Can’t have it both ways
While eating at the Redneck Gourmet recently, I read a letter to the editor that I found very interesting.
The writer first stated that he believes in the 2nd amendment of the U.S. constitution – “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
He went on to say that he did not believe in the later portion (bearing arms) and wanted restriction on the former portion (keeping arms). So the writer was not being honest with either himself or with the reader.
He used the old analogy that we have free speech but it is illegal to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. But, at this point, his analogy broke down.
What he pointed out was that we should have laws for when people abuse their rights. So if someone does yell “fire” irresponsibly, there will be repercussions. That is as it should be since injury and lives could be at stake.
When you attend a movie, you have the ability to talk and to raise your voice and say “fire.” Did the writer want to ban movie theaters? Or make it impossible for people to raise their voice in the theater? When it comes to bearing arms, that is what he wants to do. So he was not applying the same logic to the freedom of speech as to the freedom of self-defense.
The writer then said that until the person did the murder, they were “good.” He used the example of the Oklahoma City bomber. But crime studies show that rarely do people go from law abiding to murder. There is normally a long fall, either gradual or rapid, before people descend into such horrific actions.
We may not always observe or see the descent, but there is almost always evidence. So the writer demonstrates his lack of understanding of human nature, criminals and basic psychology.
The writer then went on to accuse “ultra right wing” people of committing murder. And he wanted “right wing” people to do something about it since someone “on their side” committed a terrible thing.
And people who disagreed with the writer should be held responsible. Since all but one mass shooting spree in the last 40 years were initiated by Democrats or children in Democratic homes, does he call for similar responsibility among those with whom he sides? So the writer started out by being less than honest, is inconsistent in logic, demonstrates a lack of understanding of crime and human nature, and ends by wanting to make those who disagree with him held accountable for what others have done.
The writer did provide an excellent example of the inconsistency and lack of honesty so many who seek to restrict our rights. To expand the role of government far beyond what the founders intended. And they demonstrate a lack of understanding of human nature and a tendency to project their fears and insecurities onto others. So I believe, as our founding fathers did, that we should be able to defend ourselves when needed. And that we should have the right to have that means.
I believe it is right to have laws and consequences when such rights are abused, but that should not negate those rights.