Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Disarming Smile: Government’s Toothy Grin


You never want a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. ~Rahm Emanuel 

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies. ~Groucho Marx 

Friday was a gut-wrenching day for America. The whole nation—thanks to 24/7 cable news—was transfixed and heartbroken over the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Matricide followed by the slaughter of 20 children and 6 adults: How does one process this? 

Predictably, before those little, lifeless bodies were lifted from the floor, liberals were clamoring for more gun control. Never let a “serious crisis go to waste” indeed. But will disarming American citizens make them safer—safer how and from whom?  

Here are a few things which seem to militate against taking away our guns. 

The pragmatic problem
How would the government disarm Americans? I don’t suppose there would be an immediate gun grab. It seems to me that disarming Americans would be done incrementally, step-by-step, one regulation after another—all in the name of the public good.  

Isn’t this how we’ve surrendered other liberties?

Still, there will need to be fines and/or jail sentences for those who are uncooperative. Let that sink in. Owning a certain type of firearm would be criminal—not using the weapon nefariously, just simply having it.  

How successful would such a “war on guns” be? Well, how did that little 'ol “war on alcohol” turn out? For the historically challenged, how’s the “war on drugs” faring these days? Does anyone lament the scarcity of drugs since they’re illegal? 

The truth is, prohibition was a disaster and so is the “war on drugs.” Prohibition didn’t stop drinkers from drinking and the war on drugs doesn’t stop druggies from drugging (not even the ones in the “big house”). The ubiquitous war on drugs hasn’t made even a dent in the usage and availability of illegal (or legal!) drugs. 

I suspect a war on guns would be every bit as "successful." It would simply be another gross misdiagnosis and wrong remedy. 

The Constitutional problem
Where does the Constitution authorize the government to disarm the American people? It doesn’t. Quite the opposite. Rather it reads: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. 

(No matter how the Second Amendment is interpreted or misinterpreted with regard to “well regulated militia”, it CANNOT be construed to mean “the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL BE infringed.”) 

Thus, the Constitution is problematic for those who wish to take our guns. It’s an obstacle, yes, but it is by no means an insurmountable one. The Constitution is, after all, but a legal document. That is, the Constitution, in and of itself, lacks the capacity of enforcement. 

To be sure, the government has the power of force. Government is force. But when the government refuses to abide by the Constitution, and when that recalcitrant government is elected by a lethargic people: What is the Constitution but a wrinkly piece of paper? 

Certainly, the government will not honestly and forthrightly say, “We are taking your guns; the Second Amendment be damned.” No, the government will simply “reinterpret” the Constitution as being in accordance with the will of the powers that be—“the Constitution means what we say it means.”  

Arbitrary governance is the end of the rule of law. 

Know this: those who would disarm you will do so while they work and scheme from within a building crawling with armed guards. And at this very moment our weepy President has machine-gun-toting personnel prowling on the roof of “his” house. Think about it. 

The common sense problem
We are going to disarm you for the sake of your safety.” The government makes us safer by rendering us defenseless? Do you buy this? How does taking my gun make me safer?  

Please understand, dear reader: The government does not, because it cannot, protect you. Imagine this. As you near the end of my article you hear a crash of glass and heavy, unfamiliar foot-steps in your foyer. In the next 15 seconds…who will defend you?  

Who will save your family? The police? Impossible! (At best they can investigate the crime scene of your home and maybe apprehend the intruder before he attempts to terrorize somebody else.) 

The government will not—because it cannot—protect you from present danger. But maybe you can protect yourself. When a hammer wielding meth-head breaches your door, which would be the best course of action for you:  

1) Hide in a closet and try to breathe a little quieter
2) Keep him at bay with a butter-knife
3) Look him in the eye and ask, “Do you know Jesus? Would you like to?”
4) Call the police and hope they hurry
5) Keep him on the business end of a .38 Special until he goes back out the door—one way or another.  

I know which option I’ll take.  

I do not own a gun because I live in fear. I own a gun because I live in preparedness. I own a gun for the same reason I own a fire extinguisher. And I pray I never need either one of them. 

Stories are told of how faculty at the Newtown school perished while trying in vain to halt the horror. Some of them heroically rushed the shooter. One tried unsuccessfully to be a human shield. 

I can’t help but wonder: Would things have been different if someone other than a murderous fiend had a firearm that morning, if the school hadn’t been a “soft target”?  

We don’t live a hypothetical world. But when’s the last time you heard of a mass murder at a shooting range?

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