Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gun Control - A Retraction

I wrote a posting back in June on the subject of Gun Control: http://justblowingsmoke.blogspot.com/2007/06/right-to-bear-arms.html I must say that since then, I have done some additional research and a lot of soul searching on the subject, and have come to the conclusion that I was wrong. (Yes, you are actually admitting me hear that I was wrong on something. Write down this date, because it doesn't happen often.) I would therefore like to retract my earlier position.

Don't get me wrong here, this is not to say that I am going out tomorrow to buy some land in Montana, purchase a bunch of automatic weapons, and start to gather a cult following whose uniform involves a lot of camouflage. (Nothing against Montana, but it's just too damn cold and empty out there. Besides, camouflage doesn't go well with my eyes.) Nor is it to say that I am still not concerned with a lot of the guns that are out there. I just don't think that the government has any business interfering with a Constitutionally guaranteed right.

This recent epiphany is not even so much about guns as it is my growing detestation for the insidious, incremental encroachment of the government on the federal, state and local levels on the freedoms that I was guaranteed when the states signed the Constitution. I, like far too many people in this country recently, had been fooled into believing that I could gain some measure of safety from the horrors of life around me if I was only willing to give up a small portion of the personal freedom that the Constitution granted me. Well Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said:

"Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

On the other side of the question, this does not mean that some level of monitoring or licensing is not required. You have to reach a certain age, take certain training, and pass a test in order to get a license to drive. (The truth of the matter is that we require far more from a person to allow them to drive than we do to allow them to vote. Try and figure out that one.) Similar monitoring could be applied where guns are concerned. I would not care to see weapons in the hands of convicted criminals or mentally unstable individuals. Likewise I would prefer not to see machine guns, grenade launchers, or hand-held surface to air missiles in the hands of anyone outside of the military. Some responsibility, balance, and order needs to be discovered and maintained; but that can and should be done with the least government involvement possible.

Few realize that as recently as September of 2005, we saw local law enforcement officers and military personnel confiscating legally purchased and owned firearms from people trying to defend their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The government imposed its will in strict violation of the 2nd Amendment with no warning, little fanfare, and no outrage from either the national media or the rest of us. If such a gross encroachment on our freedoms can happen once, it can happen again. 

As for me, I still have no intention of ever owning a gun. I don't think that there is anything wrong with them, but I have no desire to be a gun owner. That decision is a free choice that I make, and should time and situation change, it is a decision that I would like to be able to reconsider at any future date. That being said, I am still considering a membership in the NRA for no other reason than to help insure that the 2nd Amendment is protected. I find these days that while I am still afraid of the violence that might be done to me with a gun, I am even more terrified of the "nanny state's" desire to protect me from anything that they feel might be a danger to me, and their confiscation of my liberties in the process.

4 comments:

kck_kat said...

Tim,
Check out the posting. It includes some info you might find familiar! By the way, you might find the blog title familiar too!

http://theirishtwin.blogspot.com/2007/11/veterans-day.html#links

Tim Higgins said...

Kat,

Followed the link and see that you have entered the blogging world. Good luck, but be careful. If you don't watch out it will become an addiction and take over your life.

Luke said...

I own a rifle and I don't hunt. I didn't really even buy it to "protect my home", though that was a contributing factor. No, I purchased that gun to be ready. Ready for the day, which may never come, when I must fight in revolt against my government. I believe it was either Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson who said that the surest was to secure freedom, is to have an armed citizenry. I agree.

Tim Higgins said...

I too remember the quote, though I cannot accurately attribute it either (though I believe that it was Jefferson as well). I did find this one from Mr. Jefferson that speaks rather strongly on the reasoning that you define:

"What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."