Where We’re Going, We Won’t Need Any Guns!

March 11, 2013

By: Kelly Diamond, Editor

Gun ownership boils down to basic property rights: not just in owning a gun as property, but in the inherent right to defend your property — be it land, things, person or life itself.

The need for guns cannot be centrally planned or even ascertained as guns provide a sense of safety for many individuals and equalize circumstances where brute force might be unequal.

Don't Need GunsThe other day, TRAP (The Real Art of Protest) posted a jibe at gun rights defenders (see image on left), all predicated on individuals not NEEDING an assault rifle or any gun for that matter.  They posted these statistics of innocent individuals who died at the barrel of someone’s gun. My initial response, in so many words, essentially read: Option #4 — NONE OF YOUR F***ING BUSINESS!  I responded with a litany of documented cases where innocents saved their own lives or the lives of others with a privately owned firearm.

They suggested I use a knife to defend myself.  I asked, “What if my attacker has a gun? What good will a knife do?”  No answer.  I asked this knowing the reality of my existence: a petite female.  I found the lack of response rather disconcerting, given the stakes in any given hypothetical.  The most amazing claim they made was, “The majority of women won’t get raped.  And, Kelly, you never had to fend off a rapist with a gun!”  THAT is what I was up against.  Others shared in the outrage, which gives me hope!

The real issue isn’t who has the most statistics to back their contentions.  The REAL issue is someone other than me determining what I NEED.  Individuals who have not the first clue who I am, no less!  I think of all my indulgences, and honestly admit they are superfluous.  I don’t NEED a maid or gardener.  I don’t NEED sweets.  I don’t NEED brand named or brand new clothes.  I don’t NEED a pet.  I don’t NEED a hobby.  I don’t NEED to gratuitously utilize curse words the way I do in everyday conversation.  I don’t NEED a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).  The list goes for miles.  Imagine the economic response if we just banned all of that… never mind banning the unlisted luxuries!  The person whose job directly ties into any of these things, NEEDS me to WANT them.  Not that a considerable amount of our economy hinges on private assault weapon sales, mind you, but the flaws in the “need” argument become evident, and in carrying out this contention to its logical end, we run into some devastating consequences.

How can the NEEDS of individuals be determined simply by assessing the thing in question?  How do we look at a gun and say, “You don’t need it”?  That is typical government means testing, though, isn’t it?  Paying someone to be unemployed for 99 weeks, bailing out irresponsible banks and insolvent car companies, bankrupting Social Security and lest we forget the NEED for wars.  Yeah, because government has done such a bang-up job on assessing NEED and allocating resources already, by all means, decide for me what I NEED!  Specifically, make some unilateral decisions on what I NEED to defend myself.  What’s another life lost in the crosshairs of myopic government policy?

Carrying out a gun ban in itself also leads to devastating consequences.  Imagine how much crime is deterred due to the presence of a gun?  Dr. Gary Kleck, a Criminologist at the University of Florida, used to be very much in favor of gun control laws.  His studies just in the late 1990’s alone speak volumes to the safety tied to the mere presence of a gun.  He interviewed violent offenders and more feared a private citizen with a gun over a police officer!   Convicted rapists avoided individuals with a firearm.  We sentence individuals to victimhood when we disarm them.  Criminals have an uncanny way of getting their hands on just about any weapon.  Law-abiding (or should I say gullible) citizens entertain no such ideas.

Which brings me to my next observation: I don’t like the images of a disarmed citizenry juxtaposed with a fully armed government.  Much like me and a bottle of tequila: it just can’t end well.  First, just Google: “Police Raid Wrong House”, and see what pops up.  I assure you the search results yields a litany of stuff I would NEVER do with my guns!  Those results reflect what happens when gun possession and access are unequal.  Flags go up when contemplating guns concentrated in the hands of violent criminals with no regard for the law AND “authority figures” who consider themselves above the law.  Where does that leave the rest of us then?

The national average of cop to civilian ratio is 1:1,000.  He’s meant to fend off up to 1,000 individuals with that belt of crap?  Or worse yet, I’m meant to depend on him and his belt to fend off the other 999?  Clearly, the assumption is, not ALL 1,000 are violent or have violent intentions.  All it takes is one.  So one guy is speeding.  Cop pulls him over.  Another guy attacks me five minutes away.  Cop has a gun for a person going faster than some arbitrary suggestion.  I have car keys against a mugger.  I struggle to find comfort in this scenario.  While police officers address the public at large armed with every portable weapon taxpayer money can buy including a gun AND a magazine – for his own SAFETY – I should feel okay with the trinkets in my purse and the knowledge that state agents hold the monopoly on gun protection… and that protection may or may not be around when I need it?

If the police officer feels the need to protect himself against the public, well, I deal with the same public.  Let me protect myself.  If I feel confident that $20,000 worth of gear is unnecessary, then I won’t buy it.  If I think $50,000 worth of gear is necessary, then I’ll buy it.

Safety depends on the circumstances, and those particular circumstances vary from individual to individual.  Sometimes, Safety is an illusion.  Sometimes, the threat is an illusion.  Regardless, each individual possesses the right to create their own circumstances where they feel Safe.  If it means sucking your thumb and holding a teddy bear, great.  If it means packing a gun, fantastic.  If how I make myself safe, makes you feel unsafe, then you are entitled to optimize YOUR circumstances accordingly.  What you may NOT do is modify MINE to appease your sensibilities.

