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Op-ed: Gun control is about control, not guns
2nd Amendment is a check on government power
by Thomas Lucente
There is one truism that should not be forgotten in the national conversation on guns: Even if you repeal the Second Amendment it will have no affect on my God-given natural right to keep and bear arms.
That is because rights are not political grants from government. Rights are inalienable gifts from Providence. We possess them by simply existing.
And that right is not for hunting, as many on the left want to claim. Nor is it for personal self-defense against criminals. Ultimately, the right to bear arms is a protection against government.
The Framers knew this and that is why they specifically protected that right by enumerating it in the Constitution. They did not give us the right, mind you. They simply created a rule that forbids the government from infringing it.
They did not need to do this. The Constitution was written as a limiting document. There is no clause in the Constitution allowing the government to infringe on that right. However, some people were afraid extra protection was needed for certain rights and, thus, the Bill of Rights was born.
And among those rights the Framers felt needed extra protection was the right to keep and bear arms. As nearly everything relating to the Constitution, the right was specifically meant to protect the people from an abusive state.
I can point you to scores of quotations from the Framers about the necessity of an armed populace as a protection of our liberties.
They knew the Second Amendment is about power, not guns. It is meant to maintain the balance of power between the government and the governed. It is one of the many checks and balances built into our system. The four boxes, if you will, of freedom: the ballot box, the jury box, the soap box, and the ammo box.
Tell that to the left, though, and you will be called "ridiculous."
The left asks, "Why can't we have a reasonable debate on common sense gun laws?"
What the left means when they use the word "reasonable," is something aligned with their own worldview. And that means a restriction of basic human rights because to the leftist, the highest public good is regulation, control and domination.
It is Pollyannaish thinking, though, to believe that words written in a law book will somehow reduce gun violence, especially the kind of mass murder we saw Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn. It is plain silly to think you can protect rights by eliminating rights.
I understand the emotional desire "to do something."
But that "something" can't be an infringement on a basic human right simply because some nut job decided not to follow the laws already on the books and killed a bunch of children.
What the left proposes will do nothing to reduce gun violence. Ironically, when something happens to them, they will call for men with guns. And those men with guns will show up - after the fact.
Democrats want a ban on "assault weapons."
We had an assault weapons ban for 10 years and there is no evidence the ban reduced gun violence. The Columbine, Colo., massacre occurred during that 10-year period.
You don't need a 30-round magazine to kill a lot of people in a short time. Seung-Hui Cho had no 30-round magazines, yet managed to kill 32 people and wound 17. John Allan Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed at least 10 people and they only fired one or two shots per incident. Charles Whitman killed 13 people and wounded 32 long before the days of Glock 19s or 30-round magazines.
The only "reasonable" thing we can do is put an end to so-called gun-free zones, which are really just victim zones. How many more times must we read about people in gun-free zones cowering in corners waiting to be massacred like sheep? If first-grade teacher Victoria Soto had a gun, she would be a hero for a different reason. And a whole lot of children would still be alive today.
What an odd world in which we live. We are willing to protect our money with guns, but not our precious children.
Thomas J. Lucente Jr.'s column appears in The Lima News on Sundays.
Did you know?
Mass shootings stopped by citizens with guns:
- A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school's vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck.
- A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun.
- A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard.
- A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.
- A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
- [A 2007 church shooting in Colorado Springs, CO ended when a church-goer with a concealed carry license shot the attacker.]
- A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two co-workers who carried concealed handguns.
- A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.
- At the Dec. 11, 2012 mall shooting in Portland, Ore., the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon.