I have been hesitant to publicly wade into the whole Gun Control debate. I hold my views. I hold my peace. I have no desire to draw undue attention to myself or my family. I have no interest in inviting argument, defending my stand, or condemning those who may disagree with me. Again, it is one of those things about which I wish there was a more common culture of respectful public discourse because I do believe it is an important issue for our nation.
Today, in following a story link provided by my brother and after browsing through the responses, I found a man who had eloquently shared my thoughts on the subject without venom or defensiveness. He just stated the position and left it at that. I am copying his statement here. In my opinion, it is a well-thought, well-stated position worth considering. And I, too, will leave it at that. Thanks, Finn; your words are fitting and I appreciate being able to share them.
"First let me preface my remarks by stating that I am not a 'gun guy'. I do not hunt. I do not target shoot. I do not collect guns. I do not belong to the NRA. I do not live in a 'rough' part of town. I own no guns, nor have I ever needed to have one. The last time I fired a shot in anger was in 1968.
That being said, there are many people today, (myself included), who have a deep, (and a legitimate), distrust of the government.
They believe that it is in the nature of governments to accumulate and to concentrate more and more power over people's lives. More power leads to more control.
It has always been so. As Lord Acton so famously stated, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Meaning that those who are given power over others will use that power.
Even if the government is not specifically intending to do so, it is the nature of large governments that this occurs.
Now the government may espouse their desire to help the citizenry, but when individuals disagree with what the government determines is in their best interest, then those in power use coersion. Sometimes subtle sometimes not so subtle.
This concentration of power and increasing coersion can be gradual (like slowly turning up the heat on a lobster in a pot), or sudden (like dropping him into boiling water).
One need only be a casual student of history to see the process at work again and again and again.
The Second Amendment is *our* garauntee that this loss of individual freedom and increasing control of our lives cannot be done with impunity.
One need only look at what is occurring in Syria today or in Mexico, or any of a dozen other locations around the globe to see examples of what happens when the government controls the people and when the people are defenseless to resist.
Now you may feel that this distrust is not warrented, or that it verges on paranoia. Many might agree with you. However many more, would not.
The Founding Fathers believed fervently that ordinary citizens needed to be protected from an oppressive government. If they had not, then there would not have been a Second Amendment in the first instance.
They were *very* distrustful of the concentration of power into the hands of the few. They set up safeguards against it by diluting that power into different branches and different levels. They tried to define precisely just who could do what, and what things they could not do. They added further protections in the Bill of Rights.
The Founding Fathers, I am certain, would be aghast at the degree to which the government controls the lives of Americans today. Indeed, they went into rebellion over transgressions less onerous than what we today have allowed to be imposed upon us.
Read the Declaration of Independence. Look at the reasons that are enumerated there. They speak of an oppressive government seeking to impose it's will upon the citizenry.
The Second Amendment was NEVER about what type of arms citizens might own or about what the technological developments of the future might bring. It was not about hunting. It was not about home defense. It was not about target shooting. It was about the ability of citizens to oppose and resist the oppression of a tyrannical government.
There are those Americans that honestly feel that this point of view is not applicable to the 21st century; that such concerns are the things of history. They label those like myself, as 'gun nuts' or as paranoid, even dangerous.
If you are one that believes that this distrust is stuff out of a dusty history book, and has no relevance in the 21st century, then I urge you again to to look around more carefully.
Those of us that support the Second Amendment feel that it's relevence is as valid now as it was when it was first penned."
It is about time for an update!
4 years ago