“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
On the topic of “gun control” and the second amendment, there is little I can add to the debate that hasn’t already been said. I will only say this. Our nation has a growing history of “banning” and “limiting” things it decides the citizenry doesn’t need to have access to. Our federal government has limited speech and habeus corpus during war, banned alcohol when it fell out fashion and illicit drugs when young people decided they no longer needed to live in reality. States like New York have banned smoking from almost everywhere people go and are now on crusades to ban food that is so delicious, cheap and plentiful that our impoverished are actually said to be stricken with an obesity epidemic.
Each time we ban something, we are faced with a simple reality, banning things rarily if ever takes them away from our lives. If anything, government bans and limitations make restricted products more available and puts control over their distribution to criminals. Want evidence? The District of Columbia has some of the most restrictive gun laws and yet the small capital city leads the nation in firearm murders, firearm robberies and is third in the nation for firearm assaults per 100,000 people.
The one thing that makes sense to ban is unprovoked violence. The assault by bad actors against the individual liberty of others and/or wanton destruction of property is what we should seek to eliminate, not guns. Unfortunately many who espouse gun control are equally quick to stand up for criminals, demonizing those who would seek the death penalty or lifetime imprisonment for murderers who terrorize their neighbors. They seek to close prisons, end the death penalty and defend the actions of cop-killers and sex predators. Many of us who stand by the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms stand by the principal that those who abuse this right should face the most severe punishment available. We push for a free society with consequences for those who take advantage of it.
It is sad that many take moments like the Aurora massacre and exploit them for a political agenda that says the rights of all Americans should be suspended for the terrible actions of a small minority of them. Their arguments remove the individual responsibility of the shooters who abuse guns and seek to blame the weapons themselves and the society that has always maintained the liberty to own them. Tools, whether they be a knife, a bow, a hammer or a gun, are neutral objects independent of the evil that lurks within some men. It is the man who pulls the trigger, whose soul is rotten, that is responsible for his actions and it is the man, not the tool or the society that uses them responsibly, who should pay the price. We should be vilifying those who are villains and not the devices they use to carry out their evil.
Limiting the ownership of arms runs counter to the highest principals and history of our nation. It provides a false sense of security to those who do not wish to own arms themselves while leaving defenseless those who would stand up against murderers and tyrants. More than that, even if we agreed as a majority to pass gun control laws, it would not limit their existence in our lives. Just as those who wish to abuse drugs can find them in abundance today, so too are guns available in those places where they are restricted and so too would they be if they were ever banned outright. Gun “control” is a fallacy that would only stop good men from fighting evil and not evil from murdering good men.