THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 707, February 3, 2013
Government kills. Government steals.
Government kidnaps. Government enslaves.
Government lies. Government is vastly
worse than anything or anybody it was
created to protect us from.
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
First let me preface my remarks by stating that I am not a 'gun guy'. I do not hunt. I do not target shoot. I do not collect guns. I do not belong to the NRA. I do not live in a 'rough' part of town. I own no guns, nor have I ever needed to have one. The last time I fired a shot in anger was in 1968.
That being said, there are many people today, (myself included), who have a deep (and a legitimate), distrust of the government.
They believe that it is in the nature of governments to accumulate and to concentrate more and more power over people's lives. More power leads to more control.
It has always been so. As Lord Acton so famously stated, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," meaning that those who are given power over others will use that power.
Even if the government is not specifically intending to do so, it is the nature of large governments that this occurs.
Now the government may espouse their desire to help the citizenry, but when individuals disagree with what the government determines is in their best interest, then those in power use coercion. Sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle.
This concentration of power and increasing coercion can be gradual (like slowly turning up the heat on a lobster in a pot), or sudden (like dropping him into boiling water).
One need only be a casual student of history to see the process at work again and again and again.
The Second Amendment is our guarantee that this loss of individual freedom and increasing control of our lives cannot be done with impunity.
One need only look at what is occurring in Syria today or in Mexico, or any of a dozen other locations around the globe to see examples of what happens when the government controls the people and when the people are defenseless to resist.
Now you may feel that this distrust is not warranted, or that it verges on paranoia. Many might agree with you. However, many more would not.
The Founding Fathers believed fervently that ordinary citizens needed to be protected from an oppressive government. If they had not, then there would not have been a Second Amendment in the first instance.
They were very distrustful of the concentration of power into the hands of the few. They set up safeguards against it by diluting that power into different branches and different levels. They tried to define precisely just who could do what, and what things they could not do. They added further protections in the Bill of Rights.
The Founding Fathers, I am certain, would be aghast at the degree to which the government controls the lives of Americans today. Indeed, they went into rebellion over transgressions less onerous than what we today have allowed to be imposed upon us.
Read the Declaration of Independence. Look at the reasons that are enumerated there. They speak of an oppressive government seeking to impose its will upon the citizenry.
The Second Amendment was NEVER about what type of arms citizens might own or about what the technological developments of the future might bring. It was not about hunting. It was not about home defense. It was not about target shooting. It was about the ability of citizens to oppose and resist the oppression of a tyrannical government.
There are those Americans that honestly feel that this point of view is not applicable to the 21st century; that such concerns are the things of history. They label those like myself as 'gun nuts' or as paranoid, even dangerous.
If you are one that believes that this distrust is stuff out of a dusty history book, and has no relevance in the 21st century, then I urge you again to to look around more carefully.
Those of us that support the Second Amendment feel that its relevance is as valid now as it was when it was first penned.
AND this second post:
For those who think that if it ever came to armed resistance to the government ordinary citizens armed with an odd assortment of hunting rifles, semi-automatic weapons, shot guns and handguns would be no match for a modern military, then I would direct your attention to Syria today.
They started by throwing rocks. Not the threat of a modern military with automatic weapons, not the threat of armor or artillery, nor the threat of air power and bombs has deterred them.
According to FBI statistics, there are [approximately] 100,000,000 gun owners in the United States today (47-50% of US households if what I read is accurate). That is half the adult population of the country.
They possess [approximately] 300,000,000 firearms.
If it ever came to that, I believe that We the People, could manage to do as well as the people of Syria, don't you?