As expected, in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, the gun-grabbers have reared their heads once again. No doubt, gun control posturing provides feckless politicians with a means of distracting the public from the pressing issues of the day. But, it also enables us to see inside the matrix, as the notion of “gun control” is at the nexus of several poorly understood and deliberately distorted precepts of American life.
To start, the term “gun control” is itself misleading. “Control” can be defined as “the power or authority to guide or manage.” However, what is intended here is some means of regulating the use and availability of firearms, whereas “control” of a gun is directly in the hands of the person using it. Consider that there are hundreds of regulations applying to the manufacture, distribution, and sales of automobiles, but no one ever speaks of “car control.”
The term “gun control” has been invoked since the existing and proposed regulations are limiting a fundamental constitutional right. Our government may refer to codes of speech, and it may create Orwellian definitions of freedom of religion, but it will never speak of regulating the press or regulating religion.
The framers of the Constitution included the Bill of Rights to prevent government from impeding these and other rights, which they believed were fundamental and part of the Natural Law (God-given, if you will). Moreover, the Natural Law always trumps civil law. A prime example being that the Natural Law right of self-defense will trump civil laws against battery or homicide.
It must be emphasized that government cannot create or grant rights, but can only restrict or remove them entirely. While many believe that the government freed the slaves, this is a perversion of reality. Rather, the government enslaved them in the first place, codifying slavery, and protecting the slave trade until January 1, 1808, via Article I, Section 9. Manumission, via the 13th amendment, was merely the government restoring a fundamental right that it had earlier taken away.
All gun control proposals include long lists of firearms that the government will still let you keep, as if they had the right to prohibit any of them in the first place.
The next widely distorted precept is the role of the police. Despite the omnipresent “To protect and serve” designations emblazoned on most marked police vehicles, courts at all levels have consistently held that the police have no duty to protect individuals. In another slogan that could have come straight out of George Orwell, the so-called “Public Duty” doctrine states that the police owe a duty to protect the public in general, but not to protect any particular individual.
Presumably, by solving rather than preventing crimes, the public portion of the duty is fulfilled.
In Warren v. District of Columbia, the DC Court of Appeals ruled against Carolyn Warren, even though the aid promised via her 911 call never arrived, the overall conduct of the police was astonishingly incompetent, and she and her roommate were brutalized for 14 hours.
In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the US Supreme Court ruled against Jessica Gonzales, who claimed that the failure of the Castle Rock, CO police to enforce a restraining order led to the murder of her three children by her estranged husband. She had contacted the police five times on the day of the homicides, pleading for help.
In Ford v. Town of Grafton, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts ruled against Catherine M. Ford, whose protective order against her estranged husband offered no real protection. Indeed, she was advised by the police to procure a gun, but failed to do so. Her former spouse continued to threaten and assault her, leading to her being shot three times and subsequently paralyzed for life.
In Riss v. New York, the Court of Appeals of New York ruled against Linda Riss, who begged for police protection from a former suitor’s violent threats. After all, she was unable to arm herself in New York City at the time. The police failed to prevent an attack in which lye was poured on her face, rendering her blind in one eye, with limited vision in the other. As was pointed out at the time, “By a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of New York which now denies all responsibility to her.”
There are many more such cases, some of which even have police on the scene, still failing to act.
Finally, we have the notion of self-defense, in which the question posed is “Why would anyone need a gun or magazine like that?” The implication being that only police and military (and I guess criminals) should be allowed to have such firearms. The first answer is that the purpose of these weapons IS self-defense, whether used by a civilian, a police officer, or the military. Why is their claim to self-defense more valid than yours, especially since they have no legal duty to protect you?
Moreover, prohibitions of this sort inevitably lead to further restrictions. Gun control advocates were able to trip up many hapless defenders of gun rights, in the wake of Sandy Hook, when asked if they support the government’s 1934 ban on fully-automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns being in civilian hands. A “yes” answer led to the obvious follow-up: Then why would you object to banning the “killing machine” of a 100-round magazine? Slippery slope, anyone?
It’s quite simple: The police have no duty to protect you; criminal offenders will not disarm, nor tone down their weapons; yet the government still wants to disarm you. Why? So, you will be more dependent on the government, and they will have yet more control over your life. Never mind that they have no duty to actually protect you.
Under such rubrics, and in response to the perceived public concern over rising crime rates, who knows how Draconian it might get? The government might even restrict or suspend certain constitutional rights. Oh wait, they already have.
Here’s a fine related piece from Bruce Reno of gunforest.com.