The reason we have a Second Amendment is to guarantee private citizens the right to defend themselves from both criminals and tyrannical government.
Without the right to bear arms, we are little more than subjects at the mercy of both our rulers and the barbarians among us.
It really is amazing that millions of Americans have simply accepted the idea that the government can tell you which guns you can and cannot own, or, worse whether or not you can own a gun in the first place.
The whole point of this “freedom” thing is that the government shouldn’t get to tell you what you can and cannot do, for the most part.
And this includes owning a firearm.
Without the right to own a firearm, you are not fully free and independent.
It’s not that complicated.
The whole point of the Second Amendment was to establish the fact that the government cannot take away your right to arm–and thereby defend–yourself.
But the idea of a natural right to self defense against tyranny and criminality goes way beyond even our Founding Fathers. In 350 B.C., in his book “Politics,” Aristotle wrote:
“As of oligarchy so of tyranny … Both mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.”
The link above contains many more historical references to the right to self-defense, from Jesus in the Bible to Cicero in Ancient Rome, to Baron Montesquieu during the Enlightenment. The common theme is a simple one: people must retain the right to defend themselves.
An armed citizen is a more secure citizen. He knows that he has the ability to defend himself and his family from whatever trouble may come his way.
I really don’t understand how people can think, “Only the government should be allowed to have guns.” To think that you’d have to either be a tyrant or doing a tyrant’s bidding–wittingly or unwittingly.
What exceptions would I accept on the right to bear arms? None, just like with the right to free speech. Both are unbending and absolute.
Just as the government does not have the authority to tell you what you can and cannot say, it does not have the authority to tell you which guns you can and cannot own. Well, let me rephrase that: it shouldn’t have that authority, but over the years it has slowly but surely acquired it.
The Bill of Rights made it clear that gun control was simply not something that was to be under the government’s purview. It’s off-limits, not up for discussion, non-negotiable.
But essentially since the New Deal, the role of government in our society has expanded dramatically, and along with it, the American Public’s idea of what the government can and cannot do.
Today, the answer to the question “What can the government do?” is, “Basically everything.”
But it was not intended to be that way at the start. The Founding Fathers were very clear that they wanted limitations on the power and scope of government. For example, it took until 1913 for the federal government to gain the power to tax your income. Prior to that the government did not have the authority to tax you.
It sounds hard to believe now because we’re taxed so damn much, but it’s true. And now we live in a country where people just assume the government has unlimited authority.
My point is that the whole idea of gun control should be off-limits. We shouldn’t even be having this debate over gun control and AR-15s.
But unfortunately the exponential growth of government over the past hundred years or so has made people believe the government’s purview is everything.
Again, it wasn’t always this way. From the founding of the country until 1930, total federal spending averaged about 3% of GDP:
Outside of the Civil War, government spending between 1791-1930 never really went above 2-3% of GDP.
But the New Deal changed all of that. Under the guise of “getting us out of the Depression,” FDR’s countless programs and “efforts” enabled the government to amass an incredible amount of power. Government spending–which represents its authority and power–took off and never looked back.
Today, government spending is around 25% of GDP. We’ve been living in the era of Big Government for nearly 100 years–Bill Clinton was lying when he famously said “the era of Big Government is over.”
The whole point of this history lesson is to underscore the point that there was a time when Americans understood that there were limits on government power.
The prospect of the government banning certain types of firearms would be just as absurd to the founding generation as the prospect of the government imposing an income tax: to them, those simply weren’t things the government had the authority to do. To them, gun control would not even be up for discussion.
And that’s the way it should be: the Second Amendment guarantees that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
The reason is that Americans are supposed to be free–they shouldn’t need permission from the government to own a firearm.
The right to self-defense against both criminals and tyrannical governments is one of the most basic and essential of all natural rights.
I understand people want to Do Something about these mass shootings–believe me, I wish they weren’t a regular occurrence in our society today. Just because I oppose gun control doesn’t mean I am not concerned about these mass shootings.
In fact I largely see calls for gun control as a non-sequitur in response to mass shootings. The problem isn’t the guns, it’s the people carrying them out and the society that produces sick, twisted young men that are capable of that type of evil.
Gun control is a dodge to avoid getting to the real problem: the fact that we now inhabit a very sick country that produces murderous psychopaths that go on shooting rampages every few months.
There is nothing that could convince me the Second Amendment is not of immense value to us Americans and our freedom. Mass shootings are terrible but they still do not mean law-abiding Americans should have to relinquish their right to self-defense.
Mass shootings don’t mean Americans have to give up their right to self-defense.
This is why so many of us on the right refuse to even discuss the idea of gun control: because any form of it is incompatible with a free society.
Hopefully this explanation makes it a bit easier for people on the left to understand, because it’s become apparent they have no idea why the Second Amendment exists.
People need to get out of this “ruler-subject mindset” that has taken hold of our country over the past 100 years. Just because the government now has virtually unlimited power doesn’t mean it should; there are areas where the government should have no power.
Americans: we are not subjects. The Founders intended the government to answer to us, not the other way around.
The moment you accept the premise of gun control, you give up any remaining pretense that America is a free country.