Those willing to give up freedom for security deserve neither.
Okay, let’s get to the meat of this. First, I would like to get some facts out onto the stage. The first one being the second amendment to our constitution:
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.
-The Bill of Rights
Now, a lot of people “interpret” that in different ways, mainly because of the comma after state. I ignore those “interpretations” and get to the literal meaning. What it basically means is that every state will have a regulated, trained military force made up of common people to defend said free state when the main body of the military is unable to. We call them the national guard today. The second part is the important part for you; people have the right to bear arms and your government cannot hinder that undeniable right in anyway.
So, why did the founding fathers put this in the bill of rights anyways? Because they were fighting against a miltia (british colonial-side military). Guns were essential for winning the war and they knew that governments can’t stay perfect forever. So, while they allowed regulated militias to be formed in each and every state, they knew that above all, a government is ‘by the people, for the people’. A government should be scared of its people. Why? Because if the government does not fear you, they will not respect you nor your rights.
Here in lies the problem, if you are scared and you want to feel safe you may think giving up (“controlling”) a couple of your rights is a smart move. It is not. I would like to repeat, IT IS NOT. Why? Because, maybe it starts as one small thing, like not allowing people to bring guns into certain areas (We’ll get to the futility of that soon). The problem is, governments are like kids, give them an inch and they will take a mile. It turns into background checks, mental health tests, regulating which guns can/can’t be purchased legally, etc. That may not seem so bad, who cares? You have no known mental health issues, a spot free background, and, to you, a gun is a gun, right?
Well, there are already people screaming like children in all corners of the country to just go ahead and ban guns altogether. Every single last gun in America. Think about that for a moment, what would America be like without guns? You have given up freedoms for security. You are safe.
The problem is, you aren’t. ”Gun Control” is actually “gun uncontrol” in that it denies your right to a firearm, but that does not stop one very large group of Americans. Criminals! Out of every 100,000 U.S. citizens there are 743 incarcerated criminals. .007 percent of population. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is just the ones in jail. If you count probation, parole, expunged, and those unreported the number skyrockets.
Now, nationwide, the number of violent crimes that occurred was about 1,200,000. The total U.S. population as of 2011 is ~311,000,000. That’s one reported violent crime per 260 Americans. That’s just reported violent crimes; what about unreported violent crimes? Well, according to the BJS (Bureau of Justice Statistics), some 3,380,000 violent crimes go unreported every single year. So, lets add that up. 1,200,00 + 3,380,000 = 4,580,000. So that’s one violent crime per 68 Americans. 68 people, that’s it. That’s about two average sized high school classes.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Violent does not mean a gun was involved. I leave those statistics out for two reasons.
- If guns were to be banned, one cannot accurately predict the rise/decline in the percentage of violent crimes involving guns. A lot of criminals are deterred by the fact that 1/3 of Americans own guns. You may say, “Hey, but don’t you think that number might encourage criminals to just automatically use guns in violent crimes?” Well, no, because then all violent crimes would involve guns. Criminals are people too and their desire to live is just as strong as anyone’s. If, as a criminal, you use a gun in a violent crime, you are more likely to get shot because of it. Why? Because people see that gun and they know it means death. So the victim is more likely to start a shootout protecting themselves.
- All of those numbers are readily available on the internet, and are used constantly by pretty much everyone.
So, let’s say guns are banned nationwide. As a law-abiding citizen you have no access to procuring a gun. You know who still has access? CRIMINALS. Criminals are notorious for not following the law. If you think it is hard for a criminal to procure guns, watch this, and for good measure, this (I know it is not all about guns, but you see many illegal weapons in this movie). The U.K. banned guns, do a google search to see how well that’s stopped criminals from getting their hands on firearms.
Before we move on, I would like to point out that yes, I know that the majority of illegal guns are procured through crooked gun dealers, and straw purchasing, but people need to understand that criminals always find a way. Just like restricting the purchasing of iodine and pseudoephedrine (two essentials for ‘cooking’ meth), doesn’t stop criminals from manufacturing meth, restricting guns does not mean criminals will not be able to procure them anymore. They will just have to get creative.
