Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gun Control and Freedom, Part 2

                The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that gun control destroys freedom.   We know from history that gun registration leads to confiscation of guns; we also know from history that governments commit mass murder against their own unarmed citizens.  Our Founders understood the connection between an armed citizenry and freedom and intentionally wrote the Second Amendment in order to provide American citizens with a way to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.

                Every time a mass murder takes place, Liberals and Progressives start clamoring for more gun control.  Within hours of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the media was focused on the weapons used and led the demands for new gun laws, and Liberal and Progressive politicians are only too happy to meet those demands.

                Charles Krauthammer published an interesting article at the Washington Post about the root causes of mass murder.  He wrote, “Every mass shooting has three elements:  the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate.”  After discussing the gun control demands which arose after the Newtown killings, he wrote, “Monsters shall always be with us but in earlier days they did not roam free.”  He explained how as a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s he had committed mentally ill patients but “labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.”

                Krauthammer explained that we have many mentally ill people wandering our streets who are collectively known as “the homeless.”  In our politically correct society, we were forced to give them their freedoms and allow them to circulate through our communities as one of their “Rights” under the U.S. Constitution.  Krauthammer said that only a “tiny percentage of the mentally ill becomes mass killers,” but they apparently have to actually kill someone before they can be forcibly treated.  They can then be committed if they do not commit suicide first.
                “Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker.  Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.”

                Krauthammer suggested that the mass murders are connected to our culture of violent movies and video games:  we should not be shocked when “a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the overlearned narrative.”  He wrote that if “we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything – guns, commitment, culture – must be on the table.”  In other words, just controlling the guns will not stop the problems; yet, all we hear from the media and the politicians is that we must get control of the guns. 

                Except for the awful mass murders, we do not have an epidemic of gun violence.  Krauthammer wrote that “over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent.  Gun murders as well.”  He explained that the mass murders “are infinitely more difficult to prevent.  While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic.  The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage `entertainment’ that can intensify already murderous impulses.

                “But there’s a cost.  Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing `entertainment’ violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.
                “That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments.  But there’s no free lunch.  Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.”

                Every time something serious happens, Americans trade away some liberties.  After the terrorist attacks of 9/11 we gave away some of our freedoms and ended up with the TSA invading our bodies at the airports.  How many more of our freedoms are we prepared to give away for more public safety now?

We must learn from history or we will repeat it.  Hitler first went after the guns in Germany and then started gathering the people to exterminate them.  He then went into other countries where the citizens had been deprived of weapons to protect themselves.  He did not go into Switzerland because he knew the citizens were armed and ready to meet any invasion.

I judge the seriousness of any claim by the people who are making the claim.  When I learned that China was calling for American citizens to be disarmed, I knew for sure that we needed to keep our right to bear arms.  

It is a fact that armed citizens help to keep their nation free.  We must be careful about the freedoms we trade away in order to enjoy a safer society.  We must remember that those who want to take our guns are the very people who want to control everything that we do. 

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