Gun Control Is on the Wrong Side of History and Liberty

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 20, 1999 | Go to article overview

Gun Control Is on the Wrong Side of History and Liberty


Continuing cries for greater gun control, which have arisen as a knee-jerk response to the tragic events in Littleton, Colo., are ill-advised and dangerous. Those who argue for gun control believe that guns in and of themselves, are moral agents. However, common sense and a knowledge of history dispatch that assertion.

The history of the 20th century shows man at his best and at his worst. Fascism and communism - two manifestations of man at his worst - rose at least partly on the foundation of governmental confiscation and control of all weaponry.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising in WWII, for example, pitted two vastly unequal forces against each other. The Warsaw Jews had managed over an extended time to fortify the ghetto and stockpile weapons. The Jews began the uprising with 600 combatants and weaponry amounting to 600 gallons of gasoline and pistols and 12 rounds of ammunition for each combatant. They also possessed two rifles, two grenades, and whatever weapons they could scavenge from German soldiers they had killed. Although the Warsaw Jews were grossly outgunned, they held on with desperation and courage for nearly a month. Had they and other European Jews had the kind of access to firearms we do, the German military would have been constrained in carrying out its oppression and would have had fewer resources to expend against Allied forces.

The American approach to power is fundamentally different from that of most other nations. The Founding Fathers, to a man, mistrusted government and knew it could be inimical to liberty. In the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend liberty. In the Constitution they laid out a practical framework for the governed to form a compact with their rulers. The Bill of Rights guarantees the relationship between the people and their rulers as outlined in the body of the Constitution, and the Second Amendment crystallizes the Founding Fathers' creed that ultimate legitimate power roots with the people and not with the government.

Now, more then 11 generations later gun control advocates, having concluded that the American approach to law and order - as it relates to a citizen's right to keep and bear arms - is uncivilized, are trying to reverse the clear intent of the Founding Fathers. They discount and even deny the fact firearms are successfully used in legitimate self-defense much more often than in criminal activities and that they work disproportionately to the benefit of women and the disabled in life-threatening situations. They play down statistics that show the efficacy of concealed-carry to deter violent crime in the 31 states that presently allow it.

Gun control advocates address the negative consequences of being armed, but they fail to address the negative consequences of being unarmed. By this omission they imply that law enforcement officers can protect all people all the time from criminals. Common sense, of course, argues otherwise. …

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