Whenever a mass shooting happens, the statists (politicians who like big government) call for gun control. It never seems to occur to them that when a government outlaw guns, only outlaws (and the government) will own them. A shooting should be prosecuted as any other crime and not made into a news sensation. Swift and severe punishment should act as a deterrent. Our current laws are enough if enforced.
Nevertheless, the statists want to deny law-abiding Americans their US Constitutional (and often state constitutional) right to bear arms and protect themselves from criminals and tyranny. Why do they punish everyone for the wrong done by a few? This thinking fails to align with the traditional American value of personal responsibility.
Now, I want to say up front that the lost of life is always tragic. Each person killed bore the sacred image of God and thus had immeasurable value. We should offer comfort to the survivors and respect to the dead (and shun Beto O’Rourke-type behavior).
At its essence, the conflict that surrounds the Second Amendment demonstrates a conflict of worldviews—the statists’ humanist desire for big government and the traditional Judeo-Christian worldview the United States was founded on.
The leftist’s worldview fails to address reality.
Nature of Firearms
Though dangerous, firearms are tools as are fire, knives, and automobiles, neither good nor bad but their handlers make them so.
The statists, on the other hand, believe a loaded Glock 9mm lying in a nightstand drawer will escape its enclosure and spontaneously go on a shooting spree. Or that when a person purchases a gun, he’s transformed into a murderous maniac.
Dr. Naomi Wolf, raised as an anti-weapon flower child but later grew to understand gun owners, explains her former progressive view of gun ownership:
“…it was easy to believe in broad generalizations and crude, even racist stereotypes: all gun owners or NRA members, for instance, we were sure, were unexploded emotional landmines—any one of them could become a mass murderer in a heartbeat. All gun owners or NRA members were surely, we believed, one cheap beer or one fentanyl hit away from spraying an elementary school with bullets.”
“It certainly did not occur to us that anyone might enjoy marksmanship, or like being a collector, and that thus there might be good reasons to own more than one firearm.”—Dr. Naomi Wolf, “Rethinking the Second Amendment: Can We Indeed Have Peace and Freedom Without Guns?” Outspoken with Dr. Naomi Wolf.
Nature of Man
The Bible states that evil lies in the hearts of all humans. When a person lacks self-control, his passions can drive him to do evil things such as killing innocent children. Simply owning a weapon doesn’t make a person dangerous. Evil thoughts make a person dangerous. Jesus pointed this out in the Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;”—Matthew 5:21-22a NASB1995
Wicked thoughts precede evil actions.
In contrast, leftists believe that people are inherently good, and that society (or guns) makes them bad. But society consists of people. How does a group of people cause innately “good” people to do bad things? Moreover, how do statists, who reject absolute truth, know what is good or bad in the first place?
A person willing to murder others is willing to break other laws as well. So, passing more gun laws will not reduce gun violence.
Good Guys vs. Bad Guys
Even though we are all born sinful, we all have a God-given conscience to help us determine right from wrong. Some harden their hearts to silence their conscience. Many others still follow their conscience and know it is right protect others from evil.
Good guys with guns sometimes stop bad guys with guns. Yet, statists doesn’t acknowledge this. My husband noted after the Uvalde shooting that the leftist media never use the terms “good guy with a gun” or “a bad guy with a gun.” This concept of good vs. evil seems to escape them though even small children understand the concept. Our stories are based on this conflict: Cinderella vs. the Evil Stepmother, Frodo vs. Sauron, or Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader.
Retired Seattle talk show host Kirby Wilbur ran a segment in his show called “Good Guys with a Gun” during which he reported stories of gun owners stopping crimes. These the media ignores.
Instead, the statists view firearms as evil and seek to restrict people’s access to them. However, disarming the good guys simply provide more opportunities for the bad guys to harm others and commit more crimes. Not ones to obey the law, criminals commit most mass shootings in gun-free zones, aka sitting duck zones.
More Guns, Less Crime
Despite the claims of anti-gun organizations such as the Everytown for Gun Safety that stronger gun laws reduce crime, the inverse is true. Deterrence works. Criminals like soft targets.
FBI statistics clearly show that an armed community is a safer community. More Guns, Less Crime (2011) by John R. Loft, Jr, spells this out with extensive research.
“Citizens can take private actions that also deter crime. Allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns reduces violent crimes, and the reductions coincide very closely with the number of concealed-handgun permits issued. Mass shootings in public places are reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns.”—John R. Loft, Jr in More Guns, Less Crime
Mark Twain once said: “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” It’s easy to lie with statistics. The question is, who is lying? The FBI or the CDC, where Everytown.org drew some of its data. After the tyranny of COVID, the CDC has proven itself untrustworthy.
