Home > Liberty Under Attack > [Tru Blu Tuesday] Control the Guns!

[Tru Blu Tuesday] Control the Guns!

Anyone living in the U.S. these days would have to have their head buried in the sand not to have heard about all the hoopla over gun control as of late. Tragedies such as the Aurora, CO theater shooting, the Oak Creek, WI Sikh temple shooting and the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary, have rekindled the debate over gun control in America. CNN talk show host Piers Morgan has had everyone from Ben Shapiro to Alex Jones on his show to debate the issue. Senator Dianne Feinstein has revamped her approach at passing a more restrictive version of her infamous assault weapons ban. All in all, the debate for who has the right to own what kind of weapons is in a state of uproar, and shows no signs of quieting in the near future. With that in mind, I would like to offer my thoughts on the subject.

Of course, my thoughts have been thought of before and by much wiser men than I. Yet the concept is nevertheless very simple. The direction I approach the matter is different from that of the standard argument for gun rights. Generally, it is the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, that is quoted as the primary safe guard of our right to keep and bear arms. A brief review:

“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.”

Some gun rights advocates are quick to underline the shall not be infringed clause. They also aggressively circle the right of the people, and justly so. These folks are the first to draw upon the Battle of Lexington and Concord as an illustration to the early American tradition of defending one’s self from unjust power grabs by the government. Regardless, these people miss the point.

Some gun control advocates argue that the amendment was intended only for militia, or military, to be armed in defense of the people. Some say that the authors of the Bill of Rights did not foresee the amendment extending to the advancement of weapon technology past the muskets in use at the time. They would hold that if the founders could see the high-powered, deadly accurate, high volume firearms we have today they would not include the amendment at all. Whatever their reasoning, and I strongly contest the above to be false, they are missing the entire point.

Come and take it!

The simple fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment does not, in fact, grant us the right to bear firearms. The right to own and use firearms is a human right. This is to say that it is granted to us by nothing more than the virtue of being human. This goes for each one of the first ten amendments to our Constitution. All of these rights, while meticulously articulated on our behalf by the founding fathers, did not come to us because they were written there. It is extremely beneficial for us, as citizens, to have had these rights spelled out in black and white so many years ago, but these words are not the source of our liberty.

The difference is in the two schools of thought pertaining to the source of our rights. One group of people will believe that our rights are bestowed upon us by government in its various forms.  This group graciously accepts whatever the law says they have a right to and nothing more. The danger in this line of thinking is that if this is true, then the rights granted by government institutions can be taken away by government. In the other group, however, the people hold that their rights come from their mere status as a human being. You could further divide this latter group into those who believe that these human rights are God-given and those who simply declare their humanity as the cause of their freedoms, but that is an entirely different story. Again, it is this basic divide in thought, that is at the root cause of the division on the issue of gun control.

I should clarify here that individuals who commit violent crimes should and ought to be relieved of this privilege. Anyone who forcefully violates the safety of another in a clearly defined criminal context (i.e. armed robbery, sexual assault, to name a few) forfeits their right to own a weapon. In betraying the public trust they present themselves as a threat to others and should not be allowed to amplify that threat with a dangerous tool.

Herein lies the crux of the issue. Firearms are currently the best method of personal defense available to the common man. They are not going away and will be here for the foreseeable future. As long they are available, and available to good citizens as well as bad ones, we have the basic human right to own them. You cannot, in good conscience, deprive a person the ability to defend themselves. There is no logical basis for it. No government has the authority, unless mistakenly given to them by the people, to take the means of self-defense from its law-abiding citizens. Any actions taken by those in authority to limit this ability from its people, is directly violating a fundamental human right. It does not matter how the Bill of Rights is interpreted or what lawmakers determine is “enough” firepower an individual should possess. If any person, in good standing with his fellow-man, wishes to take up arms, he is granted that privilege not by the words of man’s law, but by the same laws of nature that gave him breath on the day he was born.

the ultimate authority … resides in the people alone,” – James Madison

James Madison, 4th U.S. President and the Father of the Constitution.

James Madison, 4th U.S. President and the Father of the Constitution.

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