11 months ago
From Dr. Keith Ablow:
… gun control advocates also ignore the potential widespread psychological harm that disarming Americans could cause.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew Peter Carr in 1785, “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . ”
The right to bear arms is a critical component of feeling competent and autonomous as individuals, rather than relying on the goodwill of a super-powerful, unassailable government.
A disarmed population is, by definition, a population that has completely ceded the power to defend its homes against local, state or federal authorities. This implies a level of trust much more consistent with that which children have for parents than that which thinking adults have for the institutions they have created to perform vital functions like defending the nation, keeping the peace, maintaining schools and providing clean water.
A disarmed population is allowed the toxic luxury of feeling as though our way of life and our safety from oppression comes without the tremendous responsibilities and moral complexities of wielding force. The same people who passively pay taxes that put tanks on the streets and fighter jets in the skies over our enemies’ nations can cringe at the idea of owning guns themselves — projecting their survival instincts onto an all-powerful father figure (the state).
History is replete with examples of cultures in which taking guns away from law-abiding citizens foreshadowed catastrophic abuses of the power thereby invested in government. One need look no further than Nazi Germany.
While gun control advocates point not only to episodes of terrible violence, but also to the toll of accidental deaths and murders involving firearms, I believe such tragedies highlight the need for citizens to take more personal responsibility for the handguns they own, not any justification for them to be infantilized by banning them from owning handguns at all.
It may well be that putting more—not fewer—guns in the hands of law-abiding American men and women and training them to safely store those guns would actually be one immediate way to immunize the population from feeling like potential victims of the Adam Lanzas and James Holmes among us.
It may be that putting more—not fewer—guns in the hands of law-abiding American men and women would be a way of immunizing them from feeling like passive participants in history and in safeguarding what we value about our way of life.
The psychological truth is that every gun privately and legally owned in America is a tiny impediment to the citizenry assuming a docile, nearly delusional perspective that the world will always be predictable, that one’s home and loved ones will always be safe and that government will always tend toward light and never toward darkness.
We’ve recently heard from all manner of statists pretending to be liberals, and also pretending that the reason they’re pressing for gun control has to do with the our own safety or the greater public good. The truth of the matter is that this is a misdirect and smokescreen. Statists are always interested in laws and regulations that increase the power and scope of control of a centralized government.
The second amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with personal or public health, shooting at squirrels or deer, or personal defense. It pertains to holding a tyrannical government at bay, something that causes the statists to be aghast at our temerity and jurists like Robert Bork to ridicule the notion that we could stop a government who owns nuclear weapons.
But just occasionally it’s nice to be able to push back and show the gun control argument to be impractical, unhealthy and unsafe. It’s also nice that Dr. Ablow mentioned the example of Nazi Germany. Since the Obama administration began it’s gun control push in earnest it has become fashionable to deny the history of Germany’s gun control in the holocaust.
I deal with this issue in Obama, Hitler And Gun Control. Gun control certainly turned out to be very unhealthy for the Jews under Hitler.