Gun Control and Political Correctness
by Robert Anderson
by Robert Anderson: What
Will the Doctors Do?
conveys knowledge, especially when itís the result of intimidation.
There are moments when itís prudent to remain silent, but hardly
when youíre in the midst of a gun ownership debate. The political
class, and its anti-gun proponents, are today engaged in a massive
legal assault on citizen gun ownership through regulation and/or
abolition. Their arguments are well-known and much has been written
on the subject, both in favor and in opposition to the idea.
silence due to "political correctness" is hampering a
frank and honest discussion of the fundamental issue of citizen
gun ownership. While gun ownership for personal protection or sporting
uses are being heatedly defended, these are only secondary considerations
to the more critical concern over citizen ownership of guns. The
preeminent and fundamental case for gun ownership by citizens is
to secure and preserve the means for individuals to safeguard their
lives and property from a potentially threatening oppressive government.
Of course this
tends to sound paranoid, for after all, most citizens today view
our government as a responsive political institution, primarily
engaged in helping its citizens to secure a better quality of life.
Such common sentiments about oneís government are not new. Even
the Germans shared such a view of their own government at the beginning
of the 20th century. So, to express concerns today that our politicians
and bureaucrats could someday turn against their own citizens and
inflict violent harm upon them is harshly condemned by many as being
many politicians and anti-gun proponents today are convinced no
democratic government could ever become so oppressive and dictatorial,
certainly not our own. But what we believe and what may prove true
are not always the same. We know the face of the future is forever
veiled by the hand of God and none of us can ever know with certainty
where weíre headed. But acquiring an understanding of the past is
another matter, and weíd all be wise to heed it. Too often the past
is prologue to the future so itís always prudent to remind ourselves
of Edmund Burkeís famous line, "Those who cannot remember the
past are condemned to repeat it." And itís equally important
to remind ourselves that the essence of government is a sovereign
power with a monopoly over initiating force upon others, a coercive
power which has become deadly and violent many times throughout
proponents to ignore the ravages of 20th century history and believe
todayís citizens should be denied the means to protect themselves
from the risk of future oppressive tyranny is both dangerous and
foolhardy. Have we forgotten how Germany, Russia, and China disarmed
their citizens in the 20th century, and shortly thereafter their
governments slaughtered tens of millions of their own citizens?
Have we forgotten the "killing fields" of Cambodia where
disarmed citizens were slaughtered close to annihilation in the
1970ís by their own government? Those slaughtered were the helpless
victims of their well-intentioned citizen ancestors who acquiesced
to government mandated gun control.
todayís anti-gun proponents and their political allies will argue,
those places were all different and such horrors could never happen
in our country, so why do our citizens need to own guns? Indeed,
citizens may not need guns to secure their lives and property from
our government today, but can anyone argue with certainty that future
citizens will never need guns for that purpose? After all, todayís
anti-gun proponents are essentially betting on the lives of future
citizens, and while making such a costless bet among themselves,
do so by placing a deadly bet on the lives of future citizens, should
their bet today prove horribly wrong tomorrow!
imposes costs in our imperfect world, and the issue of citizens
owning guns is no exception. We all know gun ownership will surely
bring some harm as long as evil and ignorance remain a part of the
human condition. Without question, guns will continue to be used
in many gruesome and horrible murders by deranged and evil people.
But peaceful citizens must have the means to protect themselves
from not only the isolated acts of criminals but also from an oppressive
government tomorrow with the capacity for evil mass murder. These
threats far outweigh any perceived "benefit" from permitting
an intrusive government to disarm its citizens today. Such a threatened
act, at the very least, would transform future citizens into helpless
victims, should an evil authoritarian government someday try to
ownership is ultimately a form of "insurance" for a future,
unknowable risk. Switzerland, as well as our own country, has acknowledged
and practiced this form of "insurance" for a long time.
We all know gun ownership by citizens can impose heavy costs, but
they are costs dwarfed by the greater horror of millions of future
citizens being denied any means to defend themselves against an
evil government slaughtering them with impunity.
We would like
to believe such a future scenario unimaginable, but we know itís
not, as our violent 20th century history has tragically reminded
us. Governments murdering millions of their own citizens have inflicted
monstrous horrors in our lifetimes, and there is nothing in the
history of the human experience to give absolute assurance it will
not happen again. The drafters of our Constitution understood this,
and hopefully todayís citizens will remember it, even though mentioning
such a horror makes people uncomfortable, a reaction usually encountered
when discussing unpleasant truths.
are few instances in a citizenís relationship with government where
non-intervention in their personal affairs is more vital than with
gun ownership. The Second Amendment was established as a safeguard
for citizens, should the government they created ever become evil
and oppressive, to have an effective means to defend themselves
against that government. With that thought in mind, what would be
more devastating than for a future evil government to possess individual
records on every citizen who owns a gun, what kind of guns they
own, and where he lives? Draw your own conclusions: Is it either
prudent or wise to surrender individual gun ownership information
to any government today which could become your evil oppressor tomorrow?
Canít happen? Tell it to the Germans and Russians a century ago!
Anderson [send him mail]
taught economics at Hillsdale Collage and was executive secretary
© 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
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