Back to the point. If guns are banned in America, not only do criminals have power over you, more importantly, your GOVERNMENT has complete power over you. How are you going to defend your other rights without the 2nd amendment? Write a strongly worded letter? March on Capitol Hill? Stop eating in protest? Those things are highly improbable. If your government doesn’t fear you, why should they respect you? The second amendment is arguably the most important one in the bill of rights, because it defends all other amendments.
Does restricting guns affect anything? Do those laws work? Not really.
Take ‘Gun Free Zones’ for example; they are, in theory, disallowing the right to bring guns into public places such as court houses, schools, etc. Schools are gun free zones… so what about Columbine and the scores of other school shootings in supposedly gun free zones? How can anyone enforce a gun free zone? If a madman has a gun and has the intention to commit murder, why would a metal detector and some security guards deter him/her from his/her goal? They wouldn’t, as it has been shown countless times across the country. The futility of it is astounding.
Now, let’s go after the malformed ‘mental health checks’ argument. The argument is basically this: If you have any sort of mental disease that is classified as”dangerous” then you will not be allowed to own a firearm. Now, before I go farther, I would like to say that I believe that there are seriously dangerous mentally deranged people in this world. The problem is, how can you build a model that accurately predicts which people are dangerous and which aren’t?
Take bipolar disorder, in which the person effected experiences drastic mood swings in a very short amount of time. There are millions who live with this disorder and many of them could never be classified as dangerous. Then there are some who are completely dangerous and should be placed in the proper care. How can you tell the model citizen and the psychopath apart? Not just on a case by case basis, but a complete predictive model to be used over a wide scope? You can’t. Or at least, we can’t yet. You can’t tell if a mentally ill person is violent unless they do something violent.
So what do we do? Assume that anyone person with a mental issue is violent and barr them from their right to bear arms? Well, then 57,700,000 people over the age of 18, that’s roughly 1 in 5 adults, would be unable to purchase a firearm. Serious mental issues composite about 1 in 17 people, but where do we draw the line? Only if you have been officially diagnosed? Well, going back to bipolar disorder, it’s speculated that as much as 80% of people with this illness go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
So what then? Every American citizen has to subject themselves to mental evaluation in order to purchase firearms? Who’s going to pay for that? Considering the average american coughs up about 40% of their hard earned income to the government (meaning if you started work Jan. 1, you don’t actually start making money for yourself until April), and the government has more important things to spend said money on (like for instance the 60,000 dollars of our money spent by the IRS to make two training videos, one of which is an elaborate Star Trek spoof), I ask you, who the fuck is going to pay for me to get evaluated?
Gun Control is a futile, unconstitutional farce and the people who support it are unconstitutional, and not purveyors of liberty. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact. I know people think we need to have some form of gun control, that it’s necessary for the safety of Americans everywhere. The problem is, liberty isn’t about safety. It’s about freedom and the preservation of freedoms. It isn’t supposed to be safe, it isn’t supposed to be easy. It is worth it, but you have to put work into liberty. How can a country preserve its liberties if its rulers aren’t warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance(Yeah, TJ is the man.)
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
-Thomas Jefferson (founding father, 3rd President of the United States of America)
The founding fathers wanted us to have a way for the people(us) to defend ourselves and overthrow their own government in case it ever got out of hand. Our nation is built on revolution and as such, the foundation of our government has been built with that in mind. Thomas Jefferson feared the possibility that a rebellion wouldn’t take place every 20 years. It’s even in The Declaration of Independence:
–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form…
-The Declaration of Independence
We have the undeniable right to revolt and institute a new government to fit our ideals. Our founding fathers gave us that right, because they knew no form of government is unsusceptible to corruption and despotism. Nothing can stay pure, so it is up to us, The People, to overthrow any system of government that interferes with our liberties and our pursuit of happiness. If we don’t, then we do not deserve liberty. We, as Americans, need to hold freedom over safety, because if we don’t we will fall into an age of oppression, deception, and fear. Fear of our government. That is the very definition of tyranny.
I end with another quote from Thomas Jefferson, that ellegantly summaries this entire article:
The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.