Don T. sent this question to RF:
In your letter published in the current Harper’s [ED: republished after the jump] you write about “law-abiding Americans…exercising their natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.” I haven’t thoroughly searched your web site, but I am wondering if you have addressed or can further elaborate on the alleged “natural” right to bear arms. I am unaware of Nature issuing any set of rights for human beings, or for any species. There may be many “laws of nature,” but I am unfamiliar with rights granted by nature.
So we’ll put it to you, the Armed Intelligentsia: do human beings have a natural right to armed self defense?
[Dan] Baum is right that banning possession of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles is a fool’s errand and that gun owners have a responsibility to keep their firearms secure from criminals and unsupervised children. But mandating gun safes and making owners criminally liable for acts committed with guns stolen from their homes isn’t closing the barn door after the horse has bolted; it’s opening that door to tyranny.
There’s only one way to ensure that a gun-safe requirement is being followed: random inspections. That sounds more like a police state than a republic in which citizens are innocent until proven guilty.
Making gun owners responsible for criminal misuse of stolen firearms is patently ridiculous. Since there isn’t a safe that can’t be breached, a mandatory gun-safe law would have no practical impact — other than discouraging law-abiding Americans from exercising their natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Most American gun owners are extremely responsible: they keep their firearms secure and teach their children about gun safety. Both the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have programs designed to encourage these practices. Prescribing a cure for the few dangerously lax gun owners through mandatory gun-safe and liability laws is no less a feel-good nonsolution than banning the AR-15.
Publisher, The Truth About Guns