Friday, March 08, 2013

Guns, and the Rights to Thereof

It started as a poorly-focused Libertarian project built around promoting the work of a single individual, but became something much worse. Naming any of the players involved would be unprofessional, but for the sake of simplicity, Saio Kaas calls the entire fiasco "The Freepublican Job." After much professional and mature debate, Saio Kaas is doing more freelance work while I handle this week's Freepublican post.

Guns have been a big issue lately, huh? As someone who's generally in the center, but leans liberal, it's almost frightening to see the veneer of detached rationality melt away from those further on the left when they discuss guns. Like nuclear power, guns are something frightening and other to them. The bone-deep fear gives them an absolutist attitude that empowers them to eschew rational discussion in favor of repeating just how right their attitudes are.

Obviously, I don't think taking everyone's guns away is the answer. I'd say that if the left calmed down and explained that they feel the same way, the right might finally get that point, but I'm not stupid. I might be the only one in this conversation who's not. The resistance to gun legislation isn't to preserve a completely unregulated weapons market; there are plenty of laws that restrict weapon (and gun) ownership, as well as every other amendment in The Bill of Rights. If you don't believe me, try suing the government over a loved one killed in Iraq. Try protesting in the middle of the road of Time Square. Try keeping your property once eminent domain comes up. Try getting a trial for US citizens killed in drone strikes. Try being a governor who doesn't want your National Guard sent overseas.  Whether you like it or not, the 0th Admendment is "People should be free, but let's be reasonable here."

The most credible reason to keep guns around isn't to protect a second amendment right to have firearms for personal protection because that shit isn't in there. Guns are for the creation of a well-regulated militia, which I do believe in. If you look at the other amendments, you see a theme.

Go read them and come back. All of them. Even the fifth. I know it's long, but do it anyway.

They're all about limiting the power of The United States when it deals with its citizens. I'm not saying it's not arguable; you could say that the "security of a free state" they talk about is the ability of people to bear arms in civil defense forces against foreign invasion. It could be the freedom of the states to have professional militias. You could even argue the home protection angle in there, since guns would be helpful to restore security in some sort of massive outbreak of violence, with further conjecture on whether the potential suppression of slave uprisings with guns is essential to either "security" or a "free state."

I think we can have privately owned guns. I think we can have privately-owned stingers, tanks, drones, and part of a well-regulated militia. Not a federal or even state-owned militia[1], just a private one where every two or four weeks you march your ass down there and put on the uniform of a rifleman, NCO, or commissioned officer and shoot, take classes, run a few miles, do a few hundred push-ups, and drill, drill, drill because if you're serious about stopping the federal government when it steps out of line, you have to have a gun, be in shape, learn how to fight, understand a chain of command, know the science and tactics of the modern military, be able to lead, and act like a member of a military unit. If you can't do that, then you can surrender your gun at the door on your way out. Defending The United States of America is not a job for couch potatoes and loudmouthed braggarts.

I'm not being facetious; if a person's reason for owning a gun is based on the right granted by The Constitution, then they should understand that those rights are backed by ideas worthy of service. It's not about owning a gun just to feel powerful and safe. It's not about buying guns as yet another consumable in a long line of consumables that ultimately fail to satisfy the soul. Gun ownership should be an obligation a person dons as a symbol to give time, effort, and blood for a cause that holds you and your country and you to a higher standard.
[1] National Guard units can be called up by The President and there's both jack and all governors can do about it. Go fig.


Jordan Shipp said...

Dont they implement a similar set up with the Reserve? I'm not saying they're the same thing, just that your descriptions reminded me of that. That...and Athens in the olden days. Their army consisted of citizens who trained and drilled in their spare time. They were also prepared, at a moment's notice, to head into battle.

VanVelding said...

Yeah, the reserve operates like that, but exists under federal authority. The Athenian model, without checking Wikipedia, is based on everyone being in the military, so if you're a lawmaker, you're still in the military. I imagine that arrangement would cut down on the amount of military adventurism.