The arguments on both sides of this debate are mystifyingly off-base. It’s as if we've already forgotten American history. Sure; Obama is going to try to put a vehicle for gun confiscation in place. It will be a bill that seeks to tax or in some other way restrict the manufacture and purchase of automatic weapons and large ammunition clips. The bill will also say that a special council will examine the results of the program and determine whether further action must be taken, at their discretion.
This is a traditional liberal tactic. Obamacare was a vehicle for a single-payer healthcare system. It will come eventually. Don’t believe me? Obama himself was caught saying so on a hot mic. “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal healthcare plan…that’s what I’d like to see. But, as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.” It is a process that will take time. The citizenry is more malleable when exposed to slow change. It is easier to take their freedoms one at a time than all at once. There’s less resistance that way. “Then over time, as the system becomes more efficient and everybody’s covered, we decide that there are other ways to provide care,” he later pontificated. This is why panels are in place to make decisions and new regulations. The same is true with the Feinstein gun bill.
Here’s the catch for Obama. The second amendment protects the citizens’ right to “keep and bear arms.” The liberals almost always discuss the rapid rise of technology as a reason to change public perception of this amendment. “The founders could never foresee assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns,” the argument generally progresses. This argument is a red-herring. Of course, the statement is factually correct, and it looks nice, but if anything it proves the point for the other side.
What the liberals often fail to recognize when begrudgingly harkening back to the founding fathers to make their point is that the reason behind the second amendment was to protect the people from a tyrannical government. You know – a government that tries to steal freedom from the individuals who constitute it? One that might even walk guns to Mexico and Libya so foreigners could shoot our officers and we could blame their deaths on American guns? In fact, Madison penned that particular amendment with the knowledge that one day an overbearing government might once again come for the people’s guns. If they did – by God – the people would be able to protect themselves.
Problematically, the republicans often fail to make this point in the debate. Instead, they often ramble on about the founding fathers not being able to foresee the internet or cell phones either, and they aren't banned yet!
Liberals also frequently make the fallacious point that hunters do not need machine guns to kill deer or pheasants. Another red-herring, no pun intended. Because of course the statement is true, but it has nothing to do with the rationale behind protecting individual gun ownership.
If conservative columnists had any sense, they would point out that the Constitution specifically highlights the reason for protecting individual gun ownership rights. “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The founders knew that private citizens might very well need to coordinate militias to fight a tyrannical government at some point. Jefferson said he thought a revolution would be necessary in every generation to maintain freedom. If the founders had foreseen assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns, they would have chosen words that would ensure their protection specifically. Because what good are muskets against machine guns – or wagons against tanks?
The recent mass-shootings are deeply disturbing. There is more that we can do to stop them. Parents should be more responsible. They shouldn't tell friends how worried they are that their son might be a homicidal maniac, then hand him an M-16 and teach him how to shoot. How about we take a look at the medications Lanza and Loughner were on? Why were they on prescription drugs that are known to induce paranoia and hostility? Why aren't the media digging deeper? Perhaps because big-pharma pays big-bucks to their news organizations. Let’s consider regulating industries that actually cause the problems in a commonsensical way.
There are no quick and easy solutions. Taking our guns is the furthest thing from it. Obama is plainly discussing passing an executive order to restrict certain kinds of weapons and ammunition. Listen, I’m all for protecting the citizenry. But taking the guns puts sane and reasonable people at a disadvantage. I won’t go into all the statistics that prove that tougher gun laws equal higher crime rates, much like our alcohol prohibition impelled the creation of crime organization and mass hysteria. Suffice it to say that freedom is always the best option. The feds will come for our guns at some point. They have already pushed the snowball off the top of the cliff. The question is; will we refuse to give them up? Hopefully we will remember why our founders protected them.
Obama once said that the Constitution was “a deeply flawed document” and “a charter of negative liberties” because it “said what government can’t do to you, and not what government must do on your behalf.” I disagree. The Constitution is a charter of positive liberties. It protects our freedom from government intervention. And as far as what the government must do on our behalf – how about getting the hell out of the way?