of the way and allows us to be who are – good people – we all win.

  4. Keith says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks for this, I’m a pretty reasonable person and I find myself agreeing to reasonable controls on guns often. It takes a clear reminder like this that what we really need is a reasonable control on criminals. When we put the bad guys behind bars it doesn’t matter if the rest of us are walking around with howitzers. We aren’t going to use them unless it’s necessary and there isn’t another option. Really thanks for the reminder.

    Keith

    • Jeff Meek says:

      Keith – the anti-gunners and the leftists (usually one-in-the-same) have 100+ years of learning how to use language to win political battles. We got schooled in that last year in Colorado when we passed a “large capacity magazine ban.” So now we’re all taking a crash course in how and why language matters. When you hear terms like “common sense legislation” and “affordable care act” and “assault weapon,” it’s not by accident. Pay attention to the words you hear and what implementing their plans would actually mean. Don’t fall for the hype. 🙂
      -Jeff

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