OPINION — In some ways it’s almost fitting that the new public face for increased gun control is a clique of emotion-driven, poorly informed kids making unreasonable demands.
If this observation strikes you as unnecessarily harsh, then perhaps it’s time to spell out exactly why their demands are unjust and therefore unreasonable.
The killings at a high school in Parkland, Florida, were not the fault of American gun owners or the availability of a particular type of firearm.
Numerous authorities, including the FBI, which allegedly failed to address dozens of clear warnings about the accused shooter, are not responsible for his rampage.
Neither should we blame the school resource officer or sheriff’s deputies who chose to wait outside the school as the attack took place.
The only person who bears direct responsibility for the death and destruction in that Florida high school is the person whose lethally aggressive behavior caused provable harm. This means that Nikolas Cruz is the only one who must face the demands of justice when he is tried for the crime.
Lysander Spooner said it best when he wrote:
To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the law abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless.
Stripped of the emotional window dressing, this is why infringing on natural rights is a clear perversion of legitimate authority.
None of this matters to the opportunists who demand that we give them greater power over us by trying to leverage supposed victim status into ideological fetters for those who disagree.
They simply can’t resist trying to direct the force of the state against peaceful individuals who have violated no one’s rights. They’ll accuse, they’ll threaten, they’ll plead and wail about the insensitivity of those who refuse to submit to their shrieking ultimatums.
The only thing worse than weaponized guilt is when those wielding it use youngsters as field-expedient human shields in a craven attempt to deflect criticism of their methods.
Case in point: Now the poster children for the latest push for civilian disarmament under the guise of “common sense” gun control are a handful of high school students whose school was the scene of a mass murder.
Their demand for blanket punishment of an entire class of citizens who have never harmed a soul is a clear indicator that they do not comprehend the injustice of what they’re advocating.
Proximity to a tragic event does not automatically bestow wisdom or judgment.
This can be most clearly seen in how these activists appear to be unaware of how many of the types of laws they’re calling for are already on the books. Keep in mind that even with all these existing laws, the truly depraved somehow still manage to carry out their evil plans.
Simply having an opinion isn’t enough to justify the notion that everyone must concede the moral high ground without question. These youngsters and their media handlers are not entitled to a free pass from defending their viewpoints.
This is especially true when their zeal manifests itself as a call to control others, including those who have neither harmed anyone nor have any intention of doing so.
Dan Lattier, writing for Intellectual Takeout, notes:
The democratization of education and public discourse have given almost everyone a forum to offer their opinions on a variety of topics. As a result, we’re becoming increasingly subject to the tyranny of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “sincere ignorance.”
Bottom line, these young activists may speak freely, even when in error. However, they have zero moral authority to insist that others join them in their error, especially when their solutions involve using state force to limit the natural right to self-defense.
I understand that it can be hard to see and think clearly in the heat of emotion-driven issues such as this. I sympathize with those who sincerely wish to prevent random acts of violence.
The only authentically objective way to approach the limitation of a natural right is on a case-by-case basis. This means the only time the right to self-defense can be infringed is when a person is being held accountable for their own behavior that has resulted in measurable harm to another person or their property.
This requires due process be given and that the state prove the person’s wrongdoing beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone else should be left alone.
That should be the default setting.
Laws that preemptively limit our freedom to defend ourselves tend to become a source of endless official mischief and injustice. As the Florida attack so painfully reminds us, the authorities cannot be counted on to guarantee our safety.
The primary responsibility to exercise our natural right of self-defense falls to each individual.
This is why gun control cannot be reasonable if it seeks to apply a blanket solution that limits the natural rights of people who’ve never been so much as accused of wrong doing, much less afforded due process.
Bryan Hyde is an opinion columnist specializing in current events viewed through what he calls the lens of common sense. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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