As I was reading this piece at Redstate after the shooting at YouTube yesterday, something struck me: what are rights without the right to self defense? In this case, without the second amendment.
Furthermore, what is liberty AND security without the right to self-defense?
Now, we conservatives, as well as any other proudly gun carrying American, have probably heard this line of thinking so much that we can argue this in our sleep. But consider it for a quick moment. This man wished he had a gun on him during the shooting. Why, so he could just go on a shooting spree, because ‘Merica? Hardly. He understands that a free people have a sacred right and duty to protect themselves and others.
It is probably the first instinct of most people to run and hide in the event of something like a shooting. Fair enough. I don’t blame anybody who does. What about those who wish to fight back? What if that man was staring down the barrel of a gun himself? Why should he be a victim of a crazed gunman (or gunwoman, in this case) when he could be the sane gunman to stop them?
Now, let me go a step further. What if it was not a crazed gunman, but was a crazed authoritarian? I don’t mean the typical suit-and-tie bureaucrat who has the authority to make life more difficult, but a powerful group that has a monopoly on killing people, that then decides that the rights you claim to have need to be taken away?
What then? What do you do? Sure, you could tell them, “Stop right there! My rights are inalienable!” Yeah, they would probably laugh in your face.
I know in this day and age it seems to be a mere fantasy to consider our government becoming tyrannical in their authority. if we consider, though, that Hillary Clinton Spoke of curbing first and second amendment rights, the left pushes for a further encroachment on said rights (yet they also fear a looming Trump tyranny… yeah, I don’t get it, either), and that human history shows that governments tend to gravitate towards authoritarianism, it would appear to be less of a fantasy and more of a study of history and current trends.
Thankfully, in this “horrible” nation of ‘Merica, we still have our second amendment, with enough people who exercise it wisely and freely. We also do not have enough “sensible” restrictions in place to make our right to self-defense a complete pipe dream. It might be harder in some states like, say, California to do so, but on a whole, we are quite well armed, and we are better for it.
Some may, and have said that I am paranoid to hold the second amendment in such high regard. To that, I say that the day (or in my case, late night) that you have a gun pointed at the back of your head demanding whatever money you have on you, and all that you have as a “defense” is the hope that you have enough that the assailant does not get more agitated and pulls the trigger in response, suddenly it’s not so much about paranoia as it is about realizing that random threats do exist. And like a random threat tends to do, you don’t have to go find them; they oftentimes go find you.
“Where were the police,” I hear you ask. Where were they, indeed. Unfortunately, putting a badge on does not suddenly make a police officer omnipresent. And with some departments severely understaffed and underfunded, they can’t even be mostly present a lot of the times. Besides, as much as there are a lot of police officers who do want to serve and protect, they are also not our bodyguards. They are there to enforce the law, not escort me to and from work.
Whether it’s a crazed gunman in California, a random assailant on the streets at night, or a powerful authoritarian who laughs at your rights, guns are the great equalizer. Those who wish to give up liberty for security need not; our second amendment liberty is our security. The government can handle the military, the national guard, the police, etc., for our overall protection. We still have to protect ourselves from the unexpected.