The gun remains one of the most polarizing issues in American politics today, provoking strong opinions for and against among Americans. In the minds of many Americans, images innocent victims in a Colorado movie theater, a Connecticut elementary school, or a Florida night club are the first thing that come to their minds when they think of guns. Spurred by these desperate emotions, they believe that if only they can get guns out of the hands of the people, such tragedies would become a thing of the past.
It is a matter of fact that, per Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, on average, 12,000 people lose their lives to “gun violence” every year. According to the same source, 7 children and teens, defined as anyone below the age of 20, are shot and killed on an average day, and 83 children total were killed by accidental shooting alone in 2015. Let’s not mince words, the gun control advocates are absolutely correct: if guns are from the public sphere, the amount of gun deaths would drop to near zero. We cannot deny that it is an emotionally compelling argument. After all, think of the children…
Though, while we are banning things that accidentally kill children, what about cars? They killed 938 children in 2015 alone. Being a passenger in a multi-occupant car killed more children (663 child deaths) in 2015 than almost a decade of accidental gun deaths. Among infant fatalities (less than one year old), 66% were killed by suffocation from plastic bags, small toys, or food. Among toddlers 1 year to 4 years old, water is the leading cause of death, causing at 27% of deaths in that age group.
Using gun control advocate logic, Americans should eliminate automobiles, small objects, plastic bags, any body of water that a child can get into, and then, finally, guns, in that order. That is, we should eliminate all of these things if we’re really looking to save the lives of the children. After all, think of the children… But we’re not really talking about the children, are we?
What we’re really talking about is an overt appeal to emotion that is compelling primarily to people who prefer feelings to logic. If you are reading this right now, chances are you aren’t one of these people.
Fear is the enemy of logic.
Since few issues can spark an almost instant conflagration of strong opinions for and against like the gun issue, few arguments get past this frankly sophomoric appeal to emotion argument, devolving into accusations of callous disregard for human life among those of us who don’t find the issue of deaths compelling (which is ironic considering the unusually high correlation of support for abortion among these people, but that’s another matter for another time), especially considering gun deaths trail far behind vehicular and drug overdoses (or abortions, for that matter) as a cause of death.
The gun control movement is driven by two types of people: (a) those who are genuinely sent into doe eyed hysteria by the mere thought of guns and (b) those who understand what the 2nd Amendment is one of the few remaining bridges connecting us to our ideological heritage, coming straight from the very heart of the American Revolution. There isn’t a logical argument to compel the first type of people, because their thinking begins and ends with emotion. The second group see the 2nd Amendment is a bellwether of how far they can push all of the fundamental rights.
So far, they’ve been able to push it pretty far. Every time they bring up the argument of gun control, now called an Orwellian “common sense gun control“, we’re stuck arguing about how many shots a gun can fire, how many rounds can fit into a magazine, or even how easy a gun is to conceal. None of these issues even matter, and, by and large, the Leftists know it.
I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.
Take any of the Leftists arguments about the fundamental right to bear arms, such as the guns were meant for hunting or that guns rights were meant specifically for only members of a militia, the military, or some other governmental force, and compare it to the easily verifiable statements made by the Founding Fathers. It doesn’t take but literally a few minutes of research to invalidate these frankly sophomoric and openly dishonest Leftist arguments.
Take the three most influential Founding Fathers alone. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, wrote “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” George Washington, the first and only US president in history to run unopposed for the office, wrote “[E]very citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government… should be… provided with uniform Arms” and “accustomed to the use of them…“
It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the Founders intended the right to bear arms unequivocally to be both a fundamental right of the people and unequivocally for the purpose of “defense of a free country“. Not hunting. Not sport shooting. Not home defense. Not any other ridiculous side show argument the Left can concoct. And anyone that continues to argue otherwise is either incurably ignorant or an intellectual fraud. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm, not the exception these days.
Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness.
-Thomas Paine, Common Sense-
The Founders recognized that all fundamental rights exist untarnished only in the absence of government. They understood that government, in doing anything at all, was only capable of vandalizing these pristine natural rights of the people. Having just fought a war to secure exactly these fundamental rights from a tyrannical monarchy that denied them, the Founding Fathers specifically sought to forbid their new government the power to abridge, infringe, violate, or seize any of the rights and property of the people.
The 2nd Amendment didn’t create the right to bear arms. The 1st Amendment didn’t create the right to religion, free speech, or free press. The 4th Amendment didn’t create the right to private property. By the time the Amendments collectively known as the Bill of Rights were collectively ratified late in 1791, the Founding Fathers had fought a war and drafted two national and thirteen state governments that all presupposed the existence of these fundamental rights.
Despite the best efforts of the Founding Fathers, after a century of ceaseless assault on the edifices of natural rights left to us, our once immaculate natural rights have been so thoroughly abused that they are scarcely recognizable. The safeguards long gone, our government now assumes authority over our firearms, our property and even our private thoughts. The question is no longer whether they can regulate, it’s what kinds and how much. To recover our fundamental rights, we must first begin to ask the right questions.
Do we still really want to be free?
Liberty is For The Win!