OPINION – As famous as politicians are for hubris, it’s hard to know when to take them seriously. For instance, when vice president Joe Biden claims that the president may attempt to enact sweeping gun laws by executive order, is he simply bloviating?
It’s no secret that hyperventilating newscasters and politicians are agitating for stricter gun control following the murder of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary. But, as Pat Buchanan points out, their preaching to the choir has utterly failed to sway the one audience that really counts — the gun-buying public.
The threats of further civilian disarmament laws has prompted the most intense buying frenzy of homeland defense rifles, full capacity magazines and ammunition that most of us have ever seen. It’s time to ask a very serious question that requires careful consideration before answering.
Who honestly believes that millions of Americans are rushing out to purchase these items with the intention of meekly handing them over?
Too many gun control proponents tend to view defenders of the right to keep and bear arms through a lens of contemptuous self-importance. But they would be very unwise to dismiss the commitment to liberty of those they seek to disarm.
The elephant in the room that few dare to acknowledge is that there are times when it is entirely appropriate to fight to maintain one’s inalienable rights. In a constitutional republic, these rights are not subject to the will of the majority.
As much as modern day sophists wish it were not so, the individual right to bear arms in defense of one’s life, liberty and property is a natural right. It can be seen in every living creature that fights to protect itself and John Locke referred to it as the first law of nature.
This right is not limited to defending our lives against the aggressive attack of an individual murderer, it also extends to protecting ourselves from the predations of the despotic state.
In his Second Treatise on Civil Government, Locke described how a government that would “endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power” puts itself in a state of war with its people. When this occurs, Locke argued that the people are, at that moment, “absolved from obedience” and justified in defending themselves against the state’s unlawful force and violence.
When government transgresses this fundamental principle of governing by the consent of the governed, Locke states, “by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty.”
Locke’s reasoning provided the philosophical foundation for America’s War for Independence. It remains a valid answer to any attempts to deprive us of inalienable rights in our day as well.
While our political leaders labor to assure us that they are only trying to keep us safe from what they have termed a plague of gun violence, they are being deceptive.
For instance, the U.S. has the highest rate of firearms ownership in the world, yet it is far from the most dangerous nation in terms of violent crime. Even Britain, with its gun control laws, has a violent crime rate more than four times higher than our own. Newsman Ben Swann does a masterful job of exposing the rhetorical sleight of hand regarding misleading gun statistics.
The calls for a government monopoly on arms are not rooted in the desire to protect society. They are the mating call of would-be tyrants who wish to control others. To consolidate their power over the population, the people must first be disarmed.
Those who would dismiss this as simple paranoia need to check their egos at the door and engage in serious study of human history. Even Aristotle recognized the fundamental principle of despotism when he wrote, “Both the oligarch and the tyrant mistrust the people and therefore deprive them of arms.”
American gun owners are not the aggressors in the coming fight over our inalienable right to keep and bear arms. Those who are foolishly calling for government aggression against peaceable American citizens need to consider exactly what they are tampering with and where this may lead.
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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