My Cold Dead Hands: Can a Compromise on Gun Control Be Reached?

My Cold Dead Hands: Can a Compromise on Gun Control Be Reached?

So, here we are, another tragedy in America. On Wednesday, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and injured 21 others in San Bernardino, California. As the event was occurring, with limited information, Barack Obama and others used the occurrence as an opportunity to push their gun control agenda.

Initial reports described the shooting as “workplace violence.” Farook was an employee of Inland Regional Center, and had attended the holiday party that was targeted. He abruptly left then returned a very short time later with his wife Tashfeen Malik, both masked and unidentifiable at the time, wearing black tactical gear and armed with military style weapons.

Before we get much farther, we must take of moment to praise the police who ended this attack. Heroes run toward danger to protect and defend those who cannot protect and defend themselves, and that is what these men and women did. One officer was caught on video telling a group that he was protecting, “Try to relax, everyone try to relax, I’ll take a bullet before you do—that’s for damn sure.” Cop Lives Matter.

As the investigation has gone on, the idea this was just “workplace violence” was incorrect. Farook is being described as having been a devout Muslim, and traveled to Saudi Arabia to complete the Hajj in 2013. Malik was Pakistan-born, who had lived in Saudi Arabia until eventually marrying Farook and moving to the United States. Neither were on any “terror watch list,” and the guns used in the attack were purchased years ago, legally.

Despite not being linked to any terrorists organizations before the attack, investigators have found that Farook and Malik had been in contact with terrorists online. Also, the two had been building bombs using information found in Inspire, an online magazine published by al-Qaeda and used to both radicalize and inform on how to perform “lone wolf” terror attacks. Authorities are still not willing to call this act terrorism, but do believe they had planned secondary targets.

People on Terror Watch Lists

President Obama, other gun control advocates, and their supporters in the mainstream media have had to backpedal some of their initial comments, as more information has come out. However, they have not backed away from using this event for a political end. They tell us that “common sense” gun control laws could have overted this event.

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. … [A] crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not before.Rahm Emanuel

There has been a push to restrict people on “terror watch lists” from buying and owning guns. Let’s put to the side for a moment that this couple was not on any list, not on the radar of the government, and these restrictions would have stopped nothing. We must keep in mind that these “terror watch lists,” including the “no fly list,” include people who have never been charged with a crime.

Barack Obama, and other Democrats, want to restrict the rights of American citizens without any due process. The government  must respect all legal rights that are owed to any and all persons. In the United States of America, we do not punish people because of what we only suspect an individual may do, what they believe, their political or religious opinions, or who they may know. Obama, and gun control advocates, believe we should.

Americans Don’t Need Assault Weapons

What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take armsThomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

What is an assault weapon? It really is an ambiguous term, but in general assault weapons can be described as semiautomatic firearms, with a large magazine of ammunition,  designed for rapid fire and combat use. In reality, the distinction between assault weapons and other semiautomatic firearms is often aesthetics. Any differences that are for “combat use” only have real benefit in battlefield conditions

However, let’s take this a step farther. Some proponents of gun control state that there is just no need for the average person to own military-style firearms. They say we can respect the rights of people to defend their homes and the traditions of hunters, and still have “common sense” gun control laws. The Second Amendment was not written with hunting and home defense as the central idea, because in the 1700s home defense and hunting were a given.

I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788

If we look back at the writings of the Founders, it is obvious that the right to bear arms had two main purposes. First, was to ensure the militia, defined as all able-bodied persons who are not members of the military, could help defend the nation if it is ever invaded by a foreign force. In fact, because of this, the intent was to allow the average individual to freely own weapons equivalent to a basic infantry soldier.

The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787

This brings us to the second reason the Founders knew we needed a well armed civilian population. The right to bear arms is not for the purpose of preserving hunting traditions. It is there so that if the government of the United States ever gets away from the people, becoming out of control and tyrannical, that we would have the ability to win a second American Revolution. Do you really think it can’t happen here?

Most People Want Gun Control

Those pushing for gun control often cite surveys showing most Americans support “common sense” gun laws. One University of Massachusetts study shows 78% of Americans want more thorough background checks and psychological analysis for people buying guns, and 80% approve of closing the “gun show loophole,” which allows gun buyers to bypass background checks all together.

You know what you will not hear from the mainstream media? The same University of Massachusetts report showed 52% of Americans support allowing and training teachers to carry firearms in schools. So, I think the devil is in the details here. Somehow, this survey concludes both that firearms need to be controlled to reduce gun violence, but also part of the answer to gun violence is more guns.

The reason Congress cannot pass “common sense” gun control laws, that Obama and others say Americans want, is because there is no agreement once we dig past the basic concent. America wants background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but we don’t want to take rights from individuals who have committed no crime. We want guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but we don’t want the government usurping or privacy rights to accomplish it. We want gun control, but we don’t want gun rights taken from law-abiding citizens.

Conclusion

We need to be real world. Additional background checks, psychological analysis (at the time the weapons were purchased, before Farook became radicalized), and closing the  “gun show loophole” would not have stopped the San Bernardino attackers. Obama wants you to believe taking the rights of lawful citizens will solve the issue of homegrown terrorists, but it is not true,

An “assault weapons ban” would have also done nothing. There would still be plenty of equivalent semiautomatic firearms (rifles, shotguns, and pistols) that the attackers could have effectively used. Moreover, these gun restrictions would not have stopped these individuals from building their pipe bombs. The attack in San Bernardino would have been unaffected by the proposed changes to the gun laws.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States is, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The “well regulated Militia” gives Congress some authority to create laws regulating the militia. However, it specifically states “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

We can agree that individuals with a criminal past should be excluded from the militia, but those laws exist. We can agree that some with a mental illness, impairment, or capacity are not “able bodied” and should also be excluded from the militia, but how do we protect privacy rights? We may even come to some agreement in closing the “gun show loophole.” However, in my opinion, we should resist limiting the rights of lawful individuals for a false sense of security.

The fact is Obama, and his kind, needs what is being called “common sense” gun laws as a stepping stone to their real goal, actually taking guns away from all citizens. These changes will do nothing to address the estimated 270 million guns already in the hands of Americans, and therefore will not lessen gun deaths—and that is what they want. They want to pass these things to say they didn’t work, and we now have to take the next step, banning guns in civilian hands. We must never let that happen.

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