Get A Bunch Of

GUNNIES TOGETHER and talk will almost inevitably turn to the right to keep and bear arms. Makes sense; it’s one thing they all have in common, pretty much.

And there seems to be somewhat of a divide in opinion between the, “Better judged by 12 than carried by 6” crowd and the “If you’re really law abiding … and anyway, your opinion of the second amendment doesn’t carry any weight in a court of law.”

And you have to say that, pragmatically, both groups are right. You can’t argue your rights in court if you’re dead. And the point of a gun, in the final analysis, is to defend your life — either way you look at it. At the same time, you can yell all you want about your rights — and sing a chorus of “ATTICA! ATTICA!” while they’re dragging you off to the Big House, so it might be the better part of valor to be discrete and follow the laws, as wrong as they may be.

But. In accepting that the state has the power — if not the lawful right — to demand you beg permission of it to exercise a God-given and constitutionally guaranteed human right, are you not breaking the law by allowing your right (and, it seems it must follow, the rights of those who come after you without a chance to protest in any meaningful fashion) to be infringed?

Not claiming to have the answer, though I suspect you can tell from the way I’ve couched the question which way I lean.

The “reasonable regulation” crowd want to frame this as though licensing gun ownership is just like licensing car ownership. Or, at any rate, drivership. Which might be fine if gun drivers were as common as car drivers, and the activity could only take place in a state-owned venue. And it might be fine if cars were proven means of resisting state oppression and there had been a history of would-be tyrants dispossessing citizens of their Fords and Chevies just prior to or just after a coup. As a means of solidifying power.

But the equivalence falls down right about there.

And everybody seems to want to claim that there is a compelling public interest in maintaining good order.

Perhaps, though it must be said that the very notion of a “compelling interest” which can override the rights of the individuals ought to be anathema to a free people. And the notion of a compelling state interest (Surely you can apprehend the difference between public and state interests?) shouldn’t ever even be on the table.

Even so, none of this can withstand the facts: denial of the right of self-defense, and the right to keep and bear the means to exercise the right, is in and of itself contrary to good public order, and to the law.

If you abide by and in the law, what the state may say to the contrary is immaterial. A free man can do no other.

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