Questions for Gun-Control Advocates
Compassion & Common Sense
In this article I hope to address the issue of the right to keep and bear arms, and to do so in a manner that appeals to both common sense and compassion. So often emotion is employed in an attempt to promote gun control, yet I would contend that compassion leads us to the very opposite position - that of the right to employ our own property to defend ourselves, our family, and our property.
It is concerning that gun control has gained so much support. I say that because I sincerely believe that there are no sound arguments to defend it. So I must ask why so many espouse the idea.
The questions and points below are prompts to engage clear-thinking and intellectual honesty, in the hope that an appeal to common sense and compassion will convince readers of the need to be defenders of the inalienable right to keep and bear arms.
Please read this with an open mind. We get nowhere if we close them.
1. If we do not have the right to keep and bear arms, and the just powers of government are delegated from the governed, then how can an army or any agent of government keep and bear arms?
Many today give lip service to the idea that governments gain their authority from the people (popular sovereignty), yet, in practice, few support this fundamental concept. The view that a policeman, member of the military, or any other agent of government, can have more authority than the individual is a good example of this dissonance in thinking. The view also supports the idea that people should not be equal before the law by promoting the belief that some should be allowed to protect themselves more than others.
If we hold to the view that the just powers of government are delegated from the individuals who make up that people, and that all people are equally endowed with rights, then the view referenced in the preceding paragraph must be dismissed as inconsistent with the principles encapsulated in popular sovereignty.
2. How does passing laws to restrict or ban weapons stop criminals from gaining access to them when they can easily obtain them illegally?
Clearly weapon bans will not affect those who don't obey the law and who can obtain weapons outside of the law. One must wonder at the reasoning behind the idea that removing guns from the hands of law-abiding people can in any sense lead to anything good (for the law-abiding citizen at least!).
3. If you and your neighbors cannot keep and bear arms, then won't the armed criminal be more bold in his criminal activity?
This involves a simple understanding of human nature. It's not rocket science. Crimes involving guns are often much worse in areas where law-abiding people are restricted in their right to keep and bear arms. Criminals target such areas. You do not need a degree in criminal psychology to understand this obvious reality of human nature.
4. Isn't removing a weapon from a law-abiding individual, who has committed no crime, a form of property theft?
Yes, an individual has no right to disarm anyone unless they are acting in self-defense (or defense of others). Therefore, it is only under such circumstances and after due process of law, that property can be removed from an individual.
5. Doesn't history show that weapon control leads to governments becoming more bold in abusing their power?
Yes. Don't be ignorant of history. Don't think that somehow we are not susceptible to the same human nature tendencies in leaders today as have manifested themselves throughout history. It can happen today. It can happen here. The video below, entitled "Innocents Betrayed" provides a chilling overview of this reality throughout recent history.
6. Doesn't a well-armed population provide a huge deterrent to invasion? And a huge soft target if not armed?
Yes. This does not need explaining. Taking a country street by street will make any nation think twice about invasion. It is the reason why Hitler didn't invade the strategically placed Switzerland during World War II - he was advised by his generals that he would lose most of his army if he tried because so many people were armed.
7. How do a people throw off their government when it seeks to become their master rather than their servant if the government has all the weapons?
Individuals must have the ability to match their own government in at least bearable arms. Even a government with heavier equipment cannot defeat millions of citizens with assault weapons. History shows that governments, sooner or later, do oppress their people once they have removed their people's ability to resist. This is why the Framers of the US Constitution upheld the right to keep and bear arms so vociferously. They had direct experience of the importance of personal arms after the British Crown sought to confiscate their own. The USA would likely never have been born had the Redcoats been successful in that effort.
8. Won't far more people be killed/harmed by the inability to defend themselves under gun control, than would be accidentally harmed in an environment where the right to keep and bears arms was secured?
