It Isn't Just About The Guns

I haven't read the book yet, but the title caught my eye...

The attacks on our right to keep and bear arms are coming from multiple fronts these days. The government, the corporations, and of course, the purveyors of supposed cultural enrichment in the entertainment industry.

So, for us stubborn Second Amendment supporters, we’re busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance against those who would deprive us of it, as it were.

Respect For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms Is A Barometer

Our nation was founded, in part, as a response to overbearing groupthink and conformity. It is evident in the concepts of our government. Much to the dismay of the progressive, we are not a democracy. A pure democracy is basically mob rule. In a hypothetical country of 100 people operating as a pure democracy, if 51 people vote to seize your car for the “good of the nation”, they will take your car, because a simple majority decided it should be that way. Doesn’t matter if you need your car to get to work. Society decided that taking your car from you was the right thing to do, and thus it was done.

That’s why we are a Constitutional Republic. Our founding document acknowledges pre-existing rights, including the freedom of speech, privacy, property rights, and yes, the right to keep and bear arms. Yes, there could be a referendum to seize your car in the United States. We can vote on just about damn near anything. If the vote is to seize your car, in our Constitutional Republic, you have recourse to protect your property. You can take your case all the way to the Supreme Court, where hopefully they would rule in your favor, that society cannot seize your car just because a majority of people voted to support that action. If SCOTUS ruled against you, your final recourse is to defend your property by force of arms. Obviously this is purely hypothetical, and hopefully we’ll never get to the point where the mob is allowed to arbitrarily hold referendums on seizing private property.

Nonetheless, our Constitution guarantees that our government, nor the people, will infringe on individual rights. Yes, when the rubber meets the road there’s infringements on all of our rights these days, but for the purposes of argument, the Constitution is a check against government tyranny, and mob rule.

One of the biggest levers the prime movers in the anti-gun scene like to pull is the one of mob rule. Their arguments hinge on purported wide acceptance and support of their ideas, usually based on outmoded data run during the 1990s or immediately after a notorious shooting incident. Again, even if the statistics were true, the whole point of our Constitutional Republic is to prevent abuses of individual rights by mob rule. And if you dig deeper, you’ll find that the anti-gun people often have zero qualms about violating other freedoms to get their way.

To implement a hard gun control regime requires extensive violations of privacy and due process, after all. A registry is essentially a catalog of people’s personal possessions. Harsh “safe storage” laws enable the police to do warrantless searches of private residences. In nations where the right to keep and bear arms is treated as a privilege, the police routinely violate the individual rights of gun owners, with no recourse for the affected parties.

This doesn’t bother the anti-gunner one bit, though. They point to European nations as a model of gun control, where coincidentally other freedoms are restricted as a matter of course. For example, in Germany, where strict gun control is the norm, there are broad restrictions on speech. While reasonable people can agree that Nazism is a cancerous and flawed ideology, the discussion and promotion of it should not be banned by law. However, if you engage someone who is against the right to keep and bear arms, one will find that they most likely support broad restrictions on speech and individual rights. Your nosy neighbor who considers guns abhorrent and wants the private possession of them banned? He also has no issues endorsing restrictions on speech and privacy - to him, a paternalistic nanny state is the ideal.

To them, the needs of society trump the rights of the individual. They farm out the tasks of the individual, such as security and mobility, to the state, and are firmly against anything that could prove disruptive to their journey towards a radiant socialist future. A guy with a gun who chooses to live away from their urban enclave is considered an aberration.

However, if one engages an ardent supporter of the right to keep and bear arms in conversation, you will find that they usually support individual freedom as a whole, even if they find specific exercises of that freedom offensive. For example, I find the concepts of fascism and Nazism offensive, but I don’t agree those concepts should be censored. If anything, laying them out bare allows people to see their flaws and mistakes, as to not repeat them. Plus, if someone can freely express themselves as being a Nazi, that person can be avoided. It would really stink to know someone, then find out they are a closet Nazi, you know?

We’re not just solely gun nuts. We’re freedom nuts.

It’s a cultural war on freedom

Despite the hype, I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I may not be into whatever it is you are espousing, but I have zero issues with you doing it, within reason of course. If your thing is going after individual rights, I’m definitely not into that, and I’m going to have issues with you doing it.

But anyways, if you’re into howling at the moon at 3AM while clad in leather and openly-carrying a GLOCK 18, then carry on with your bad self. If you’re a guy who wants to put on a dress, march down Main Street and sing the Mickey Mouse Club anthem, go for it. If you’re a racist pig and you want to wear a certain breadboard in Harlem, well, it’s your life. If your jam is going to church every Sunday, carry on. If you roll on Shabbos, that’s between you and God. If you don’t want to bake that cake for the trans couple, that’s your business, not mine. You do you. I’ll do me. But apparently that’s not how the opposition flies.

By suppressing our right to keep and bear arms, the opposition wants to ensure that the leather-clad howler can’t openly carry that machine pistol, that the transvestite has to pay for permit to march, the racist will be denied his right to free speech altogether, the churchgoers will have to practice their faith in secret, the Shabbos roller won’t be able to bowl because bowling is “oppression”, and that the baker must bake the cake or he will be killed. We’ll be reduced to a Cocteau-esque world of bland misery.

And they can only do that if we lack the ability to fight back, whether it be on the legislative front, or, if all else fails, the physical front.

The Second Protects The Other Amendments

The right to keep and bear arms is the ultimate freedom. It means one can provide for their own safety and security, and also defend themselves against people who would seek to curtail their other freedoms. Sure, other nations may have guarantees of freedom of speech, but without the ability for the people to defend it, those freedoms are nothing but privileges granted by the government. Certainly, if one feels their freedoms are infringed, there are non-violent methods of redress. One can petition the courts if one feels their freedom of expression is being curtailed. And in most cases, this method will succeed. However, after repeated infringements on freedoms, one is left with little recourse but to defend oneself against further infringements, and to fight to regain lost freedoms. The right to keep and bear arms is the last argument of a free individual.

If that freedom is suppressed, we are nothing more than State property at that point. Sure, for your average person, a paternalistic society would present little problem. You wake up, go to work, grab the kids from school, and go home. As long as you stay in your prescribed “box”, things are generally OK. Until they aren’t. One day, the powers-that-be may declare that something you value is no longer acceptable in society. The mob will speak, and then tomorrow your car is gone, just because society decided that you no longer needed your car.

And at that point, you would have no viable recourse. You’ll wish you had a means of securing your freedom.

I’m not endorsing or encouraging violent resistance against those who mean to take our freedoms away. We’re thankfully not at that point yet. We still have the avenues of legislation and the judiciary to further secure the rights outlined in our founding documents. I hope to never see the day where I have to pick up my guns and use them in the defense of my individual rights. But if that day comes, I hope to have the ability to do so. I want to have the option, even though I hope to never use it.

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

widely attributed to Ben Franklin, but it’s unlikely he said it

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