Gun Ownership A Sacred Right
Posted: February 23, 2013
“Democracy,” it is said, “is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” Pictured gun dealer Mel Bernstein fires his AK-47 assault rifle on full automatic at his own Dragonman's shooting range and gun store, east of Colorado Springs, Colo. (Photo by Associated Press)
Those who frame the gun control debate in such terms are building their argument on a dangerous (and bogus) premise, intentionally or through lack of understanding. That premise is that citizens should be “allowed” to own, or do, only those things that they “need” to own or do. This brings to mind the familiar dictum of Karl Marx: “From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.”
The most fundamental flaw in promoting and accepting a “needs based” criteria for establishing the boundaries of what citizens can and cannot own or do, is that someone other than our self is given the power to dictate what each of us needs. Whom could we trust with such power? Moreover, whom should we trust with such power? The answer, in a free society, is absolutely no one!
Gun control cannot be debated in a vacuum, isolated from the broader tenets of legal and political principles which will be established through the dangerous precedence set by accepting a government mandated limitation, on a Constitutionally protected fundamental civil right no less, that is based on what politicians, bureaucrats, or even the majority of citizens think people need or do not need. Our Creator gives us our rights. Our government was established to guarantee and protect those rights, not to arbitrarily decide which of those rights people need or do not need to exercise as they see fit.
Do we really want to open this Pandora’s Box, and let politicians and bureaucrats place limitations on us based on what they think we need? If you are foolish enough to let your misinformation and irrational fears about guns motivate you to support that kind of government discretion, you can be certain that at some point, your government will decide that there are things that you currently own that you do not “need.” And those things, too, will be banned.
“But,” the gun control advocates argue, “if the majority of people want a ban on so-called ‘assault rifles,’ and a ban on magazines that hold more than some arbitrarily chosen number of rounds of ammunition, and a mandate for private individuals to obtain government permission to buy or sell their legally owned personal property, then the majority should have their way. America is, after all, a Democracy, and a Democracy means the majority rules, right?”
Of course, despite what we are constantly indoctrinated to believe, America is not a democracy, but a self-governing, constitutional republic. As such, we are ruled by laws, not by mob rule or politicians, and individuals have unalienable rights, which they retain whether the majority approves or not. “Democracy,” it is said, “is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” So today’s argument that “the majority of Americans want stricter gun control laws” has no more merit than the argument 200 years ago that “the majority of Americans want slavery.” After all, the plantation owners of the South “needed” slave labor. Does this not graphically illustrate the danger of using “need” as a criterion for determining “rights?”
We hold it to be self-evident that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life and liberty. Implicit in that right to life is the right of self-defense, and the right to own and use what we, as individuals, consider to be the best and most appropriate tools available for the defense of our life and our liberty, including semi-automatic weapons with magazines capable of holding whatever amount of ammunition we, as individuals, deem appropriate.
What other people, including politicians, bureaucrats, and hoplophobes, think what we “need” is totally irrelevant.
Mr. Lough lives in Penn Laird.