Gun ownership boils down to property rights.  Not just the right to own a gun – like any other thing — as property, but to do what is necessary to protect your most valuable asset: your existence.  Your life and your person ARE your property.  Will we allow ourselves to be conditioned to lay claim to a third party’s actions and interventions?  Will we blithely sit by and hedge our bets that said third party will show up in time?  Are we content to outsource our own personal protections – not to a private security entity who’s commissioned to ensure your safety, but to an institution who busies itself meddling in victimless activities while real violent crimes claim their next victims?

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Comments

  1. I DON’T need my assault rifles because I trust my government to take good care of me and to never threaten mine or my children’s future. After all, there has never been any recorded cases of tyrannical governments turning on their citizens and stepping all over their rights. I mean maybe it happened in the past, but we have traveled beyond that point. There is no tyranny left, and there will never be another madman like Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Vlad Dracula, Nicolae Ceausescu, Kim-Jong-Il or his father Kim Il Sung, Jean Claude Duvalier, Idi Amin, Francisco Franco, Muamar el-Gadhafi, Vladimir Lenin, Hirohito, Benito Mussolini, Leonid Brezhnev, Augusto Pinochet Kaiser Wilhelm III, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Omar Al Bashir, Pol Pot, Nicholas II, Hideki Tojo, Josef Stalin, Leopold II, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and many others.

    I also DON’T need my assault rifles because I have God to take care of me and he doesn’t expect me to take any part in defending myself.

    WHAT A LOAD OF B.S. above.

    During the 20th Century alone six times more people have been killed by their own governments than in all the wars combined during the 20th century. A documented total of over 262 million men, women, and children were killed by their own governments during the 20th century. Many more died who were not documented. Many of these people never would have believed it was possible for it to happen to them.

    THIS is the reason why our founding fathers saw it as so important to ensure the citizen held the power to overthrow a tyrannical government by guaranteeing their right to defense by making it the 2nd amendment, second only to the freedom to speak freely without fear. When you read the writings of 18th century America you understand that a “militia” meant the free people, not an organized military unit. Guns or any other means of arming oneself are a necessary part of a free people. Anyone who who suggests otherwise is either an enemy or an uneducated idiot.

  2. Having spent a bit of time getting dialed in to the US libertarian scene, I have found their positions on gun ownership to be perplexing. I’m a European, and from a cultural perspective, we are less enamored with guns in general.

    One of the arguments I see leveled is that guns protect a civilian population against state violence. I’m sure this argument doesn’t make sense. When it comes to violence, the state reigns supreme.

    There’s the concept of defending property rights, personal safety and the safety of ones family – well, yes, I can see this argument.

    It’s always there as the elephant in the room – what about the sickness which seems present in the US relating to gun crime? The slaughter of children in schools etc? I know these are outliers, rare events, but what is the answer?

    I do find your arguments compelling, and perhaps I am reasoning my way past my cultural biases, not sure yet. Keep writing!

    • Kelly Diamond says

      I SO appreciate you taking these points under consideration.

      “When it comes to violence, the state reigns supreme.”
      Indeed. This is a sad and unfortunate truth. When you think about break-ins into private residences, the police are the more frequent offenders! We have what is called a “no knock warrant”: so they literally show up at your home at some ungodly hour and break down your door! If a private citizen were to do that to another private citizen who happened to have a gun, they would be dead on sight. If that same private citizen fired at a police officer, it would be a crime! Funny how courts are very strict in their enforcement of laws pertaining to police officers… not so much for the average civilian. The double standards are mind-numbing.

      “It’s always there as the elephant in the room – what about the sickness which seems present in the US relating to gun crime? The slaughter of children in schools etc? I know these are outliers, rare events, but what is the answer?”

      This is a problem, and one I am not glib about either. (Some folks tend to interpret my defense of gun rights as trivializing these shootings, and that couldn’t be further from the truth!) There are considerably MORE people killed by cars than guns each year here in the US. There are laws and regulations in place against those acts: no jay-walking, no speeding, no drink-driving, no running red lights and stop signs… etc. People violate these laws regularly. And people die. The laws don’t prevent them from happening. They don’t save lives. They don’t stop those who think they are above such behavior from violating those ordinances. Essentially, they are ineffective when it comes to saving lives… it only provides a recourse after these violent events occur. The same would be true for guns. All the laws and restriction and regulations and background checks in the world won’t stop a violent man from lashing out, or a crazy person from sweeping a shopping center with bullets.

      We aren’t going to ban cars. Even a stricter test won’t make things any better. Who a person is during a particular test or evaluation cannot predict the behaviors of that same person a week or a year later. Bob takes his driving test sober and drives like a saint. A year later, he has his friends in the car, music blaring, and a beer in hand. All it takes is once. No way to prevent that. In fact, we have sobriety check points and while the police are concentrated in this one spot, someone else is driving drunk elsewhere. If they were patrolling as they are supposed to be, they might actually prevent something… But who’s to say?

