Normally, I’d have served up the first sentence of the LA Times editorial Gun control made harder in California as a Quote of the Day. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave it to our Armed Intelligentsia. I wanted to be first in the parsing parade like a Dixie debutante wants to be the belle of the ball. Here’s the lead: “Even if you accept the notion that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms — a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected — states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right in the interests of public safety.” I promise I’ll make this quick . . .
Even if you accept the notion that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual right to bear arms . . .
Notice that the author uses the word “notion” to describe American gun rights instead of “idea.” He knows full well that “notion” means “an impulse a desire, esp. one of a whimsical kind.” At the same time, he deploys the word to suggest that the individual right to keep and bear arms is “notional” as in “existing in the mind only.”
The rights protected by the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution — all of which are individual — are neither whimsical nor theoretical. They are as real as the men and women who have sacrificed their lives — and sent their children to war — to protect them. They are our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights.
The Constitution doesn’t “confer” (as in “grant or bestow”) the right to keep and bear arms. Like all our rights, the right to keep and bear arms is God-given or natural, depending on your perspective. But no matter where you ascribe their genesis, our right to protect ourselves, our families, communities, and country by force of arms exists outside the Constitution. The Second Amendment was created to shield that right from government infringement. That is all.
— a proposition we wish the Supreme Court had rejected —
The individual right to keep and bear arms is not a “proposition.” It is a fact. To call our gun rights a “proposition” is to demean and devalue them. What’s more, the word suggests that individual gun rights are subject to approval by someone other than the individual themselves. If rights can be proposed, they can be rejected. Speaking of which . . .
The author’s desire to see the Supremes reject an individual right to keep and arms — in favor of a collective right — indicates that he’s a collectivist. Someone who believes in the “ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively, usually under the supervision of a government.”As well as everything else, including guns. Especially guns. History shows collectivism cannot be achieved with an armed populace.
. . . states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right . . .
Here’s how thefreedictionary.com defines “reasonable”:
1. Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person.
2. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking: a reasonable solution to the problem.
3. Being within the bounds of common sense: arrive home at a reasonable hour.
4. Not excessive or extreme; fair: reasonable prices.
Which of these four definitions describes current gun control regimes?
I know that no amount of logic will convince civilian disarmament proponents that their position lacks coherent reasoning and sound thinking, stands outside the bounds of common sense, and imposes extreme and unfair burdens on Americans. But even if gun control advocates’ regulations are/were “reasonable” — and I am not saying they are given that “reasonable” is an entirely subjective word — tough shit.
Every gun control law is an infringement on our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Regardless of their entirely dubious efficacy, none of them are reasonable. Not one. Is it reasonable to deny men their right to practice their own religion or speak freely? Like that. Or like this . . .
Should states be able to place “reasonable restrictions” on voting rights like, say, a literacy test? It’s reasonable to think voters should be educated enough to cast their ballots sensibly. By the same token, it’s “reasonable” to insist that people who want to carry a gun should have to train in its use, undergo a criminal, legal and psychological background check, and show “just cause” for packing heat. But it’s not right. Nor is it legal.
. . . states should be able to place reasonable restrictions on that right in the interests of public safety. [emphasis added]
Ah yes, public safety. What could be more important than public safety? Individual rights. Especially (but not exclusively) the natural or God-given rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. As any student of World War Two movies will tell you, as soon as someone screams WE MUST HAVE ORDER! you know who the bad guy is. In this case, it sure as hell ain’t gun owners.
There is more to the editorial, of course. Who cares? The author’s put all his cards on the table in the first sentence. Except for one: “In some circumstances, permitting a citizen to carry a concealed weapon is justified.” It’s nice when statists deign to grant a citizen the ability to exercise their individual rights. It’s even better to see these proto-fascists humbled by the return of the rule of law, and then fade back into the darkness from whence they came. From my lips to God’s ears.