As a gun blogger I’ve got a pretty good idea of what arguments gun control advocates are using to further their disarmament agenda. Here’s one zooming to the top of the hit parade: “The nation has turned into the Wild West,” northjersey.com‘s editorial board editorializes, inaccurately. “It must stop,” they insist, unrealistically. “Holding up the shield of the Second Amendment does not cut it. Yes, Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. And children have the right to attend school without worrying they’ll get killed. Pedestrians have the right to walk down a street without fearing for their lives. Moviegoers have the right to sit with strangers for two hours without thinking they’ll be mowed down.” Close but no cigar . . .
Assuming we’re talking about legal rights, the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitutions lists the rights it protects (not creates): freedom of speech, freedom from torture, etc. The right to personal safety is notably absent from the list.
The Founding Fathers would have laughed themselves silly at the sheer impracticality of the idea. How could a government guarantee a citizen’s safety? Preposterous! You might as well guarantee immortality! Obama care anyone?
I kid. A bit. More to the point, the men who created the rule book for the United States would have been seriously concerned about the implications of a government protected “right to safety.” They knew that the moment you charge the government with an impossible task is the moment you surrender personal liberty.
Back up a second . . .
Anti-gun folks tend to focus on the “well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” bit of the Second Amendment—arguing there is no individual right to keep and bear arms. It’s a line of attack that makes no sense whatsoever (the Bill of Rights are all individual rights) that the Supreme Court has struck down on numerous occasions.
Let’s call it a bad landing at the wrong airport. Never mind. It’s the “shall not be infringed” part of the Second Amendment that’s important.
Question: infringed by whom? That’s an easy one. The Constitution clearly IDs the government as the enemy of individual rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
True story (and a bit of a no-brainer): if the government tries to protect a citizens’ [imaginary] “right to safety” via gun control it’s infringing on our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Ironically enough, the right which empowers Americans to look after their own safety.
In fact, gun control advocates’ attempts to make safety a “right” reduces public safety rather than increases it. You only have to look at every country that’s instituted gun control—especially as a preamble to mass murder—to see the truth of that statement.
Bottom line: gun control advocates can argue for the need to “balance” the right to keep and bear arms against an individual’s desire not to get shot. But unless gun control folks amend the U.S. Constitution they’re claiming ground which does not belong to them. And never will.