      Look at airplanes! They were used to crash into the Twin Towers. Another was used to crash an IRS building in Austin, TX. Are we going to ban planes? Our trumped up security measures have not prevented ONE act of terrorism. Not one!

      Religion has been used as the excuse for killing. Sex is used for raping. We aren’t banning any of those things. It would be totally absurd and blatantly tyrannical!

      The same goes for guns: they can be used to kill or maim. We cannot stop the criminal who is intent on committing a violent crime from doing just that. We can mitigate his damage however. If he has a gun, and someone on the scene has a gun, there is a fighting chance at defending themselves and others. Criminals will get their guns no matter what. And laws will only preempt innocent people from getting guns.

      The answer isn’t what the government will or will not do to prevent violent crime. They can’t. Plain and simple. It’s what WE as individuals are free to do to prevent violent crime around us as we see fit.

  3. This post is well-meaning but there are, in my view, some assumptions and equivalencies that mar the sentiment. First, guns as property. Sure, a gun is a physical object that one owns and is therefore property and presumably protected by some form of property rights. But then, so should heroin, child pornography, shoulder-fired missiles and Zyklon-B. Just because something is an object and property does not mean it is automatically protected. And the statement concerning “Police Raid Wrong House” is another red herring: what is the solution to that situation: firing your Glock at the cops? How would that work out for you? My libertarian friends are all about having as many guns as possible to protect themselves against the government, which I find hilarious. The government has drones, nuclear weapons, intelligence agencies, mercenaries, and an arsenal of creative technology that is hard to imagine. Good luck with your Bushmaster. No, I get it. We should feel safe and happy, and if our definition of happiness is a warm gun, why not? Well, this is why: I defend my right to have an arsenal in my house, but I don’t trust my neighbors with theirs. People are insane. Courtesy is all but missing entirely in this land of ours, as well as a sense of humor and the ability to empathize with others. It has come down to us versus them. My experience has been that “them” outnumbers “us” already. If I have to defend their right to own as many assault rifles as possible, then I am surrendering my own safety because I will never be able to outgun my neighbors should they decide to gang up on me because I am considered a threat,or different, or better educated, or whatever. The assumption in posts like this is that there is a clearly-defined enemy against which we should be able to defend ourselves, but the enemy is a moveable feast. Today it’s a rapist or a home-invader; tomorrow it’s the guy next door who wants me to turn down my radio or trim my hedges or who objects to my being a Muslim or a Mormon or a Sikh or an atheist. So what I tell my libertarian friends is: “I believe I have a right to bear arms. I’m just not so sure about you.”

    • Kelly Diamond says

      Heroin, porn, missiles and Zyklon-B are all property. And with the exception of CHILD porn in particular, I would say we are entitled to rightly and justly acquire them. I don’t think that child porn can be justly acquired because it cannot be justly produced without the violation of the rights of minor individuals.

      And yes, if you WANT something, and someone is willing to give or sell it to you willingly, then that’s commerce and free association and by golly, it’s your natural right. Now, the matter of that right being “protected” is a different issue entirely. In fact that is the problem: that right isn’t protected adequately or properly.

      If a squad of fully clad police officers raided my homestead, I wouldn’t stand a chance with a glock. The point of that argument was that we should NOT be concentrating the weaponry into the hands of authoritarian mad-men. I should likewise have access to the same arms they do. Now, if I had an automatic weapon, and my husband had an automatic weapon, then we hide the kids and dogs, and defend our property. And read what you just posted: the government has all these weapons at their fingertips. Paid for with my money. Am I meant to feel better that I will always be out armed by my government? I shouldn’t WANT to at least have the opportunity to protect myself against would-be intruders: public or private? And I should be denied that right because YOU find it futile. Please try to suppress your inner tyrant. You make decisions for YOU. I make decisions for me. YOU don’t get to dream up hypothetical scenarios, trip into some conclusions, and then determine what I should or should not have. That is antithetical to liberty and freedom.

      Your take on libertarian defense of property rights, and particularly gun ownership, is animated, but it seems you missed the point and skimmed the latter part of my post. Safety is up to each individual to define, determine and provide… for themselves. Your might makes right argument is the real red herring here. Do you honestly think that what keeps your neighbors from ganging up on you is gun control laws??? Do you really ascribe that sort of super natural ability to laws? If so, then you are tragically mistaken.

      “If I have to defend their right to own as many assault rifles as possible, I am surrendering my own safety…”

      No. This is illogical and incorrect.

      1. And even if you were right, that is STILL not a justification to abridge an individual’s right to self-defense and property. The POTENTIAL that something could go amiss or not in your favor is sentencing prior to a criminal act! This isn’t Minority Report. There aren’t three psychics in a pool telling us who to arrest based solely on possible intent or premonition! By that line of reasoning, we should ban sex, since that is the leading act in rape. A man has a member, he COULD use it to rape me, after all… I’m compromising my safety by defending a man’s right to keep his junk in tact.

      2. You don’t HAVE to defend anything, much less MY right to own as many assault rifles as possible. No one is asking you to do any such thing. What you MAY NOT do, is infringe upon my right to go about acquiring as many assault rifles as possible. That is NOT your right. YOU do what you need to do to create a safe environment for yourself. I do what I have to do to create mine.

