Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rights and Wrongs on Guns

Laura Hollis has a piece over at Townhall today entitled Rights versus Wrongs that is must read if you are interested at all in the current debate about guns. Hollis:
In a recent Facebook discussion following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, a friend whom I respect greatly posed a challenge to those of us defending Second Amendment rights. “You always say what isn't the answer,” he complained, “but you never say what the answer is.”
Interestingly, the "answer" is fairly obvious, and equally unpalatable to the great majority of people, and can be summed up in the word "humble." If one is humble, and not so full of himself, he will better be able to see others and their problems, and take them less personally. He will be more tolerant of his fellows, and not be quick to take offense or harbor resentments. But Hollis takes a different tack, precisely I think, because the answer is so unappetizing to most:
It was refreshing to have a legitimate debate that didn’t descend into name-calling and hyperbolic accusations. But implicit in my friend’s observation is a question: do those of us who object to the infringement of our rights have a prior obligation to offer a better solution than that which is being proposed?

I say no. And here’s why.

To accept that premise is to start with the false conclusion that our constitutional rights are conditional: either we come up with some Solution Y for Problem X, or else the powers that be are justified in taking our constitutional rights away as part of Solution Z.
We must remember that these rights are ours by virtue of our humanity, and exist in nature prior to any government of constitution. Governments exist to help us, and when the cease to do so, they have necessarily broken the covenant we have made with each other.  Examples of the failure of government to do the right thing abound, and always end up with a dictator, king, tyrant, or emperor or whatever title the wish to give themselves, disarming the population and then doing whatever it is they want to do to them.  Our so called elites are no different, and they have the same resentments, prejudices, and crank ideas as the rest of the population.  Hollis goes on:
Threats from those who would flout gun prohibitions are just as real, and even more immediate. Sandy Hook Elementary School was a “gun-free zone.” As was the theatre in Aurora, Colorado, Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. California already has strict gun control laws, not to mention laws against murder. That did not stop Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik from assembling an arsenal and slaughtering 14 people. The same dynamic is on display elsewhere. The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country – and an alarmingly high handgun murder rates.

“Oh, but the problem is that people can get guns from neighboring states,” the argument goes. “We need a uniform, federal law.”

We’ve seen this argument before, and it failed then, too. When Prohibition (described by President Herbert Hoover as a “noble experiment”) went into effect with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we had a uniform, federal law that forbade the importation, manufacture, and sale of alcohol. It was a disaster that criminalized the conduct of previously law-abiding citizens, and cost billions in lost revenues, lost jobs, and misplaced law enforcement resources. Not to mention innumerable people killed by the massive criminal infrastructure that Prohibition fostered and encouraged.
Hollis here is recognizing that if there is a demand for guns, for whatever reason, and those guns can not be obtained legally, they will be obtained illegally. During prohibition, criminals made vast fortunes smuggling booze into the United States. The small body of water separating Windsor, Ontario and Detroit Michigan was a favored spot for smuggling Canadian whiskey, and as the drug cartels do today, ships loaded with whiskey would sit outside the 12 mile limit, while fast boats pulled up and filled their holds with booze.  in other words, it will be impossible to kep guns out of the country, no matter how much the government and the Left want to.

The reason this is so important is that criminals and terrorists will always be able to get guns, bombs, IEDs, or anything else that may be illegal if it provides an advantage in carrying out their goals.  We need to be able to defend ourselves, and we have the right to do so.  Period.  

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