According to the Washington Post, stopping gun violence in the United States is simple: all it takes is a good old-fashioned gun ban.
Citing a recent study by Columbia University’s Julian Santaella-Tenorio, the Post article explains that while single pieces of gun control legislation have proven almost entirely ineffective in the United States, “comprehensive gun legislation packages” with an “array of different policy changes” have proven effective in countries like Australia, South Africa, and Brazil.
Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that “comprehensive gun legislation package” is just a fancy way of saying “gun confiscation.”
It is true that national gun confiscation might reduce the amount of gun-related violence in the United States. Here’s the problem—the same logic could be applied to cars, power tools, cement trucks, pharmaceuticals, knives, and silverware, to name just a few. All of these objects account for deaths in the U.S., deaths we could limit with “comprehensive dangerous object legislation.”
This idea sounds ridiculous because we rely on cars, power tools, etc., to live our lives on a day-to-day basis. Guns fill an equally important need, but in our urban, sheltered, government-dependent society, we often lose sight of it.
The men who wrote the Second Amendment were clear as to its purpose. They had recently won a war against a tyrannical British government, and they weren’t about to leave the people defenseless if another tyranny arose.
James Madison said Federalist No. 46, “…the advantage of being armed [combined with the existence of] subordinate governments [i.e., the states] forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”
The Second Amendment exists so that American citizens can defend themselves against the “enterprises” of a too-ambitious federal government. Even if that government possesses tanks and drones, an armed citizenry serves as an effective deterrent.
The Second Amendment also protects against a too-ambitious foreign government. It’s a well-known fact that the number of licensed hunters from only a fraction of the states exceeds that of any army from any country in the world. Red Dawn may be fantastical, but the idea holds true—United States citizens could organize one hell of a resistance movement.
But just try mentioning either of these purposes to a gun-banner, and you’ll get the usual series of insults: “paranoid,” “crazy,” “conspiracy theorist.” Let’s be clear—despite the current administration’s executive overreach, we haven’t yet reached a point where Obama has instituted martial law. By the same token, red China hasn’t yet descended on U.S. soil to collect the massive debt we owe them.
While either of those scenarios may never come to pass, sooner or later something will go down. Oh yes, it’s just a matter of time.
See, the Founders weren’t naïve. They knew this. They understood human nature, and they understood that nations don’t last forever—eventually, they destabilize by tyranny from within or they are attacked from without. They realized that precautions had to be taken so that future generations could defend their liberty, so they included the individual right to keep and bear arms. That right is just as important today as it was in 1787.
Gun-related injury and death are a horrible reality, and we as gun owners are responsible for doing everything we can to keep our firearms from criminals and children. But guns—just like cars and pharmaceuticals—serve an important function in our society. They preserve our freedom.
If we give up or allow lawmakers to take our Second Amendment rights because we believe the United States is immune to foreign or domestic tyranny, we’re either naïve or arrogant. And if history is any indication, naïve, arrogant countries don’t last long.