everydaynodaysoff.com posted this video of a furry firing a firearm. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, furries dress up in fur-covered costumes and have sex with each other. Or themselves. Or whatever. I’m with the pasta commercial on this one: chef don’t judge. In fact, I reckon Skulblaka’s video is a perfect example of what the framers of the United States Constitution had in mind when they added the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. Sorta. But let’s start with the Declaration of Independence . . .
Gun control advocates often cite The Declaration of Independence to bolster their argument for civilian disarmament. Specifically, they cite the bit that says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The antis claim that their “right to life” gives the government the right to infringe on Americans’ gun rights. And that’s OK because gun control laws protect life (even though most antis dismiss the right to life when it comes to abortion). The antis’ supposed right to life trumps your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Like this (from today’s New York Times editorial Rethinking Our “Rights” to Dangerous Behaviors): “The question is not only, ‘Do we have a right to bear arms?’ but also ‘Do we have the right to be safe in our streets and schools?'”
Yes, well, The Declaration of Independence isn’t a legal document; it doesn’t have the force of law. There is no legal right to safety. The Declaration was written as a poke in the eye of colonists’ English overlords, who failed to recognize the colonists’ lives, their liberty or their pursuit of happiness. It was also a mission statement: declaring their intention to create a nation of free people to do their thing, as they used to say in the ’60’s.
Safety comes into it, of course. As American slaves and their ancestors discovered, you can’t be free if you’re not safe from rape, torture, intimidation, assault and murder. Same goes for Irish immigrants. And Native Americans. And all the other ethnic groups who faced economic and legal injustice back in the day. All of whom were disarmed.
Yes there is that. Just as the Founding Fathers knew that government was the greatest threat to individual liberty, they knew that the right to keep and bear arms was the single greatest guarantor of individual liberty. It’s hard to persecute someone when they’re armed. That’s why the Second Amendment is the second amendment to the United States Constitution. You need your First Amendment protection to be able to speak your mind – and then your Second to not be tortured, imprisoned or killed for doing so.
America has changed, the antis counter. If the government wants your ass [paraphrasing] they’re going to get it. What good is your AR-15 against Uncle Sam’s tanks, troops and war planes? (Not to mention your local SWAT team in their Pentagon-supplied MRAP). One word for that: Afghanistan. And another: Vietnam.
But that’s not really the point. Gun control proponents can’t see that the domestic peace we currently enjoy – both in terms of criminal predation and the lack of government-sponsored genocide – is the direct result of individual gun ownership, protected by the Second Amendment. And that the cultural diversity that anti-gun liberals celebrate (which I also celebrate) is a direct benefit of our gun culture.
The beliefs inherent in individual gun ownership – self-reliance and mutual respect – have informed the wider culture since the country began, and continue to do so. Think of Westerns, cop shows and anti-terrorist movies. The good guy or guys use firearms to establish or restore justice. To fight for the underdog.
In that sense, proponents of civilian disarmament have it exactly backwards. With notable exceptions (which TTAG highlights in its Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day feature) individual gun owners are gun heroes, not gun bullies. By exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms these Americans are protecting and promoting tolerance towards others.
How could it be otherwise? The principle of mutually assured destruction guarantees it. You may despise furries, you may view their sexual practices as an abomination, but an armed furry is a furry safe to pursue his or her concept of happiness. You may not like it, but there’s nothing [much] you can do about it. Eventually, you adjust. And get on with your life.
If you think about gun ownership in its wider historical and cultural context – something proponents of civilian disarmament intentionally fail to do – the more Americans who are armed the safer all Americans are from all forms of abuse. To paraphrase author Robert Heinlein, an armed society is a tolerant society.
While it is true that The Declaration of Independence declared that “all men are created equal,” it didn’t say that all men “are” equal. That possibility came later. As a clever gun guy pointed out, “God created man, Samuel Colt made them equal.” How great is that? I dunno. What does the fox say?