Packing Heat – Religion and Politics

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” — 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution

It’s a relatively commonplace thing for politicians on the national stage to make various statements about one of the fundamental principles of American freedom. You likely know it as something like, “The right to keep and bear arms.”

Most citizens of the U.S. have at least heard of the 2nd Amendment to the federal Constitution that enshrines this right into the basal fabric of the country. I’ve included the full text above for reference.

It’s equally common for state governors and mayors of large cities to hold forth on the idea of having and being able to carry, weapons.

It happens that mayors of most sizable metropolises in the country are liberal in the more recent, American sense (sometimes referred to as “progressive”). The result is that they’re invariably against the second amendment, and more importantly, they’re in disagreement with most if not allreasons for their residents to be able to have weapons at least on their person, if anywhere.

These folks have all kinds of sophisticated justifications for their viewpoints, and are more than willing to expound upon them to anyone who’ll take the time to listen. Needless to say, where I live in a smaller (though far from tiny) city, I’ve still heard quite a few arguments between proponents of that right, and liberal politicians over why we should or shouldn’t be able to “keep and bear arms.”

I wanted to take the time to discuss a recent conversation between a television and radio host and a big town mayor about this subject. Since I make it my business to write “bite sized articles” (or as close as I can come to doing so), I won’t try to either include a transcript of the conversation, or discuss it in detail.

Let me, in fact, just dive into some points that came into my head as a result of hearing the discussion.

The first of these is that the 2nd Amendment was put into place for reasons you might not suspect—even looking at the language of it.

It was the express opinion of the folks who anchored that right to the founding document in question (based on personal experience, having just seceded from the British crown), that governments could become tyrannical over the course of time. The text having been written was, among other things, to guard against just such an occurrence. It’s directly counter to this intent, that an executive should seek to render it ineffectual, since it was put in place to restrict the power of government.

Put into words, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Definite author unknown

The text of the little nugget in the Bill of Rights is at once unambiguous and apparently by intent, all encompassing. It was intended, it can be argued, to be something that allowed for the right of self-protection for all people from each and every level of governmental authority. Some will argue this is not the case, I believe whether it was actually implicitly stated or not, it was.

Though the idea that having the right to protect oneself from overzealous rule appears to be what was intended in founding documents, the ability to defend against the actions of fellow citizens—particularly those who would seek to harm you or your family and friends, or take that which is belongs to you, is an equally compelling reason for many folks maintain some sort of personal arsenal.

Many leaders have an answer for that as well. “Law enforcement exists for exactly this purpose.” They argue.

This sounds reasonable, but in reality, it’s not. The reason is simple, besides that there are limitations on resources for police and other emergency responders, there’re also a number of factors that make it questionable that such entities can rapidly come to the scene of a dire situation in reasonable time.

I should be clear. By no means am I faulting those in blue. Rather, I’m stating logistical reality. The farther you are from the responding officers, the more that’s going on, the more critical local events, the less the likelihood that those coming to your aid will be able to do so in a timely manner. That’s just a fact of life. I bear zero malice toward those putting their lives on the line on a daily basis for our wellbeing; it’s just how things are.

I want you to know that the things I’m listing here are but a subset of just the problems with gun (and similar) legislation I could come up with in about five minutes of thought. I’m going to try to cover just a couple more (maybe only one), then I’ll be “out of space.”

One of the saws of liberal politicians when discussing restricting access to various firearms goes something like this. “Our municipality has stringent rules for background checks and other controls that keep people from getting guns when they shouldn’t have them. The areas around us are not that way.”

What’s the reality on this? It’s that it is almost impossible to lawfully get hold of a weapon anywhere in the U.S. without background checks, waiting periods and myriad other things to slow the process.

Put another way, people citing the need for stricter control almost always make that argument on the basis that they’re doing what needs done, but those around them aren’t. All indications are that this idea is patently false.

There’re other considerations I haven’t the time or space to list here, and for pretty much all of them, there are counter-arguments that deal with the unreality presented. I may take on writing another article to talk about some of these other issues in the near future.

To close, it may seem attractive to infringe the basic rights of Americans by seeking to disarm the populace at large. You may even think you or others have good reason to do so. I would encourage you to consider just the few things I’ve mentioned in this little essay, and to look at other such arguments with a critical eye. They may seem good, that doesn’t mean they are.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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