Lastly, all firearm laws are technically unconstitutional. To restrict the use of firearms, Congress or the people must pass a constitutional amendment to change the Second Amendment.
Leftists claim that conservatives misread the Second Amendment. They state that it refers to the establishment of a militia. First, the Bill of Rights are for the people, not the government. Therefore, to claim that this amendment refers to a government army is wrong.
Second, the Founding Fathers made it clear that they wanted the citizenry to be armed:
“The Constitution shall never be construed… to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”—Samuel Adams
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…”—Richard Henry Lee
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson– Thomas Jefferson
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …”– Richard Henry Lee
Third, one must study the writing style of the time to properly read the Second Amendment.
Dr. Wolf explains in her Substack blog post how the Second Amendment is very clear in its meaning even though her progressive circle claimed it was so archaic that no one today truly understood what the Founder’s meant by it.
By comparing the text of the Second Amendment with other writings from the same period, she found a similar writing pattern. See her post for examples.
“So: there is no ambiguity whatsoever about the Second Amendment to readers of Paine and Austen. The Second Amendment says with zero ambiguity, in the English grammar of 1776, that Americans have an absolute right (“shall not be infringed”) to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms because they as individuals may be summoned to become a ‘well-regulated militia.’ In the grammar of the 18th century, it’s the militia that is ‘well-regulated’ orderly, in a clear chain of command, not a chaotic mob—and not the guns.”—Dr. Naomi Wolf
I highly recommend readers to peruse Dr. Naomi Wolf’s essay in full in spite of its 4,000+-word length. Her description of her transformation from an anti-gun flower child to marrying a man who served in the army special operations to becoming a gun owner herself will enlighten readers from both ends of the spectrum of gun rights/control. It illustrates well the conflicting worldviews our society holds regarding firearms.
This daughter of a Beatnik poet father and Summer of Love activist mother no longer sees guns as evil but as a tool of safety and freedom.
“I thought of all the young women I knew who were harmed—badly—at concerts, at clubs, in alleyways. I thought about what would happen to rapists and abusers if young women — if women in general—were armed, or were even if many were reputed to be armed. And I thought of my decades of struggling with the issue of female victimization: the existential vulnerability of women who are always in danger from anyone bigger and stronger who wished to injure or exploit them.
“And I thought: could it always have been this easy?
“Could women resist and deter victimization—by simply owning, and knowing how to use, firearms?”—Dr. Naomi Wolf
Then her thoughts considered communicators.
“I thought not only of rape survivors. I thought too when I saw the rifle on my desk, of writers, of journalists, of critics of the State, of dissidents. I thought of reporters hauled off to prison around the world by the minions of tyrants. I thought of our own recently created Ministry of Truth, and of the armed men who might make note of what was emerging from the computers of American writers.
“What would happen to tyrants….what would happen to threats of violence and arrests for free speech — if writers too were defensively trained and armed? What if words themselves had a defense against violent tyranny, one that was always mounted?
“The writers of our nation’s birth—they were armed. The writers who forged our country’s founding documents were armed because they were writers, and because they knew perfectly well that in Britain, King George III simply hanged defenseless writers for sedition.”—Dr. Naomi Wolf
Wolf closes this post by reciting the recent history of once-free nations that have fallen to tyranny—Canada and Australia, and the fate of China. Even the United States suffers under presidential emergency powers.
“But risks of criminal gun violence, while always tragic, are risks that sadly can’t be done away with altogether, if we are to secure a more fundamental safety for more people and more lives; the right as a nation of 330 million people, to deter massive planned violence, criminal detentions, “lockdowns”, theft of assets, and violent crimes at the state, and now at meta-state, levels, against our lives and freedoms and yes, against our children.—Dr. Naomi Wolf
“Without the brilliantly-conceived and clearly-worded Second Amendment, without the deterrent to state and transnational violence of responsible, lawful, careful and defensive firearms ownership in the United States of America, it is clear that nothing at all, will save our citizens from the fates of the people of China, Australia and Canada; including the children; who are facing—unarmed, defenseless as their parents are—even worse fates, perhaps, still ahead.”—Dr. Naomi Wolf
Fellow Americans, treasure and protect this gift from our Founding Fathers, the Second Amendment: the right to own and bear arms.