Is it wise to surrender your rights in exchange for empty promises of security?
Admittedly, we are begging the question in our essay’s title.
After each episode or outbreak of mass murder in the USA (Aurora, Colorado (2012), Virginia Tech (2007), and Columbine (1999) are but a few very painful examples, and there are many more), the proposition is voiced in some quarters that we would all be safer if we implemented very strong gun controls.
The proposition is fallacious.
Let’s not allow strong emotions to win the day. Let’s not permit the enemies of freedom to exploit this latest terrible episode of mass murder to further their agenda.
The control freaks (of the Left) in Washington will give voice to their fond, even ardent, desire to disarm us (in the name of our “safety”, of course), but more than 100 million gun owners are not going to surrender their guns. It is not going to happen, nor should it!
The government at all levels (central aka federal, state, and local) cannot (or will not) shut down the currently existing black market in illegal drugs. There is also a currently existing black market in guns throughout this country. Disarming the law-abiding citizenry will not make us safer. Violent criminals will still have access to guns sold illegally. When law-abiding citizens are disarmed, they are actually less safe as there is neither a credible, physical deterrent to violent crime nor an effective means of self-defense. (For example, there are martial arts weapons in my house that I use to train with. If an intruder or intruders attempt or gain forcible entry to my home, I will reach for my .357 magnum and/or my 12 gauge shotgun with its high base 3 inch shells already in chamber and magazine (perhaps I ought to remove the federally mandated plug to expand the magazine’s capacity!). The martial arts weapons during a home invasion against armed intruders would not be effective.)
But, if the law-abiding citizenry were to be disarmed, it would face another very serious and very real threat to its security. That is the threat of a rapacious government. There is a term for a state wherein only the police and the criminals have guns – a police state.
We must never surrender our rights in exchange for false promises of security from any government. If we do, history instructs us, we will be neither free nor secure. We will be victimized by a rapacious government. Do not take my word for it. Consider what happened in the Soviet Union after the civil war ended and the Bolsheviks consolidated their hold on power. The people were disarmed, and were then at the mercy of a merciless state. The same thing happened in Communist China. Make no mistake, we have power hungry despot wannabes in our midst in the USA. That is the reality, sorry to say.
The founders and framers of the Constitution clearly recognized this danger. The first amendment allows the citizens to speak out and criticise the government. The second amendment, an attorney once told me, allows us to overthrow the government if the need arises. What he meant was that the second amendment is ultimately the only effective deterrent to an abusive government. The framers did not want the central government to have a monopoly on the means of force. They had direct personal experience of tyranny and recognized the danger of it. It was no abstraction for them!
Given some historical perspective, it is clear that the government that you surrender your rights to will not be the kind of government that recognizes and respects your rights. Or, perhaps we should phrase it thus: once you surrender your rights to a government, to get your rights back there will, by necessity, have to be a change of government. The regime that takes your rights from you will not return those rights to you.
We must not forget the words of our first president; his words are still timely and very much relevant today.
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington, first president of the United States.