Saturday, December 28, 2019

Will the War on Guns Drive Gun Owners to War?

The Atlantic magazine, December 2019
We citizens of the United States are more divided than ever.  Well, since 1860 anyway.  We seem to disagree about everything political.  And these days, almost everything is political.  I increasingly read that we are headed for a second civil war.

Our constitution is definitely under attack.  Especially free speech.  But I think most people quite reasonably conclude that we should keep the relentless assault on free speech at bay with the ballot box.

In fact, as I look at the political landscape, I don't really see any issues that people would actually be willing to die for.  Abortion, taxes, immigration, healthcare, education, climate change and other environmental issues, government regulation, sure, all very divisive issues.  But are you willing to die for any of these?  And the only somewhat more difficult question:  Are you willing to die for all of these issues collectively?

No, I just don't believe it.  These are bitter election issues to be sure, but are they go to war issues?  Are they, shoot your neighbor issues?  Are they really?  Okay sure, we might look down our noses at our politically-reprobate neighbors, we might take wayward family members off the Christmas card list, but we are not likely to shoot them.

Yes, I have noticed that Americans are increasingly judging others based on their political leanings.  We are definitely falling into two distinct and isolated camps.  I see it with my clients, colleagues, and friends.  I do it myself.  And it is true, there is genuine contempt.  But violence is something else entirely.

In passing, sure, I recognize that there are some people who would go to war over abortion.  But contrary to what the extremists on both sides would have you believe, most Americans are middle-of-the road moderates on this issue.  Quite reasonable and sick-to-death of the extremists alone framing the debate.

But there is one issue that could lead to war:  The Left's war on guns.

I say could because even this is not clear to me.  How will gun owners react to state-mandated gun registration and later to gun confiscation?  For now, some loudly proclaim bold resistance.  But my guess is that most gun owners will grudgingly comply; so much easier than the risk of becoming an unemployable criminal with a record.  And I suspect some, if they can, will move to less hostile states.

One’s attitude on guns is directly related to one’s attitude on government; let me summarize the two basic positions.  If you believe that government and the individuals running it are a force for good and can be trusted, then you will be willing to grant it a monopoly on firearms.  If you believe that government is a necessary evil, must be constantly monitored, and certainly not trusted, then you will be unwilling to grant it a monopoly on firearms.  In the United States today, this is a clear Left/Right divide.

But it is not simply a difference of political philosophy.  If we grant government a monopoly on firearms, the disarmed citizens will be much easier to control and less likely to threaten the governmental power structure.  Just ask the Chinese.  This would be true for any government, Left or Right.  But in this country, it is only the Left that wants to disarm the public.  Why?  I submit that they care less about liberal values, and more about power and control.

And you can be sure that leftist elites will continue to move about freely with a multitude of firearms.  Guns for me, but not for thee.  Their hypocrisy alone could spark a war.

As for mass shootings, the Left is delighted to turn this mental health issue into an excuse to disarm the public.  Do not allow this shameful subterfuge to distract us from their real agenda.

It is worth remembering why the sec
ond amendment exists in the first place.  It is not to protect hunting rights.  It is not to protect an individual's right to self-defense.  No, our founders added it to the Bill of Rights immediately after the armed citizenry of this country overthrew a tyrannical government.  Today we can quibble over whether our government is moving towards tyranny, or not, but surely the options afforded by the second amendment must be retained.

I would posit that one sign of a tyrannical government is gun confiscation.  
So it comes down to how many gun owners will resist?  How organized will they be?  And how far will they take their resistance?

If the Left wants to grant government a monopoly on firearms, they should legally and legitimately repeal the second amendment.  Or risk war.