All God's Children Got Guns
By Vin Suprynowicz
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
Last time, M.C. wrote in, from back East, asking whether any
logical reading of the Second Amendment doesn't also guarantee
individual Americans the right to own mortars, howitzers, and even
It certainly does.
The real question is: Why does this bother us?
Such weapons now exist, are widely dispersed, and are under the
control of common, mortal men. What makes us think God has sent us a
special race of angels, called "officers of the government," who can
be better trusted with these weapons, than you or me? Do you really
believe Bill Clinton is of sterner moral fiber than you or me? Or
some Air Force enlisted man, on a ladder in a missile silo,
retrofitting new fuses on a nuclear warhead?
How about the president of France? He has nuclear weapons. Do you
or I know for a fact that he isn't some kind of secret, unbalanced
speed freak? Didn't they just elect a bunch of giddy Socialists, over
there? How about the president of the Ukraine?
We don't know these guys from Adam, yet we implicitly trust them,
because they "work for a government."
In fact, most of these people are NOT your moral equal, or mine.
They all suffer from a mental disease which causes them to sacrifice
all moral principles -- to throw away the happiness of their
families, to step on their friends -- in order to gain great power
over their fellow men. I submit that it is not merely a POSSIBILITY
that one of these guys may be nuts, but that, in fact, MOST of them
The reason they don't unleash these weapons, therefore, is not
their saintliness, but the simple fact that they know other parties,
equally well armed, would kill them for their trouble. That has
ALWAYS been the strongest deterrent to the aggressive use of force.
The president of the Ukraine may be a nice and decent fellow. But
the reason the French sleep soundly at night is not because their
psychiatrists are allowed to interview the president of the Ukraine
weekly, but because they know, that HE knows, that they could and
would hit back.
Do I "advocate the unrestricted right to own weapons of mass
No, I acknowledge this pre-existing right of all individuals.
To do otherwise is to pretend we can put the Genii back in the
bottle. You might as well enact legislation "ceding to government"
the right of a mother bear to use her claws in defense of her cubs.
Morally depraved zealots possess every terrible weapon you can
think of, right now. Even as we speak, half the cashiered colonels of
the former Red Army are operating what amounts to one giant drive-in
flea market from Odessa to Tashkent, auctioning off everything from
souvenir hammer-and-sickle cufflinks to RPGs to purified plutonium to
any wild-eyed Iranian or Indonesian misfit who can come up with a
year's salary and a couple pounds of fish eggs.
Attempts by us to to "cede their self-defense rights" back to
"government" will prove about as effective as King Canute standing on
the shore and ordering the tide not to come in, or the attempts of
various medieval states to institute the death penalty for anyone who
taught their enemies how to make gunpowder.
The best way to curb the worst instincts of bad men is to let
them know that men of good character possess stuff even more powerful
than theirs, so they'd better not try anything.
The principle that keeps Saddam Hussein from sneaking a barge
full of poison gas into New York harbor, is the very same principle
that makes the potential mugger look at you and go, "Uh-oh. I don't
like the confident way this guy is striding around, especially out
here in the dark. I'll bet dollars to donuts he's got a .45 under
that jacket. I think I'll wait and pick on a more likely-looking
And that is PRECISELY the thought pattern I want to see in the
minds of Bill Clinton and Janet Reno when they consider seizing my
guns and ordering me to line up for fingerprinting for my new
"National ID card" and "internal travel permits." Which is why every
loyal, freedom-loving American should own a BAR ... and a couple of
Stingers. To keep our leaders from the path of temptation.
If I am given the choice between dying in a nuclear blast, or
leaving to my children a life of slavery to which I acquiesced on
their behalf, out of fear or the mere desire for personal ease and
convenience, please ... bring on your bomb.
Once the people are disarmed and terrified of their neighbors,
once they believe that nothing is worse than death, and that the only
way to be safe is to lock their doors, cringe in terror, and dial
9-1-1 for the government police at the first sign of trouble, ...
then making them into slaves becomes mere child's play.
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. The web site for the Suprynowicz column is at
http://www.nguworld.com/vindex/. The column is syndicated in the
United States and Canada via Mountain Media Syndications, P.O. Box
4422, Las Vegas Nev. 89127.