Referring to the contentious conversation surrounding the 2nd Amendment in recent years as a debate is something of a misnomer. The term debate is usually applied to an organized well prepared discussion of an issue by opposing sides culminating in a decision and conclusion reached by an objective judge or audience. In America, the 2nd Amendment and its meaning was rarely the subject of discussion or disagreement until fairly recent times.
The 2nd Amendment and the rights it preserved was almost universally viewed as one of America’s most important guaranteed freedoms insuring self protection from criminal acts, tyranny, and most fundamentally maintaining self reliance. With the recent rise (mid 1960s) of governmental control and entitlement, voices have been raised seeking to limit this individual freedom. Ironically, the argument most used is one seemingly aimed at reducing firearm related violent crime – one of the very acts the 2nd Amendment was intended to achieve.
When closely examined as in “The Second Amendment Primer” by Les Adams and in “The Second Amendment” by David Barton, there can be no doubt that the 2nd Amendment was clearly intended to establish and preserve the individual right to keep and bear arms. Both works do an extraordinary job of identifying and presenting the facts based upon historical records and leave no doubt as to the use of the term “militia”, and its intent as well as its position in the Bill of Rights, a document dedicated to preserving individual liberties. In any reasonable debate this point should be rapidly conceded.
As history and facts also confirm, responsible firearm ownership by law biding citizens reduces violent crime and deters the threat of tyranny domestic and foreign. When a people are disarmed, as during the 20th century in Russia, Germany and China, it is the law biding citizen that suffers not the criminal. A more current example is Australia, where recent government registration, subsequent confiscation and destruction of firearms have resulted in an increase in firearm related crime. America’s firearm violent crime capitals are Chicago and Washington D. C., the very cities with the strictest gun laws. In any reasonable debate this point should be rapidly conceded.
We might ask why the rise in recent challenges to the right for law biding citizens to keep and bear arms? If not based upon reasoned objectives or a real intent to reduce violent crime then why?
As an emotional response to tragic school shootings, the passionate desire to do something is easily understood. Doing something versus something that actually results in prevention of such vile acts are two very different things. Without exception, the perpetrators of mass school shootings are evil, some would say ill, and through their twisted mind and heart each sought recognition and relief of their own pain by harming others. Seeking to address this issue through gun control of law biding citizens is akin to prohibitions effect on alcoholics. It did nothing to keep liquor out of the hands of those willing to break the law. The results of America’s decades old “war on drugs” can be viewed in a similar light.
There are certainly people who are inherently afraid of guns. Out of ignorance and/or just like those with unrealistic fear of spiders, heights, the dark….etc. they fear guns for no good reason. Within bounds, these individuals should be treated with patience and respect.
If the control side of the “debate’ is not then founded on well thought out and fact based knowledge, then why does it continue? One logical conclusion is that attacking firearm ownership fits an agenda not related to crime prevention. In “Control” by Glenn Beck, a contemporary examination and discussion of the gun control debate is presented including history and a fact based analysis. As the title indicates, one of the key anti-firearm agendas is clearly about control.
As anticipated by America’s founding fathers, Washington D.C.’s current leadership culture has degraded into a self serving power based machine. Reelection and polarization of the electorate have become their mainstays. To energize and appeal to a polarized base, emotion versus logic works best. Emotionally charged school shootings are therefore the perfect fodder for their reelection machine.