A friend of mine, whom I love very dearly, praised the New York Times Front Page editorial on Facebook, saying it was time to end the “fetishism.” This particular friend and I have a gentleman’s agreement not to engage in politics on Facebook, and so I kept my mouth shut (it is a practice that I assure you saves friendships). However, the idea that we have a gun “fetish” and that is the basis of our politics on gun control had me thinking for the past day or so.
It goes to a rather fundamental misunderstanding of why we hold on to our rights so dearly, and it does so intentionally, because recognizing the actual merit of the argument for the right to bear arms being uninhibited is so much more complex than “you obsess over guns.” It’s about so much more than just keeping guns.
The Supreme Court of the United States, on numerous occasions, reaffirmed the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is important, because, like various court cases on the limits of freedom of speech, it clearly defines what the government can and cannot do with regard to the rights that we are granted not just from an old piece of paper, but are inherently endowed with by our Creator. Having limits to government removes its ability to assert too much control over an individual’s life.
If the government did circumvent the Second Amendment, what other rights could it infringe upon in the name of public safety? We already see college students around the nation wanting the freedom of speech to be curtailed to keep them from being “triggered.” What if they were in charge of the government some day? All of a sudden, the freedom of speech is in danger. Even Barack Obama has said limiting speech on campuses is a bad idea, but, if those college kids swarm government one day, what happens to free speech and the exchange of ideas?
Does the no-fly list violate the right of due process as granted by the Fifth Amendment? Absolutely. But, many of same people who want to use it to collect guns shouted the loudest about the government’s collection of metadata from our phones. They, too, called it a violation of due process. Both sides see a right getting taken away in the interest of “public safety.”
What if people who see the death of children every day at abortion clinics as a much greater tragedy than gun deaths in America hold too much sway over the government? They will do what they can to undo what the Supreme Court has said is a right of women to have an abortion, and the Left would lose their minds over it. But, it would be done for the “greater good,” the very argument currently being used by those on the Left who seek gun control.
This is about the growth of government power, and the government’s ability to limit what you can and can’t do, whether or not you have any right to do it. The fight for gun freedom is about a whole lot more than being able to buy really awesome guns. It’s about the rights we are guaranteed, and without those rights, we aren’t a free society. The freedoms we have in our society are what separates us from the people who want to wipe us off the face of the planet. When you start taking those away, that is when you become like them.
It isn’t just about taking our beloved guns away. It isn’t just about disarming the populace. It is about the fact that people want the government to decide which rights aren’t rights anymore. That should scare the hell out of anyone, Left, Right, or Center.