      3. You are not surrendering your safety. That’s just an assumption built on a foundation of cynicism: not fact. You are simply getting out of the way of others who wish to provide safety for themselves and their families as they see fit. You are not safer by disarming innocent people who were never out to get you in the first place. In fact, who’s to say that those same neighbors wouldn’t come out with their fire arm to help defend you in the event of a break in? Inner city residents often practice this very thing since police officers either won’t come or don’t come in time.

      Here’s when you compromise your safety: when you leave the house. When you get into a car and drive thousands of pounds of metal at high speeds with others doing the same thing. THAT compromises your safety. Should be take away the cars since their safety track record is less than awesome as well?

      “I believe I have a right to bear arms. I’m just not so sure about you.” Yeah, your take on rights is askew. A right is not a privilege. A right isn’t even earned or deserved. It simply is. They just exist. Like the world when you were born: it was just here when you came out. So were your rights. Other people don’t get to decide what I have a right to. Because imagine if I were to take such liberties with your freedoms? Would I be within my rights to tell you what you need or should do? I should hope your answer would be NO.

      • “Heroin, porn, missiles and Zyklon-B are all property. And with the exception of CHILD porn in particular, I would say we are entitled to rightly and justly acquire them. I don’t think that child porn can be justly acquired because it cannot be justly produced without the violation of the rights of minor individuals. ”

        See, this is my problem. I don’t want my neighbors to have missiles or Zyklon-B. I am having an issue with this over-generalized idea of property rights. If they have missiles or Zyklon-B, then I am going to have to have the same in order to defend myself or at least to provide a deterrent. Mutual Assured Destruction. Remember that?

        “And yes, if you WANT something, and someone is willing to give or sell it to you willingly, then that’s commerce and free association and by golly, it’s your natural right. Now, the matter of that right being “protected” is a different issue entirely. In fact that is the problem: that right isn’t protected adequately or properly. ”

        Because it is not defined adequately anywhere. For instance, I believe that my identity and my privacy are property that I can protect. Good luck with that, right? We have already lost any claim to privacy. Should privacy be considered property, or should it’s violation be considered covered under “unlawful search and seizure”? Unless we have a dialogue on the issue of something as basic as privacy rights, then the issue of who owns what kind of gun is still vulnerable to constitutional challenges.

        “If a squad of fully clad police officers raided my homestead, I wouldn’t stand a chance with a glock. The point of that argument was that we should NOT be concentrating the weaponry into the hands of authoritarian mad-men. I should likewise have access to the same arms they do. Now, if I had an automatic weapon, and my husband had an automatic weapon, then we hide the kids and dogs, and defend our property. And read what you just posted: the government has all these weapons at their fingertips. Paid for with my money. Am I meant to feel better that I will always be out armed by my government? I shouldn’t WANT to at least have the opportunity to protect myself against would-be intruders: public or private? And I should be denied that right because YOU find it futile. Please try to suppress your inner tyrant. You make decisions for YOU. I make decisions for me. YOU don’t get to dream up hypothetical scenarios, trip into some conclusions, and then determine what I should or should not have. That is antithetical to liberty and freedom.”

        Who are these authoritarian mad-men of whom you speak? The Michigan Militia? The Klan? I don’t want the weaponry concentrated into the hands of libertarian mad-men, either. Or Maoist Communist Shining Path Nepalese revolutionaries, for that matter. But your rant is quite emotional and makes my point completely: we lack a sense of humor in this country, and in this type of debate. When I posted “I believe I have a right to bear arms. I’m just not so sure about you ” it was written in a satirical spirit.

        “Your take on libertarian defense of property rights, and particularly gun ownership, is animated, but it seems you missed the point and skimmed the latter part of my post. Safety is up to each individual to define, determine and provide… for themselves. Your might makes right argument is the real red herring here. Do you honestly think that what keeps your neighbors from ganging up on you is gun control laws??? Do you really ascribe that sort of super natural ability to laws? If so, then you are tragically mistaken.”

        No, it wouldn’t stop them from ganging up on me, but an enforceable gun control system would limit their ability to fire up my home with automatic weapons fire. At least, they would need time to reload.

        “If I have to defend their right to own as many assault rifles as possible, I am surrendering my own safety…”
        No. This is illogical and incorrect.
        1. And even if you were right, that is STILL not a justification to abridge an individual’s right to self-defense and property. The POTENTIAL that something could go amiss or not in your favor is sentencing prior to a criminal act! This isn’t Minority Report. There aren’t three psychics in a pool telling us who to arrest based solely on possible intent or premonition! By that line of reasoning, we should ban sex, since that is the leading act in rape. A man has a member, he COULD use it to rape me, after all… I’m compromising my safety by defending a man’s right to keep his junk in tact.”

        These arguments are specious and funny. I am not telling you or anyone else what to do, or trying to sentence someone prior to their committing a criminal act. That’s a straw man argument. Controlling the traffic in guns is not sentencing anyone to anything. We control access to alcohol and drugs, and to Sherman tanks and F-16s. I do not feel I am being sentenced to anything in the process. I have a driver’s license, too. By your reasoning we should not have to take driving tests and obtain driver’s licenses. Sorry, but I don’t see that as a terrible existential burden. All I am saying is that I do not trust my fellow Americans, and why should I? Why should any of us? The government is actually composed of my fellow Americans. They are not a different race. They come from the same towns and cities as the rest of us. If you don’t trust the government, why would you trust your neighbors? I don’t trust either one, frankly.

