Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why We Need a Gun Culture

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why We Need a Gun Culture

Article excerpt

The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in which a mentally ill gunman went on a shooting spree in an elementary school, has escalated the gun-control debate and brought out some good legislative ideas. But it has also brought out the worst extremes on both sides of the debate from Wayne LaPierre's unworkable (and perhaps even cynical) proposal to place an armed guard in every single school in America, to Piers Morgan calling his interviewee, gun-rights advocate Larry Pratt, "unbelievably stupid" on the air.

What Morgan and the rest of the world do not seem to understand is that the American "gun culture" that is so derided by the global left was actually intended by our Founding Fathers from the beginning. Although the framers of the Constitution probably did not intend (or foresee) the decline in American morality that has led to so much violence in this country, it's clear from the text of the Constitution itself that the framers intended the population to be well-armed. Hence the inclusion of the "right to bear arms" in the Bill of Rights.

So why should a gun culture still be considered desirable, even in the wake of a string of tragedies from Columbine to Newtown? Because a well-armed population is the last bastion against the imposition of tyranny.

Let us step back for a moment and contemplate the unthinkable: Suppose that a totalitarian party gains political power (could be Nazi, communist, or some other extreme ideology), by constitutional or extra-constitutional means. Let's now imagine that they start dismantling all of our civil rights freedoms of expression and religion, rights of the accused, right to due process, and everything else you can name. You might be thinking to yourself, "it couldn't happen here." The liberal Germans of the 1920s and the liberal Egyptians of the 1960s probably thought the same, and yet the Nazis were elected into power in 1933 and the Muslim Brotherhood in 2012.

A well-armed population can prevent the unthinkable from happening in America. Daniel Deudney of Johns Hopkins University envisioned this problem when he invented the concept of "negarchy. …

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