It all goes back to the foundational reasons behind the rights.
If you ask around, why do we have the right to bear arms, you could almost get a different answer every time you ask it.
Gun-grabbers will probably trot out their usual smug dig about ‘overcompensating’ for a specifically masculine shortcoming. Or they might drop in their favorite made-up word, ‘ammosexual’. Those are unserious people and can be dismissed as such.
More thoughtful answers will center around the practical uses of the gun itself.
Avid hunters might prioritize putting the bam to Bambi in their answer.
Others might prioritize home defense. ‘When seconds count, the police are minutes away.’
Others might have the Minutemen in mind. ‘Sic semper tyrannis’.
America was a nation forged by individuals taking a stand against a global power to defend their personal rights from tyrannical rule — and many will gladly do so again if it becomes necessary.
Here are a few of the Founders’ and Framers’ thoughts on the Second Amendment specifically, (and rights more generally):
- No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements].
- Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… 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.
- A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.
[See the rest of the list these were lifted from, here.]
That last point about the laws of nature is key to this discussion.
For gun ownership, the law of nature argument is simple. It goes something like this:
At no time does a man forfeit the right to protect his life from that which may threaten it.
This framing of the question takes us beyond specific application arguments to the broader principle upon which gun ownership is founded, and moves it into the realm of ‘laws of nature’, mentioned above.
Certain specific conditions might disqualify a person from lawful gun ownership, but his natural state is liberty until the State can show just cause otherwise.
Then the other reasons follow.
A gun helps a free citizen to defend himself against wild animals. Or defend his home and person against burglars and criminals with violent intent. Or defend his freedom against tyrants who would rob him of it.
Hunting falls in this same argument. It is the means by which a hunter can defend his family from hunger and want.
And unless that hunter has done something to disqualify him from owning a firearm to do so, he has a right to use his firearm to feed his family, so long as various conservation laws are heeded.
And that’s where we see the parallel to the Back To Work protests.
Whether we see Shelly Luther opening her nail salon, Elon Musk reopening Tesla, Doctor Hotze leading a back-to-work rebellion, or a desperate-to-survive Colorado restauranteur reopening her restaurant for Mothers’ day, Americans are waking up to an old idea.
Some rights are theirs by birth, whether the government likes it or not. And that includes the right to put food on your table through any lawful employment.
If a government wants to stand in the way of that right, they’d better produce a damned compelling reason, because the burden of proof is on their reasons to block our rights, NOT on ours to exercise them.
And the evidence for the protracted ‘pause’ in the lives of millions of Americans who want nothing more sinister than to simply put food on their kids’ tables is looking less and less justifiable as time goes on.
Politicians are scared to take a chance at being wrong.
Most fear the panic-mongering press and would rather destroy lives and livelihoods under the cover of ‘abundance of caution’ than trusting their fellow Americans to take risks the rest of us might mutually agree on as being generally acceptable.
It’s up Citizens to let them know that the ‘safe’ choice isn’t always the safe choice. The onus is on the politicians to put up or shut up… or pay a price at the polls.
They must lay out, in explicit detail, something better than the bumper-sticker aphorisms they’ve been churning out.
Give us a specific (and compelling) rationale why you are absolutely CERTAIN that putting the government’s boot on the neck of our economy serves a meaningful larger purpose, how much longer you expect this ‘fifteen days to flatten the curve’ to last and what the ‘exit plan’ back to normalcy looks like…
If you can’t do that? Then get the hell out of our way. Because we’ve got work to do.