        “2. You don’t HAVE to defend anything, much less MY right to own as many assault rifles as possible. No one is asking you to do any such thing. What you MAY NOT do, is infringe upon my right to go about acquiring as many assault rifles as possible. That is NOT your right. YOU do what you need to do to create a safe environment for yourself. I do what I have to do to create mine.”

        All this talk about rights and none about responsibilities. It’s like listening to teenagers scream at their parents. There is no enshrined right to own an assault rifle. There were no assault rifles when the Fathers wrote our Constitution. In those days, a mad-man could not mow down a room full of people with a single weapon and a single magazine. He had to reload after each shot. In those days, suitcase nukes were not even a figment of anyone’s imagination, neither were shoulder-fired missiles. The Constitution has been amended many times since the original was written. We abolished slavery that way. Prohibited alcohol … and then permitted it again. The Constitution is a living document, not a dead scripture. We have to address these issues with sanity and clear-headedness and logic.

        “3. You are not surrendering your safety. That’s just an assumption built on a foundation of cynicism: not fact. You are simply getting out of the way of others who wish to provide safety for themselves and their families as they see fit. You are not safer by disarming innocent people who were never out to get you in the first place. In fact, who’s to say that those same neighbors wouldn’t come out with their fire arm to help defend you in the event of a break in? Inner city residents often practice this very thing since police officers either won’t come or don’t come in time. ”

        But those are also assumptions. We don’t have any way of knowing how responsible gun-owners are, or how capable they are of hitting what they aim at, or of knowing who is friend and who is foe.

        “Here’s when you compromise your safety: when you leave the house. When you get into a car and drive thousands of pounds of metal at high speeds with others doing the same thing. THAT compromises your safety. Should be take away the cars since their safety track record is less than awesome as well?”

        No, but see above: we have driving tests and driver’s licenses, and we can take away someone’s “right” to drive if they constantly drive recklessly, or while drunk, etc. Our rights as individuals depend on our responsibility to each other, to the community. At some point, the community decides that said person is a danger to the rest of us. We have ways of defining that danger, of qualifying it and quantifying it. In the gun control debates, we have no such yardstick. No one is talking about basic social responsibility. Everyone is either screaming about their “rights” or else demanding that all guns be destroyed. There is no middle ground, no sane alternative. And it’s because of those who scream loudest about their right to own as many assault rifles as they want that I have gradually turned from full support of the Second Amendment the way it has been interpreted by libertarians to a more modest and, to my mind, saner view.

        “I believe I have a right to bear arms. I’m just not so sure about you.” Yeah, your take on rights is askew. A right is not a privilege. A right isn’t even earned or deserved. It simply is. They just exist. Like the world when you were born: it was just here when you came out. So were your rights. Other people don’t get to decide what I have a right to. Because imagine if I were to take such liberties with your freedoms? Would I be within my rights to tell you what you need or should do? I should hope your answer would be NO.”

        Again, as I said above, that statement was meant humorously but you didn’t see it that way. Okay. The rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution did not simply “exist” like the world I was born in. If that was so, there would have been no need of a Constitution. Unfortunately, you are making that screaming teenager argument again: “No one has the right to tell me what to do!” I am not taking liberties with your freedoms, or anyone else’s. I am making an argument, which you have interpreted as an assault on your rights as a human being, or something. As if I, as a single individual, have the power or want the power to take away any of your liberties. This is the type of argument that stems from false premises, false equivalencies, and ad hominem statements. If I object to my neighbors having assault weapons then I automatically am an enemy of the Constitution, of American liberty, of the democratic process, etc etc. This is why we cannot have this discussion in this country.

        • Kelly Diamond says

          “I don’t want my neighbors to have…”
          Not your call. Or anyone else’s call for that matter. I don’t want people to smoke. Oh well.

          Property rights aren’t adequately defined anywhere.
          You looking to the law to define it for you? You can’t come up with a workable definition of property rights? If you wish to use your irrelevant “living” slave “document” as a point of reference, then you don’t have a right to privacy. Privacy is an extension of property rights since it would require the invasion and intrusion into your property to acquire information or evidence of your actions. I can’t find out about your communications, unless I break into YOUR accounts. I can’t find evidence of what you’ve been doing over the past six months, unless I access YOUR home, YOUR computers, and YOUR bank statements.

          “All this talk about rights and none about responsibilities. It’s like listening to teenagers scream at their parents. There is no enshrined right to own an assault rifle. There were no assault rifles when the Fathers wrote our Constitution. In those days, a mad-man could not mow down a room full of people with a single weapon and a single magazine. He had to reload after each shot. In those days, suitcase nukes were not even a figment of anyone’s imagination, neither were shoulder-fired missiles.”

          And they didn’t have TVs and Radios either. Should be then ban them because we’re just communicating at rates unimagined by a room full of sweaty white men in wigs! Logical fail.

