A right or privilege?

“An armed citizenry is governed, and unarmed citizenry is ruled.” The National Rifle Association As expected, following the New Zealand shootings, their Prime Minister announced a ban on all semi-automatic weapons as a response. Couched in the rhetoric of “safety” this ban uses the usual ineffective approach to such issues. In the United States, we have the protections of the Second Amendment. The fundamental question that needs to be answered is whether gun ownership as a method of self-defense is a right or a privilege. There are several disturbing trends…

An open letter to Utah high school students

Last Friday thousands of Utah high school students walked out in memory of the Columbine and parkland shootings. A student organizer was quoted saying: “I just want people to know we’re not political puppets.” Well young friends, despite your obvious good intentions, you are not entirely informed. You are being influenced, and not by people that ultimately support your rights or your safety. You may perceive you are in a fight for your lives, but it is actually more like a fight for your rights. And you are being told…

The Age of Unreason

America owes a great debt to the philosophers of the Enlightenment over 300 years ago. Many democratic virtues are the result of liberal ideas formed in the 18th century leading up to the American Revolution. Unsurprisingly, illiberal ideas sprang from the Enlightenment as well – label these ideas “if a little is good, more is better.” As the ink was drying on our new Constitution and its initial amendments, the French Revolution proved to the world that more is not always better. Illiberalism was invented through zeal and excess in…

Second Amendment sanctity

“We need to repeal the Second Amendment because most gun-control legislation is ineffective when most Americans have a guaranteed constitutional right to purchase deadly weaponry in nearly unlimited quantities.” – Bret Stephens, NY Times 2/16/18 As the rhetoric continues to heat up in the media and across the country after the Parkland, Florida shooting the ultimate leftist agenda is revealed. And the issue continues to divide America across partisan lines. Do guns have a place in civilized society? Is the Second Amendment outdated, antiquated or unfit for modern society as…

Guns are not criminals

The latest gun-related tragedy, the shooting in a Parkland, Florida High School, has kicked the gun control debate back into overdrive. The emotions around such awful occurrences often obscure the facts and principles. And feelings run strong on both sides of the debate. But an incontrovertible fact stands: guns are not criminals, they are tools. A gun in the hands of some defends life, liberty, and property. A gun in the hands of another provides food for their table. In others’ hands, guns are used in some of the highest…

A way to think about responses to school shootings

Another year has come, and another school shooting. 17 children and teachers gone, each one a precious son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother, friend or neighbor.  Every parent, upon hearing the news of another shooting, feels a pain in their heart for another’s loss of their child, while, at the same time, guilt over the relief they feel that it didn’t happen to his or her own son or daughter. Unless it did. Or, heaven forbid, until it does.  There but for the grace of God go…

What does gun control even mean?

America is home to approximately 300 million firearms. One study suggests that 78 percent of Americans do not own a gun; 19 percent of Americans own half of all firearms; and, three percent of Americans own the other half. The Vegas shooter was in possession of 42 guns, bringing 23 of them to the hotel with him. Understand there is no correlation between owning a lot of guns and being a mass murderer, even if mass murderers sometimes own a lot of guns. In fact, it seems there is no…

Vegas and history

“Our grief isn’t enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again.” – Hillary Clinton Tweet, Oct.2nd I despise any individual that abuses our Second Amendment rights. It goes beyond the pain and devastation that affects individual lives to the violation of precious rights and liberties under whose umbrella such carnage is possible. The history of modern firearms is indeed violent, but a great majority of that violence (at least in America) has been used…

Obama fails on gun violence

President Obama has been given an excellent opportunity to address gun violence, and it appears as though he is going to do nothing meaningful about it. Of the 33,000 annual deaths from firearms, 60 percent is suicide and upwards of 25 percent is the result of America’s war on drugs. And rather than address two issues that account for 85 percent of gun deaths, he punts and will focus on gun show background checks. This when the FBI tells us 2 percent of guns used in crimes were purchased at…

Mass shootings and missing white woman syndrome

I haven’t posted anything about gun control in the middle of this most recent medley of outrage. This is primarily because I haven’t seen anything that looks remotely like a rational debate in which I could participate. It’s also because I’ve written on this topic at great length already1, and there is not a whole lot new to add. It’s not that I’m opposed to considering new policies to solve the problems of widespread gun ownership.2 Nope, the problem is that I find most of the folks who are calling…