WASHINGTON, January 28, 2014 – The gun issue will never go away in American politics. It is a key bone of contention across the political spectrum. The far left believe that guns should only be in the hands of the police, the military and the government. Libertarians believe that the right to own firearms is a naturally granted civil liberty bound to the right to life, and should not be regulated.
Those in the middle dance around the subject in order to stay in power. Even Ronald Reagan, king of the pantheon of conservative politicians, believed in curbing gun rights in the name of safety. This political positioning is not new, nor will it ever end.
Arguments fly back and forth from the camps at either end of the spectrum. The Progressive left cites the growing gun violence epidemic as evidence that society is not responsible enough to possess firearms. They point to recent mass shooting as evidence in support of curtailing the gun rights of every day Americans. Conservatives on the right believe that the 2nd Amendment affords them the right to own the means to defend themselves, regardless of the apparent need to curtail an alleged rise in gun violence.
Of course libertarians believe that the right to defend themselves is an essential civil liberty, and a check against the power of the government.
A check against the power of the government.
Why is this important?
There is, and always has been, a fourth branch of the United States government. Legislative exists to create the laws, and represent the people. Executive exists to enforce the laws, and to lead the nation. Judicial exists to adhere them both to the Constitution, and to provide a voice of the rule of law. But then there is the people. The people exist not just to vote the Executive and Legislative branches into power, not simply to select those who would be their voices in Washington, or in their respective state capitols. But to be a check on the power of the government.
This is not a suggestion, or an option, this is a duty. It is the duty of Americans, whether on the far left or the far right of the political spectrum to stand up to corruption, and to greed, and to the flagrant and willful violation of the public trust at the hands of the government. It is the responsibility of the people to act as the fourth branch of the government, so that the other three do not prevent the light and the warmth of freedom, and individual liberty, from reaching the bough of the public.
How do we, the people, accomplish this task?
We must use our logic and reason as our original discourse for change, and for applying pressure to our representatives and our leaders. It is essential that our voices be heard, and that they do not simply brush off of the backs of politicians who will do anything to stay in power.
And we do this, public pressure for the most part plays a large part in the changes made to our government in our nation’s history. Politicians constantly bow to public pressure, leaders and representatives repeatedly make their decisions according to potential public reactions.
But what grants us the right, and the ability to take these stands? What grants the Occupy Wall Street protester the right shout his frustration about corporate greed over a megaphone? What grants the Tea Party protester, fed up with gross over taxation, the right to march in Washington DC and demand reform?
The right to free speech.
The right to free speech guarantees the right of every voice, from the right to the left, from statists to anarchists, to be heard and to be heard without prejudice from the government. Contrary to what many believe the words and actions of the people have meaning and impact in Washington. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson the government is supposed to be afraid of the people. The people make their voices heard, even to the detriment of the government, and the government is bound to protect their right to speak so.
But what is to stop the government from removing that freedom? What is to stop the government from taking away that fundamental right of the people to speak their minds, and make their voices heard? What protects the right to free speech?
The right to arms.
The right to arms is not granted to us by the Constitution, as the Cruikshanks Decision tells us, but instead the Constitution simply affirms a right that we are all born with, and that is the right to procure arms for our own personal defense.
Whether you believe in God, Allah, Gaia, whether you believe in the old gods of nature, or a flying spaghetti monster, your right as a living and breathing individual to secure for yourself the ability to provide for your own physical defense is granted to you by the simple fact of your existence. We are not born the subjects, we are not born into this world subservient to anyone.
We live and we die in a nation governed by the consent of the governed. That is not unwilling suppression, that is reluctant cooperation. We do not live by the leave of the politicians in Washington, we do not exist to serve the collective community as if our lives belonged to the nation itself. We exist, and we live, according to the laws that we allow our “leaders” to craft and to pass in order to make our lives easier, and in order to allow for us the best environment to thrive as individuals.
Those who wish to see the ownership of civilian arms revoked or reduced fail to see the consequences such a gross injustice and miscarriage of civil liberties would render. They only see that with fewer guns, or less dangerous guns, or no civilian guns on the street that the people would be safer, and that with guns only in the hands of the government then the people would be free from gun violence, and mass shootings. This is a fundamental tenant of gun-control advocates; guns only in the hands of the government.
It is wrong, and it is detrimental to the preservation of not only individual liberty, but the liberty of a nation. As stated before it is the duty of the people to be the fourth branch of government, it is the duty of the people to speak out, and the right to speak freely protects that. However what protects that is the right to carry arms in your own defense.
What happens when that defense is taken away?
What happens when the government is no longer forced to reason with you, or to listen to your voice, or to lend an ear to your criticism?
What happens when the government no longer sees the people as a threat, because that threat has no means of imposing means of retribution?
When the government is no longer forced to treat with the public in terms of logic and reason, when the government must no longer abide by the threat of public pressure and public retaliation, then there ceases to be representative government, there ceases to be liberty. It is instead replaced by despotism and tyranny. Of course one may still petition the government to redress their concerns, one may still have a voice, but the voice lacks teeth and substance. The voice lacks power.
That is the fundamental flaw of the gun-control effort; the trimming of the fourth branch of the government.
Consider this. Why do you obey the law? Why do you not embezzle, steal, or kill? Why do you pay your taxes? Because it is the law. What happens if you break the law? Will the government scold you, pat you on the head and say, don’t do it again? No, they come to your house, the bust your door down, they seize your property, and they take you away with a gun pointed at your head. They apply their laws by force. They use guns and military tactics in order to maintain the rule of law.
Gun-control advocates who argue for the confiscation of guns, or those politicians who tout the 2nd Amendment as protection for hunters and sport shooters are either completely ignorant of the intent of our nation or they are not gun control, just pro-government control. The right to bear arms in this country is supposed to act as a check against the runaway power of the government, from a township to the federal level.
We are not born into this World to abide tyrants, we are not born into this World to abide those who would see our freedoms stripped and revoked for the dream of safety, and security in a collectivist state. There is a price for living free, there is a price for living in a country that values the maximum freedom of the individual over the façade of government provided security at the expense of personal liberty.
Is it not interesting that those who seek to curtail gun ownership in America also seek increased government control in other categories? Progressives and Liberals who seek gun control measures in the name of public safety also seek to drastically increase the role of government in the lives of the people. If they succeed on chipping away and capturing the basic right of the individual to defend themselves then they will leave the people totally at the mercy of a government, when it should be the government at the mercy of the people.