          And why would you assume that there is no responsibility inherent in property rights? And why do you keep thinking that rights are defined by law, and not natural? Rights are not tantamount to law. Rights are not tantamount to privilege. Rights come from our humanity… or a “Creator” whatever your persuasion may be. But they don’t come from government. And property rights need not be itemized like a 1099 tax form. It’s a general statement. Much like free speech. Much like life. You don’t get to abridge those things no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. You are the one sounding like a spoiled teenager in that you seem to think government and law is here to cater to your ideas and notions of “comfort” or “safety”. Which then entails to some degree that you have a moral claim on third party actions against another party. You don’t.

          If you want to talk about REAL responsibility, then start with YOU and quit worrying about what other people may or may not do. YOU handle YOUR business, and let others handle theirs. You realize that if your neighbors really wanted to create a bomb and blow you up, they can do that with common household products right now in their kitchen right? It’s not the law that is stopping them. It’s the fact that they probably have no inclination to do any such thing.

          The Constitution is a living document.
          It’s an irrelevant slave document. Ever wonder why 1/3 of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence refused to sign the Constitution? It’s not because they had better things to do. They KNEW it would lead to tyranny. And if by living, you mean mutating, then I might be inclined to at least see the argument. What I won’t do I give it any credence as it pertains to maintaining a civilized or well ordered society. In that vein, my toilet paper offers a more immediate and functional purpose.

          “Who are these authoritarian madmen?”
          The police or government in general. The enFORCErs of government. Again, do the google search I recommended, and you will see the results of unquestioning obedience at the behest of a few oligarchs. What you will not find is a list of Michigan Militia raiding innocent people’s homes.

          “Your rant was emotional and illustrated my point”
          It was not emotional. It was logical and factual. Sorry. Your attempts at humor don’t translate well in writing.

          A theme is emerging in your posts and that is your lack of trust for individuals. And rightly so. I share that same distrust, which is why I feel it a right for anyone to defend themselves as they see fit. Your distrust, however, should not be conflated with guilt. Relieving the law-abiding general public of property rights to any degree is a presumption of guilt, since it is based on the fact that you assume if they had unrestricted rights to fire arms, they would just blow you up with them. Interestingly enough, we write so many laws, and the ones intent on continuing these deeds, really don’t care about these magical laws.

          “But those are also assumptions. We don’t have any way of knowing how responsible gun-owners are, or how capable they are of hitting what they aim at, or of knowing who is friend and who is foe.”

          That’s right. So it is a presumption of innocence. And they are not guilty of anything until they do something. So leave them alone. You live in such a fear-based reality, that you actually feel entitled to sick the government on the rest of society to give you some illusion of safety. What happened to taking responsibility? Your safety is YOUR responsibility. People were not put here to cater to your fear based notions. So tamp down the hubris.

          “No, but see above: we have driving tests and driver’s licenses, and we can take away someone’s “right” to drive if they constantly drive recklessly, or while drunk, etc.”

          You think the driving tests and licensing process really make more responsible drivers? Interesting. You really do put a lot of stock in the government and it’s little songs and dances. Licensing provides NO level of safety whatsoever. Not in ANY field. A driving test creates no level of safety whatsoever. And the idea that your little plastic card can be taken away doesn’t make the roads safer. Traffic citations don’t make people drive slower. This is painfully misguided nonsense. Let’s say I didn’t renew my license next year. You think all of a sudden my competence to drive would some how be diminished? It’s not the license that makes me a safe driver: it’s the experience behind the wheel that makes me a safe driver. It’s no the arbitrary speed suggestions that make the roads safe, because I assure you I haven’t driven within 10 MPH of the speed limit for over 20 years (and never got a ticket). It’s my desire to NOT get into an accident that keeps me on the defense. It’s not about responsibility here. It’s about self-interest: most folks don’t want to get into an accident, wreck their only means of transportation, and pay higher premiums for insurance OR pay out for the accident itself. NOR do they prefer to suffer bodily injury. THAT is what makes us safe. Not your silly laws. A person with a license can STILL be reckless. And a person without one, could likely go unnoticed for years.

          “Our rights as individuals depend on our responsibility to each other, to the community. At some point, the community decides that said person is a danger to the rest of us. We have ways of defining that danger, of qualifying it and quantifying it. In the gun control debates, we have no such yardstick. No one is talking about basic social responsibility. Everyone is either screaming about their “rights” or else demanding that all guns be destroyed. There is no middle ground, no sane alternative. And it’s because of those who scream loudest about their right to own as many assault rifles as they want that I have gradually turned from full support of the Second Amendment the way it has been interpreted by libertarians to a more modest and, to my mind, saner view.”

          Danger to society is best defined by HOW something is put to use. Religion in itself is harmless. UNLESS, people begin to act on crazy interpretations of it. Then it gets dangerous. But we don’t ban religion because someone COULD start a cult or COULD blow up a building. And we don’t ban religion even if they DO those things in its name. We go after the individuals who decided to be violent and actually perpetrate a crime in its name, and leave the religion alone. THAT is what is right.

