With all the anti 2nd Amendment rhetoric going on both at the Federal and State levels there is a lot of talk about “need” as it applies to the 2nd Amendment. For example…
- Nobody needs a 30 round magazine
- Nobody needs an “assault” rifle
- Nobody needs to be able to buy more than one gun per month
- Unless you are criminal nobody needs privacy in gun ownership; there should be a registry of all gun owners.
The problem with all of these statements is that gun ownership in our country under the 2nd Amendment is a right. Rights are rights and apply equally to all people at all times regardless of what some politician’s perceived need of my right should be. It doesn’t matter “what the people” say in some poll. It doesn’t matter if you have enough votes to pass it or not. We are born with these rights and the only roll government plays is protecting anyone from infringing on those rights, especially the government itself!
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Activist defied the order of a city bus driver to move to the back of the bus as was the practice for blacks by law at that time. Why did she do this? Was it simply about transportation? No, the back of the bus was going the same place the front of the bus was going. She also wasn’t going to get there any faster by riding in the back of the bus. The whole bus got to its location at the same time.
So people could have argued she did not need to defy this order. It didn’t actually accomplish anything in a utilitarian sense of simple transportation from point A to point B. She did it because it was her right to do it! She was born with that right and the government, majority of the people, politicians, judges, law, tradition, etc. had no right to remove that right from her with any type of law!
So it is with gun owners. It doesn’t matter what gun banners think, what polls say, what politicians who hate guns want. It is our right as free, law abiding Americans to own any gun we want and any size magazine and own them in privacy and not tell anyone what we own unless we break a law. We aren’t required to wait to purchase guns or ammunition, pay a tax to own them and shouldn’t have what we want to purchase arbitrarily limited because of someone’s opinion of my need. Is is not about needs it is about rights!
When we start letting polls, people’s opinions and politicians decide what we need as opposed to simply respecting our rights as free born Americans than the whole concept of freedom and liberty falls apart for everyone. We spiral down until we live in a dictatorship. Maybe not today with this law, but someday.
You see, political fortunes often change. So the gun banners believe they have the upper hand right now and therefore can impose their arbitrary opinion of what they believe my need is on me with some law. However someday those political fortunes are going to change and another group will be in power. What if the next group in power decides you don’t need free speech all 7 days in week or all year. Instead having free speech one month per year to speak your grievances to the government should be all you need.
Take the 4th Amendment of unreasonable search and seizure. What if we decide to pass a law that says nobody needs to have this protection. After all only criminals have something to hide. If you are truly the law abiding person you claim you are than you have no need to resist a warrantless searches of your home and car anytime the police desire.
What about the 5th Amendment that says you can’t be forced to testify against yourself in a court of law. Why does anyone need this protection. If you actually broke a law shouldn’t you be required to do everything the police want to prove you did it and be subjected to the punishment that goes with it? After all you broke the law. Most people would agree in a poll that criminals should be punished. Most politicians can argue this is the “will of the people” and that the “majority” of people agree.
You see the problem is when we start letting polls, politicians, and someone else’s opinion of what we need to be the deciding factor in what rights we get and how we get to exercise them eventually everyone’s freedom is lost. Not just the people who have rights you don’t like or agree with. Eventually someone will come for your most cherished rights.
Rights work and grant freedom and liberty because we have all agreed we are born with these rights and we cherish them enough to write them down in a Bill of Rights. We agreed to create a government that was limited in its power and had an obligation to protect those rights.
My rights are just as important as yours are. They are as important to me as yours are to you. It doesn’t matter if you like my rights. It doesn’t matter if you personally don’t want to practice my rights for yourself.
I was born with my rights just as you were with yours. If you decide my rights can be sacrificed for what you believe is the “correct” way to live than we have no freedom and no liberty that can’t be taken away by a simple majority of people who happen to agree that this is the way things ought to be. Hopefully everyone sees the danger in that.
Whoever has the most votes in Congress, the best lobbyists, or the best PR people to create and dictate public opinion gets to decide what rights we have and what we need when it comes to exercising those rights. That is wrong and that is the end of freedom and liberty for everyone.