The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution had one purpose.
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.
It does not take a constitutional law scholar to know that this was not designed to allow people to go quail hunting. It was not designed to protect an American citizen’s right to shoot at paper targets at the gun range. It was designed for one purpose and one purpose only – “the security of a free state.”
The biggest challenge facing America right now is an inability to recognize realities and possibilities.
Guns are a portion of a much larger problem. They do allow for increased deadly violence but they are not the root cause. Guns do not make people evil. They do not make them mentally ill. They do not force children to take mind-altering drugs. They did not take God out of schools, fathers out of households, or efficiency out of crime prevention.
The concept of “the security of a free state” works at every level, including at the personal level. It is unreasonable to expect law enforcement to be able to protect people from all or even most crimes and criminals. The reality is that law enforcement is by its very nature responsive rather than proactive. They are best suited to find criminals after crimes have been committed. In situations such as home invasions, the police are more often tasked with finding the perpetrators who robbed, raped, or killed someone rather than preventing the crime while it’s taking place.
The most obvious reality that very few gun control advocates acknowledge is that taking away guns will affect law-abiding citizens exponentially more than it will affect criminals. Those who obey the laws of the land will reluctantly hand over their weapons while those who have not or will not obey the laws will keep their weapons hidden. It is logistically impossible to account for all of the guns out there. The guns that are used to protect American citizens will be diminished while the guns owned by criminals will barely be dented. The net effect is that criminals will be empowered by a helpless society. In essence, we will be aiding dangerous criminals by giving them an easier road to commit their crimes.
Some of the arguments being made right now are about the types of weapons in circulation and the capacity of magazines. People ask, “why does a citizen need a 13-round clip” or “who goes hunting with a semi-automatic assault rifle?” These questions miss three points.
One of the most important pieces of the checks and balances that were put into place with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was a protection against tyranny. Most Americans could not imagine a government that would turn on its people or force an uprising like the ones that have happened in the Middle East and other areas in recent years. Then again, most Americans two decades ago would not have been able to imagine a government that used drones to monitor their citizens or that enacted legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act that allows indefinite detention of Americans. Things happen. The world is changing quickly enough for us to remember what it was like before. The second amendment was rightfully designed to allow US citizens to protect themselves from tyranny.
The fact that AR-15s were used in the Colorado and Connecticut shootings is not an indication that the shootings would not have happened if gun laws were more strict. There is no way to know who would have been murdered had the killers used different guns. One of the survivors of the Colorado shooting said he would not have been alive if James Holmes’ AR-15 had not jammed. There is no need to speculate about what could have happened during these tragedies if they were forced to use 10-round clips with a couple of semi-automatic pistol, but the death toll would not necessarily have gone down as a result.
Perhaps the most important point that many seem to miss is that the government has a tendency to take a mile when given an inch. It starts with background checks, assault rifles, and high-capacity clips. It continues to national registrations, semi-automatic pistols, and ammunition limits. It eventually erodes to demonstrable needs-based applications and a complete disarming of the populace. This isn’t wacko conspiracy theory talk. From alcohol prohibition to nude body scanners, the US government has a consistent track record of expanding the scope of laws to be all-inclusive and all-intrusive before scaling back after public outcry. Unlike alcohol and TSA practices, taking away guns is not an easily reversible mistake.
Every death that could have been stopped is heartbreaking. When innocent people die at the hands of evil, the core of what it is to be American screams for retribution and demands change. Lashing out against guns is an expected knee-jerk reaction, but when deeper thought is put into the real problems and the root causes of such insane violence, it becomes clear that disarming law-abiding American citizens is not the answer. Let’s work towards preventing the Adam Lanzas and James Holmes of the world from reaching the state of willingness to commit murder while allowing citizens to protect themselves from the masses of other criminals that would do them harm.