TTAG reader TU writes:
When TTAG dropped the housecleaning question asking if it was too rightwing, there was a fury of comments. Many said that there is no such thing as a pro-gun liberal, while self-proclaimed pro-gun liberals said that the People of the Gun were too paranoid to be allowed to have a gun for being so wary of the Democratic politicians and that they were alienating a segment of the gun community. My question to the pro-gun liberals out there: are you sure you’re not really a libertarian? Allow me to explain . . .
In political science, modern liberalism has nothing to do with classical liberalism. In fact, modern liberalism is in many ways an antithesis to the original views to use that term. For the duration of my article, I will use “liberal” and “liberalism” to refer to the current use of the word, and not the classical liberalism viewpoint that has been abandoned by the political left.
Liberalism is based upon government control and oversight of every activity. You can easily see this by going to the most liberal parts of the nation and seeing the additional restrictions placed upon its citizens. Everything from tighter regulations on businesses and how they conduct theirs, to a ban on “too large a soda” to bans on styrofoam containers for food to, yes, bans on entire types of firearms based solely on an opinion of what might be “scary”.
In other words, to a true liberal government is the force of good, restricting others for the “greater good” of society. Individuals cannot be trusted to make their own decisions, and neither can businesses or other organizations.
By this logic, if individuals are not to be trusted, then private ownership of a potentially destructive force such as firearms is a horrifying thought. If we assume this mindset is correct, then by extension the population should be disarmed except for the government.
Let me be clear: You cannot be a liberal and a supporter of gun rights.
Now, before you go foaming at the mouth, there are more political factions in the United States than just two. I am by no means implying that you need to pick between your guns and your gay rights, or any other social issue that has taken the side of the political left.
Enter the Libertarian Party. At its highest levels, the Libertarian Party supports all of the politically left social values such as gay marriage, drug legalization, availability of abortions, and so forth. This position may attract former left-wing voters who dislike the liberal positions of massive government. At the same time, the Libertarian Party attracts people from the right who do not feel that the government has a right to say what you do in your personal life. The Libertarian Party is all about true personal freedom, with less government intrusion into what you can and cannot do with your life.
I challenge all self-proclaimed liberals who believe in firearm rights: ask yourself, am I really a libertarian? If the only reasons you believe you are liberal have to do with certain individual rights and social issues, then you may actually have been a libertarian all along.