OPINION – Barack Obama should be nominated for the title of “Firearms Salesman of the Year.” Fears of a renewed ban on so-called assault weapons under his administration are prompting a buying frenzy on the firearm models most likely to be restricted.
But before rushing out to make a panic purchase, we should first consider the role these weapons serve in a civilized society.
First and foremost, the term “assault weapons” is a purely pejorative description of firearms that are self-loading; meaning that they fire exactly one shot each time the trigger is pulled. They may share certain cosmetic features with the select-fire assault rifles used by the military. But it’s the intent of the user and not merely the looks of a firearm that determine whether it is being used for good or evil purposes.
If, as some suggest, these firearms are only good for “killing large amounts of innocent people” then we should ask if that is what we expect of our police or military to whom they are issued. Do they use their patrol rifles to kill large amounts of innocent people? Or do these rifles serve a protective purpose?
If their real purpose is to protect innocent life from the lethally aggressive behavior of men bent on doing harm to others, then that need is just as real for law-abiding citizens who don’t have the option of radioing for backup when danger appears. Standard capacity magazines are preferable to reduced capacity magazines for this same reason.
A military-style self-loading rifle, in the hands of an individual with the will to use it, is the best tool for solving a life-threatening problem. This is especially true when one is confronted with multiple armed aggressors such as in a home invasion. But there is a much stronger reason that justifies the ownership of these rifles; preventing a state monopoly on force.
Jeff Cooper explains: “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, because a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.”
Military-pattern firearms are the preferred tools for resisting tyranny because they create within the citizenry a degree of parity with the type of force that agents of the state are capable of projecting. Hence, statists tend to view gun control as a means to the end of people control. Propagandized people who think an AR15 in private hands constitutes a menace to society, think nothing of the very same weapon in the hands of state actors.
But which group actually has more innocent blood on their hands, private citizens or government operatives? The historical record could not be any clearer.
A powerful lesson can be gleaned from studying the genocides of the 20th Century in which out of control governments murdered nearly 170 million non-military individuals. One thing which all of these genocide victims had in common was that their governments first carefully disarmed them via gun control laws.
This does not suggest that gun control causes genocide, but it clearly shows that genocide can only occur when a targeted population is first rendered incapable of resisting. Considering that our own government now claims the power to assassinate or indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere, anytime, and for any reason, this seems a particularly foolish time to place our faith in the state.
Once again, Jeff Cooper offers some much-needed clarity; “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used for evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path or righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
In this context, a military-style, self-loading rifle in the hands of the law-abiding citizen is much more akin to a life preserver than an instrument of evil. Whether stormy seas are ahead or not, a life preserver is worth having on hand at all times. A bit of training in how to use one correctly wouldn’t hurt either.
That’s a topic I will cover in my next column.
Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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