American gun ownership is on the rise. A recent Gallup Poll shows 47 percent of respondents admit to having a firearm somewhere in their home or other property, despite the New York Times’ best efforts to portray gun ownership in decline, and the gun rights advocates’ efforts to make campuses safer by promoting armed self defense a desperate attempt to save a faltering culture.
The reasons for owning guns are varied. It is a tried and true fact that guns save lives. A lot of lives. This is not just anecdotal evidence. This is a fact that happens nearly daily, meticulously documented here. And for every criminal stopped – whether for good by a fatal shot, or wounded and arrested, or held at gunpoint and handed over to the police – countless lives and property are saved from the thug’s subsequent acts of violence.
I own guns, because they are the most effective tool of self defense available. If there was a more effective tool, I’d buy that as well.
But for me, it’s not just self-defense.
I own guns, because I can. It’s that simple. I have that right, and I want to assert that right. I want it clear that as a free human being, my government works for me, and I have the right to remove it – even by force.
That’s right. I said it.
The politicians in this nation are elected by the people. They work for the people. And our Founders’ basic idea for our government was that the people have the right to remove their employees – the politicians. And if they don’t go peacefully, the people must “rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”
The Second Amendment is no joke. It’s not for hunting. It’s not for sport. It’s for the ultimate kind of self-defense: the defense of the individual against the government, and while it is true that the government has nuclear weapons, the military, and much more powerful weapons than the populace, the true purpose and intent of the Second Amendment is not in debate. The fact that the government has nukes is irrelevant for this purpose of self defense and defense against tyranny. If the government decided to use nuclear power against its own people, there would a) likely be no one – or very few – left to govern, and b) the Republic would be dead anyway, and not worth defending.
So I have guns. I have them, because I have that right, and a right not exercised is a right wasted. I ardently oppose asking any government permission to exercise said right, and I will actively work to change this. I don’t like licensing, and I don’t like permits. If you have to ask permission to exercise a right, it is no longer a right, but a privilege granted by one entity to another. That doesn’t work for me.
I teach my kids about guns, about the history of the Second Amendment, about individual rights and about freedom. I teach them gun safety and how to be responsible human beings. I teach them that their fundamental rights trump politicians’ whims, and that the rights of people who suffer tragedies, lose loved ones or get victimized by others do not trump the rights of others. Their vote does not count more even though they have suffered losses, and our votes do not count less because we have not.
I can, and so I do.
Because I can.