We have all heard the phrase “freedom isn’t free” countless times, usually in conjunction with a patriotic reminder of the sacrifices that our service members have made to preserve our liberty. Hundreds of thousands have died or been permanently disabled on both foreign and domestic battlefields in that pursuit. Many that have survived are forever scarred by the horrors that they experienced in battle. Remembering their sacrifice is a just and fitting tribute to be sure. However, for most people, that is where the awareness ends. It is generally viewed as the military’s job to make the sacrifices, for which the due respect is paid, but that the role for the rest of society is to merely be the benefactors. This is not to suggest that all people should serve in the military or that the military should run the show. On the contrary, a free and democratic state depends on the separation of the military industrial complex from the elected representatives and duly appointed officials of the people. What many people fail to understand, however, is that many sacrifices for liberty, if not the most important ones, do not happen on the battlefield. Rather, they happen every day all around us . . .
According to the CDC, on average over 30,000 people die each year in this country in automobile accidents. Yet, there are no calls to eliminate personally owned automobiles and revert to state controlled mass transit. Most people see those deaths as a reasonable concession to maintain our ability to travel and commute on our own schedules. Truly, there is much to be gained in having such independence.
The CDC also maintains that 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, 2 of which are under the age of 14. That is well over 3000 people a year. However, there are no calls for outlawing personal pools, private beaches, or private boat ownership. People generally regard such deaths as unfortunate and tragic, but acceptable to permit the continued private participation in water sports and leisure. So, people are no strangers to the concept sacrifice of life for freedom and independence. Besides, people would hardly stand for the government taking away their car or pool for the public good. They are fine with “public good” regulations just so long as it doesn’t affect them personally. Which is just another manifestation of the whole “Not in My Backyard” concept.
However, the oft-cited basis for many pieces of regulatory legislation is this hazy and difficult to define “public good” or “public interest.” Specifically, that has been the battle cry for the gun control community for as long as one can remember. The bloody shirt waving and the sobbing sounds of “for the children” being sung on every street corner is indicative of the continued erosion of America’s concept of what is necessary to maintain true freedom.
The people of our country have been deluded for generations to ignore history and instead focus all their attention on celebrities or the latest and greatest fashion or trend. This is extremely dangerous because history has a lot to teach us about mankind and his abuse of power. In fact, history shows that the number one greatest threat to your physical wellbeing is your own government. Hundreds of millions, if not billions of people have died at the hands of their own governments. Most of the time, those people had no means to defend themselves against a tyrannical sate. Had they had those means, the people would have at least had a fighting chance. Furthermore, it is conceivable that some of those tyrants would never have risen to power in the first place; government underlings aren’t always willing to die for the ambitions of their fearless leaders.
Unfortunately, society has a very short term memory. Instead of learning from the past, people want to focus on the tragedies of the moment. The raw emotions we experience when we hear about a coward shooting up a school are perfectly natural. We should be angry and we should be sad. We all want to do something to stop such senselessness. However, before we act, we have to put things into context.
Just because someone abuses their rights, does not validate revoking those rights for everyone else to avoid another incident. Such an effort would be futile anyway, but that is a discussion for another time. We have to consider the “unintended consequences” of our actions. I parenthesize “unintended consequences” because while most in the gun control camp legitimately fail to consider them, there are those that know exactly what those consequence would be, which is actually their true objective, not saving the children. Frankly, they could not care less about your children.
They know that fewer guns in private hands means more power for them and theirs for two main reasons. One; if people don’t have guns to defend themselves from the common criminal, they have to rely on the state, as ineffectual as that would be, but people would have no choice. Two; nobody would be able to resist them when they finally tip the scales of power grabbing too far and the public wakes up. But by then, though, it will be late and there will be no turning back. Even if everyone on the gun control side has the best intentions at heart, they are still setting the stage for someone else to take power down the line and abuse it. And believe me, that person is coming and they may already be here… and it won’t be who you expect it to be.
I know what I am about to say isn’t popular with a lot of people. In fact, there are many who would outright demonize me for saying it. But the truth is harsh, cold, and hard. To answer the question of what can we do to prevent future tragedies, the short answer is…almost nothing. Laws have never been capable of stopping bad people from doing bad things and they never will be. Freedom is paid for in blood. Freedom of the body, freedom of the mind, and freedom of the soul. As long as there is evil in the world, someone is going to die. The only question is how many.
We can either accept these few tragedies and deaths now as a harsh reminder of the corrupt world we live in, with the understanding that risk of sacrifice is necessary to preserve our liberty, or, we can trade our liberty in an attempt to save a few lives now and expose ourselves to the certain death of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands and millions) at the hands of a tyrannical government that will certainly rise in the not-too-distant future.
Even if an all-out ban on private gun ownership was capable of virtually eliminating all violent crime, the implications of being defenseless before an all-powerful government are much, much worse than the alternative. The conclusion that I have arrived at, as unpleasant as it is, is that if my death or the death of my loves ones at the hands of crazy man with a gun is the price that may have to be paid to preserve liberty for us all, then I willingly accept this obligation without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, So Help Me God.
I leave you with this quote:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759