          Same goes for a gun. A gun in itself can’t shoot itself unless you release the safety. If there were a gun right here on the table in front of me, I would not feel unsafe by its presence. I would feel safer with its presence, in fact. I will assume that my neighbors would have one or more as well. Since they have made no other efforts to violate my rights with any other inanimate object, it’s rather safe to assume they probably don’t want to violate my rights at all. BUT they may change their mind. And I will be ready.

          There is no middle ground when it comes to property rights. Your idea of middle ground asks me to compromise some of my property rights for no other reason than your personal fears. That’s not a good enough reason. My need to feel safe trumps your need to feel safe from me. I won’t EVER put YOUR need to feel safe above my own. Nor should you do that for me. THAT is the real insanity. “Society” doesn’t get to decide the parameters of my property rights. There is no WE here. There is just ME. And YOU. And HIM. And Her. But there is no WE when it comes to how each of us individually decide to go about our lives. You get no say in what I get to own. You get no say in how many. Just like the Occupy people don’t get a say in how rich someone can get.

          “The rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution did not simply “exist” like the world I was born in. If that was so, there would have been no need of a Constitution.”
          The Bill of Rights initially were NOT individual rights, but STATES’ rights. That is the history of the Constitution. The rights listed in this document are written in the negative, which is an acknowledgement of the rights themselves. Example: The right to bear arms shall not be… It doesn’t say “You have the right to bear arms”. It recognizes that right, and defines what the federal government can and cannot do to it. The Declaration of Independence even defines rights as an extension of our humanity, or a Creator, NOT from government. Your understanding of the Constitution is incorrect, factually and historically.

          I agree. There is NO need for the Constitution. I stand with the 1/3 who refused to sign that document that day.

          Unfortunately, you are making that screaming teenager argument again: “No one has the right to tell me what to do!”

          It’s not a screaming teenager argument. A screaming teenager screams about iniquities that they have no control over. They scream for something, but have no intention of taking responsibility for it. If I left a screaming teenager alone, they wouldn’t be able to support themselves or do for themselves in many cases. Such is not the case here. I WANT to be left alone because I have every intention of doing for myself. I’m a grown woman being treated like a teenager, and that is the problem.

          “I am not taking liberties with your freedoms, or anyone else’s. I am making an argument, which you have interpreted as an assault on your rights as a human being, or something. As if I, as a single individual, have the power or want the power to take away any of your liberties. This is the type of argument that stems from false premises, false equivalencies, and ad hominem statements. If I object to my neighbors having assault weapons then I automatically am an enemy of the Constitution, of American liberty, of the democratic process, etc etc. This is why we cannot have this discussion in this country.”

          You vote. You make this argument and advocate these things. You will continue to support individuals who wish to impose these things on me. YOU need to take responsibility for YOUR actions and YOUR advocacy and YOUR argument. It’s one thing to say, “I feel uncomfortable with someone having an assault rifle”. Okay. It’s another to say, “I don’t think they should be allowed to have it.” And it’s still another to make any sort of legislative effort toward that end… be it voting, campaigning, or petitioning for such an outcome. The fact that you feel justified in your sentiments toward my property rights, so much so that you support legislation to that end is offensive, yes.

          There is nothing false about my premises or my argument. It is you who is dodging the responsibility of your position. You clamor for responsibility, but you are SO busy looking at what your neighbor has or might have or could have, you neglect your own lot. Your a nosy busy body who thinks sicking a government on people to control them is the right thing to do. Read what you’ve posted. That’s not ad hominem. That’s what you are saying.

          I happen to be an openly admitted enemy of the Constitution. You are no where NEAR that. I am an openly admitted enemy of democracy. You are very much for the tyranny of the masses. I don’t believe in “American Liberty”. There is only Liberty. So no. You can stop flattering yourself with these baseless projections on me. I’ve done none of those things. You are not a victim here. So stop the whining.

          It’s not that you CAN’T have the discussion. It’s that there are those who find your position to be logically unsound. Unfortunately, you have no means of addressing the integrity of your argument because it fails on reason and logic. It fails on liberty. You CAN have the discussion, you just won’t find many gun advocates eager to have you tell them to compromise when they’ve done nothing to deserve such a request. Your liberties are clearly up for negotiation. And that’s swell. I don’t think expecting others to put their on the chopping block as well is a reasonable request. In fact, it’s like taxes: you’re asking me to willfully relinquish something that is mine for some elusive “greater good”.

    • These are not rare occurrences, Sen. Diane F. (D)
      Only a few of the home invasions and robberies are met with armed resistance. Only the tip of the iceberg Is mentioned here where citizens were armed and the event was reported in the news papers.
      Do you want to face an invader with a half empty magazine? You can be sure that the criminal’s magazines won’t be.
      Perhaps if the husband and wife in our family had been armed they would be listed below instead of being shot defenseless in their bed by intruders. Why don’t we ask them now if they are PARANOID?
      As of 12/12 162 pages comprising Thousands of documented responses of citizen Using gun defense responded below.
      http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx
      NRA-ILA | Armed Citizen
      Screen clipping taken: 12/30/2012 7:50 PM

  4. Michael Ponzani says

    Kelly,

    I agree with almost everything you seais, except the swearing. I did that a lot and it drove people away.

    Perhaps this is something you could work on.

