thetandd.com ^ | 5 February, 2012 | Dr. John Rheney
Posted on Monday, February 06, 2012 9:20:50 AM by marktwain
The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
That sentence above all else seems to cause more debate than any other in the Constitution. In 2008 The Supreme Court found, and I think correctly so, that the founding fathers meant this to mean that individuals had the right to possess firearms to protect themselves from an overzealous and dictatorial government. Gun control advocates seem to think it means only the Army or National Guard has the right to bear arms to protect us from outside aggression.
At the time of the below writings in 2010, The Supreme Court further found that cities such as Chicago didn't have the authority to disarm law-abiding citizens. This case came before the high court before the appointment of radical and liberal Judges Suttomayor and Kagen.
I was reading an email from a friend the other day and he referenced an article written by a retired Marine major. The subject was on gun control, or more appropriately the lack thereof for private citizens when faced with excessive control or even confiscation of firearms as was in the case in the state of Illinois. I thought that Maj. Caudill's retort was poignant and concise, so I'llshare it with you.
If anyone thinks that the appointment of one more liberal judge to the Supreme Court would not adversely affect gun ownership, then you are kidding yourself. Presidents come and go but their judicial appointments affect the courts for the entirety of a justice's life. Without getting overly political, I think this upcoming election will support or break the back of the Constitution. Do you as an individual have the right to possess a firearm for protection? Can the government force you to buy health insurance even if you can't afford it and fine you if you don't? Can the government interfere with and force churches such as the Catholic church to administer health care plans that include abortion, contraception and day-after medications that go strictly against their core beliefs?
Read and decide for yourself:
The Gun Is Civilization," by USMC Retired Maj. L. Caudill
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories,without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year-old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang-banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation ... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
n Dr. John Rheney has been writing his outdoors column for The Times and Democrat for more than 25 years.