The number of lives saved each day through guns (in actual use, or just as a deterrent) far exceeds the numbers of lives sadly lost in gun accidents. Those who resort to arguing on this point are not being intellectually honest. Two of the videos below, "Disarmed" and John Stossel's report, touch on this issue and upon stats in general. The argument for gun control on this point is like saying we should ban food because some people choke on it and die.
9. If the responsibility necessary to own weapons can only be permitted by government or government-backed bodies, then where did they gain such superiority over private individuals and organisations to make such decisions if the government gains its just powers from the governed?
This comes back to the idea that somehow government and its agents are possessed of more authority than the people who elect them. This is clearly nonsense. Private individuals and gun groups are not less responsible, less moral, or less capable than government agencies. We are all human beings. No one has the right to set the terms under which a sane person can obtain the weapons and ammunition necessary to defend himself, those he loves, and his property.
10. If we remove a person's weapons from him, or deny him the ability to own them in the first place, are we not imposing a punishment for a crime he *might* commit rather than one he actually has committed?
Yes. Imposing a penalty (removal or restrictions on weapons) is only something that can be applied if a person has either entered into a contract to do so, or has been found guilty AFTER due process of law. Punishing sane, law-abiding people because they MIGHT commit a crime is unacceptable in a free society.
11. If the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms is to defend ourselves from criminals, both inside and outside of government, then how can that right be limited so as to only allow government and criminals access to more effective weapons? In other words, shouldn't individuals have the freedom to defend themselves as effectively as other individuals?
Guns are a great equalizer. They allow the old or infirm to be on an equal standing with their assailants. When someone comes at you with an assault weapon, a handgun loses its effectiveness. When multiple attackers come at you, say during a riot, an assault weapon is effective. Assault weapons will, of course, also be employed by the government should they turn against their own citizens. It is imperative, as a principle, then that an individual be able to match the effectiveness of any weapon or group that comes against him. This is why policemen don't rely on handguns alone. They face the same threat any other member of society faces.
Reason, logic, common sense, and stats, all support the concept and effectiveness of the right to keep and bear arms. But there is another reason: compassion. Love. If we truly care about other people we will not rob them of the means to defend themselves. Too many people, innocents, die because they, or someone there at the time, were unable to defend themselves because of laws that restricted their right to keep and bear arms. I would recommend the heartbreaking story in the video below ("A Victim's Perspective") which tells of a young woman who was unable to save the lives of her parents because of gun control.
Let's allow people to defend their own lives and those they love. The right to keep and bear arms saves lives. Gun control leads to more murders and more tragedies. We have to stop being emotional about this. We have to stop the flawed virtue signalling. We have to start being genuinely compassionate.
i. For more information I highly recommend Gun Owners of America's site at http://gunowners.org/fact-sheets.htm and also Guncite for some excellent statistics and other useful information: http://www.guncite.com
Note especially the huge number of crimes that are deterred or stopped every year by armed citizens - https://www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.htm. There are several studies on this matter, such as from CrimeResearch.org, and two more that are discussed in this article from FEE - https://fee.org/articles/defensive-gun-use-is-more-than-shooting-bad-guys/
Other stats can be found at http://crimeresearch.org/2014/03/comparing-murder-rates-across-countries/ and http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp
UK readers might be interested in the following memorandum by Colin Greenwood http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmhaff/95/95ap25.htm and also this article on the misrepresentation in official UK crime statistics: http://www.theendrun.com/larry-pratt-british-gun-crime-stats-a-sham - and finally a report of stats from 2009 showing UK violent crime well in excess of the US: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html
Peter Hitchens has also written a great article on the subject, which you can read at http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2007/02/gun_law_and_com.html
A thorough study of personal firearms, violence and crime in the UK was carried out by Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm and published in 2000 in a book entitled Guns and Violence: The English Experience.
ii. I've included a few key videos below, which I would highly recommend be both watched and shared. The messages in these videos needs to be repeated again and again if liberty is to be preserved.