    Sincerely,

    Micfhael Ponzani

    • Kelly Diamond says

      LOL. My point was that while swearing is not NEEDED, that’s not cause to censor me or ban those words. The natural consequences exist for such behavior. As you said, some folks are driven away by such language. Fair enough. But that is sufficient, right? The social consequences will temper my perceived need to indulge in such verbiage. But imagine making laws based on need in this case: free speech rights would just disappear. The defense argument for free speech is: the remedy for bad speech is MORE speech! 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to read and post! kd

  5. Tom Cruise says

    Ms. Diamond – A well written article, but I continue to wonder why congress insists on fighting the battle over a Right clearly established in the U.S. Constitution when they could easily diminish the influence of violence in total, and the violent use of guns to take another person’s life in particular, by simply banishing the display of either on television shows, in the movies, or in any DVD sold in the States United. After all, there are supposedly regulations that classify all of the above visual media according to various criteria already in place. But the violence of taking another person’s life doesn’t fit into some ‘classification” – it simply needs to be banned. In many TV ‘cop shows’ today, the viewer doesn’t see the actual killing – only the result. In the ‘old’ movies, men were shot w/o all of the violence that seems to be necessary today with modern weapons. I don’t think any rational person can deny the influence the visual media have on what is resulting on our streets and in our malls, as immature, undeveloped, or slightly warped minds watch men die on screen; only to appear again in a subsequent show. I believe there have been actual psychological studies, based on interviews of young killers, in which these killers didn’t really understand the consequences of their actions. “I didn’t mean to KILL him.” No, he thought the person he shot would show up next week, back doing his job behind the counter. In fact, that is what he was hoping for. In summary, I believe we, or congress, have the means already in place, to significantly reduce extreme violence in street crimes by removing the visual influence, without challenging the sacredness of the document that has guided this nation for over 200 years.

    • Kelly Diamond says

      Tom, there is something to be said for the desensitizing and dehumanization caused by our media. But not the overtly fictitious ones. It’s what actually happens in the news. We give psychos their “15 minutes of fame”. News cameras provide endless coverage for high speed chases, shooting rampages, plaster their faces everywhere… Virginia Tech shooting was perpetrated by someone looking exactly for that 15 minutes, and predictably, NBC gave it up like a dime-store hooker. The lack of integrity in the press, the glorification of authoritarian gangs of force like police and military, the rally cries and tom-toms beating over killing Muslims in other countries, the opinion (rather than fact) based reporting done on 24 hour news channels which justify American violence, while admonishing the self-defense of others. We glorify… and commend… violence.

      Now take that, coupled with a undiscerning mind begotten of government indoctrination institutions, and you have a zombie.

      What I tend to disagree with is the notion that media takes an otherwise non-violent person and turns them into killers. That’s just patently untrue. Having worked in the marketing industry for years, I can say with absolute certainty that marketing only works on those in the market for that good, service or act. You could lock me in a room for a month straight with nothing but messaging suggesting I eat avocados. At the end of that month, I will be no closer to eating green fat on a pit than when you put me in there. I won’t buy it. I won’t eat it. I am not and will never be in the market for it. Likewise, I could watch Law & Order Episodes until I’m blue in the face, and never think for a second that I can commit a crime and get away with it OR investigate a crime and solve it in an hour! Media is marketing. Marketing speaks to those who already had the inclination toward such action.

      Thank you for reading, and taking the time to post!

      • Michael Ponzani says

        what about subliminals?

        • Kelly Diamond says

          What about subliminals? Are you contending that subliminal messaging causes violent crimes: specifically ones involving guns?

          • Michael Ponzani says

            No I meant for buying things. They also cause destructive sexual behavior. Witness Glee.

          • Kelly Diamond says

            I don’t know, to be honest. I think if we can define subliminal messaging as being unique and distinguish it from other messaging, then there might be something there in terms of audience or mass manipulation. However, I’m not well versed enough in psychology to know how subliminal messaging works, and if it can necessarily be differentiated from regular messaging all the time. I don’t consider subliminal messaging to be tantamount to suggestive messaging, however. You can have something that is suggestive in nature, but that isn’t the same as provoking or invoking an act.

    • Michael Ponzani says

      That’s got to be astage name. If you are the real TC, Wow. Forrest Gump ranks right upthere with It’s a Wonderful Life as a morally uplifting and inspirational movie.

  6. Bravo! You speak clearly and accurately!

    The actual problem, though, is not with the government but with the people. They are so gullible anymore! No longer do they stand tall and proud but cower to any situation that may be confrontational

    And most of all, they forget that Washington is NOT the government….they are the hired help. WE are the government. Should we therefore cry and whine over our poor management and apathy?

    And actually stand up for yourself? Heaven forbid!

    I have always believed in the depths of my heart that if all the people that are alive the U.S. today had been instead, alive way back in 1776, today we would still be under the rule and domination of England.

    As it has been said, “Participating in a gun buy-back program because you believe that the criminals have too many guns, is like having yourself castrated because you believe that the neighbors have too many kids.”

    God help us all.

    • Kelly Diamond says

      I theory, yes, “we are the government”. But if “we are the government”, then why can’t I determine my own needs? Why has it become essentially illegal to government MYSELF?! Not others as slaves, but myself as a free agent. Outrageous. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! kd

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